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Family road trips can be a fantastic way for everyone to bond while discovering new destinations and experiencing fun activities together. However, it’s crucial to be prepared for the unexpected that inevitably arises when driving long distances with children. Here are some tips for planning a road trip that will be relatively calm for everyone involved.


Involve Everyone in Planning

If your children are encouraged to participate in the planning process, like choosing the destination, they are more likely to be cooperative during the trip itself. Consider taking your children to the library or looking online together for available fun activities wherever you’re going. You can also plan your route ahead of time and help your kids draw it on a map. Download free worksheets to help your kids discover their vacation place and begin conversations about its particular history or state animals which is always fun for them.


Be Prepared

Keeping kids entertained for the entire trip is a challenge that requires careful preparation. Make sure to bring their favorite car-appropriate games and toys, as well as plenty of snacks for everyone. Consider setting up a laptop so that your kids can watch their favorite movies, and remember to bring blankets and pillows for naptime. And always carry hand sanitizer for the family, paper towels, Kleenex, wipes and a trash bag for each row of seats.  Depending on your family members’ needs, it may be prudent to plan your stops, or just to play it by ear. Whichever way works best for you, it’s usually best to stop somewhere your kids can run around and burn off energy.


Stay Safe

While having fun is the ultimate goal of the trip, it’s important to ensure everyone is safe while traveling. Get your car checked before you leave and make sure your spare tire is in good condition. Have a first aid kit, a roadside emergency kit with jumper cables and an emergency warning triangle. Always keep a road atlas in the car as well as your hotel’s address and phone number printed out just in case. If anyone needs daily medication, have a designated medicine bag nearby and not buried deeply in a suitcase. 

Also make sure there’s adequate space for kids, luggage, and any pets you’re bringing along. Don’t over pack the car since nobody wants to be squished. Talk to your kids about the importance of keeping their seatbelts on and not playing with the interior lights, since it could distract the driver. 


With advanced preparation family road trips can be an enjoyable adventure that helps family members bond with one another while having new and enriching experiences. Next time you’re planning a vacation, consider taking the scenic route with your whole family for a unique and memorable trip.