Are we there yet, Mom? How many times on one road trip will you hear those (whiny) little voices from the back seat? Too often. Cramped into a stuffy car for 5 hours traveling to your next destination is one of the drawbacks of road trips. Add a 20-plus-hour — one way – cross country road trip, as we’ve done, and the scenery might change, but the “are we there yets” never seem to end. With a little help from our guest writer, here are our simple family road trip tips and tricks to make the journey almost as much fun as the destination.
7 Simple Family Road Trip Tips and Tricks
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Riding together in one car, in such close proximity, means you are stuck together…literally…for what may sometimes seem like forever. Just ask those littles in the back. From quiet time to laughter, make the hours a little more enjoyable by following these simple family road trip tips and tricks.
Read More: Secrets to the Perfect Road Trip
1. Pack Plenty of Snacks and Water
Nothing makes for an unbearable road trip more than “hangry” kids and parents on a family road trip. Plan your snacks accordingly to appease those appetites, especially when traveling a long distance. On our road trips with the grandkids, this grandma gives that job to my daughters. They know what the kids like and they pack a mean bag of snacks.
Pack A Picnic
Packing a delicious picnic with your families favorite cuisine can make a frustrating journey to Disneyland more bearable and break up the road trip. You don’t have to limit the food to sandwiches either. Pack soup in a thermos with some crusty bread for dipping. Pack a few treats, such as fruit and some fun candy to prolong the entertainment and engagement at picnic time.
Be warned, your car is likely to get a little messy, but for some quiet time along the way, while keeping your family members happy and their tummies filled!
2. Plan Plenty of Pit Stops and Rest Breaks
While it is about the destination, consider the comfort of your passengers. On our family road trips, my dad was one of that drive-like-a-bat-out-of-hell to the destination. No stops. Rare bathroom breaks, unless we stopped to refuel, and definitely no snacks in the car. I dreaded the car rides, and just thought it was a necessary evil.
But as an adult road tripping with my kids and now my grandkids, I’m all about the journey. When passing one of these crazy roadside attractions, I have no problem turning around to check it out.
On one of our recent Colorado to Oregon road trips, we experienced boring, seemingly never-ending miles of Utah. When we needed a bathroom break, we did just that at a rest area and ohed and awed at the expansive views of the Utah Salt Flats — behind the restroom facilities. And we took several selfies. Totally fun and broke up the monotony of the drive.
3. Read A Story
Consider taking a book along and taking turns reading aloud to everyone in the car. Taking turns reduces undesirable car sickness. Choose a family-friendly book for all to enjoy, such as the Harry Potter books or Lord of The Rings. Being sucked into a story makes the journey go faster, puts everyone at ease, and keeps everyone entertained during the process.
Alternatively, for those who simply cannot read in the car without getting sick, download a selection of audiobooks prior to departure.
Who knows? You might even luck out and get the gift of putting the smaller ones to sleep.
Either way, it’s a win!
4. Family Road Trip Tips: Games and Activities
An old game, that’s essential for any car trip is I Spy, it’s great for keeping children and adults occupied alike. You probably know the rules of this game already! But if you don’t, it’s quick to learn.
When it’s your turn, choose something in or outside of the car that everyone can see. For example, let’s say you selected the window. Keep this to yourself. Then say “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with W!”. Then everyone takes turns guessing until someone gets it right. If everyone is struggling to guess, you may offer up a clue. After this, it’s the winner’s turn next.
This is an excellent game to keep everyone reasonably quiet as they focus their thoughts on finding your “I Spy” object. Try it!
Other free road trip games include scavenger hunt themed activities, such as the license plate game, road sign hunt, spot the car, and more.
Discover more road trip games here.
5. What’s Your Sign?
Sure, you’re all family, but join in and have fun. The notion of astrology to interpret who we are and what future holds might be fascinating to your family. Using ask astrology, claim a free reading, to surprise, and then inform and entertain the whole family on your road trip.
Family road trips can be booooring, why not pick up the pace with some of your favorite music for all the family to enjoy? And even one of our more fun family road trip tips includes “carpool” karaoke sing-along. Either take turns to select a song or make a play-list together ready for the journey.
There’s only so far reading, eating, family games and sing-a-longs can take you before your family needs some tech time. Which is why it’s essential to pack in car chargers for devices and download some movies on the tablets to save any mobile data on the journey. This way your family can stay entertained even when the signal is weak, or alternatively, when the cell signal strength is fine, keep in contact with other people outside of the vehicle.
Cell phones are, of course, essential for emergencies, so keep one free and charged at all times when possible, especially on long family road trips.
You can also take advantage of this time and turn it into an unplugged family vacation and road trips.
While you’re traveling to a new exciting place, with your camper trailer in tow or just a car road trip, consider these simple family road trip tips and tricks to make the journey to your destination a little more entertaining for you and your family.
What are your tried-and-tried family road trip tips? Share with us in the comments below!