5 Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Family Road Trip

Keep your kiddos engaged with these family road trip strategies

By Matt Villano, Sunset 

Summer is road trip season—that time of year when parents and kids pile into their respective family vehicles and head out to see the country one mile at a time. While these adventures offer great opportunities for bonding, they also can make kids pretty stir crazy. Here are some pro tips for putting your family in the position to enjoy the ride.

Stop Frequently

Road trips are kaleidoscopes of new cities, new landscapes, and new people. The best way to make sure your kids connect with these foreign experiences is to stop and encourage them to poke around. Stroll through tiny towns. Peruse community museums. Chat up local people. Setting aside at least one-third of your total daily travel itinerary should provide enough time for on-the-ground exploration.

Go Audio

Fighting the kids over screen time is a lost cause when you expect them to spend multiple days in the back of a car. Still, it’s a good idea to provide them with other choices. Audio books offer a great opportunity for the entire family to “read” together. Podcasts can be addicting, too. NPR’s “Wow in the World,” with a science focus, is both educational and entertaining.

Let Them Plan

Allow kids to take ownership of the road trip by giving them the opportunity to select at least one activity each day. Not only does this responsibility keep them engaged, but also it forces siblings to work together (bonus!). Kids can research possible attractions en route, either with mobile phone browsers, the AAA app, or old-school maps and guidebooks.

Embrace Games

Games keep everybody engaged on long drives, especially when they’re games that everyone—including the driver—can play. Old favorites include 20 questions and the License Plate Game, during which the family works as a team to spot tags from all 50 states. Another winner: First Letter/Last Letter, which requires each player to pick a place that starts with the last letter of the previous selection.

Pack Grab-and-Go Snacks

It goes without saying that your brood will get hungry on long stretches, but you might not want to avail yourself of gas station snack offerings (translation: junk food). Instead, pack relatively healthy, easy-to-eat foods that will satisfy kids’ palettes but also won’t make a huge mess in the back seat. Homemade granola bars, cut-up fruits and veggies, applesauce pouches, and string cheese all fit the bill. And when you’re ready for a full-on meal, check out our favorite road food spots.
Road Trips



Accessories,8,Art,24,Autos,15,Beauty,201,Bollywood,9,Books,5,Business,119,Career & Education,39,Cars,8,Cartoons,8,Celebrities,18,Consumer Trends,6,Crime,45,Design,10,Destinations,104,Economy,2,Entertainment,209,Environment,14,Exhibition,7,Family,3,Fashion,495,Features,54,Fitness,71,Food,103,Food and Drinks,9,Games,21,Gastronomy,9,Health,4009,Hollywood,2,Home and Decor,13,Home and Garden,3,Hotels,31,Household,1,Internet,26,Juicy,370,Lifestyle,3218,Local,12,Mortgages,2,Movie,46,Movie Reviews,3,Music,54,Music Review,2,New York,1,Newsmakers,6,Odd News,163,Offbeat,760,Opinion,53,People,35,Photos,106,Politics,17,Protest,2,Real Estate,51,Relationships,54,Restaurants,29,Restaurants & Gastronomy,3,Science,91,Sports,153,Technology,434,Top News,78,Transport,30,Travel,4189,Trends,6,TV,11,U.S.,365,Weather,3,Women's,1100,World,94,
U.S. Daily News: 5 Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Family Road Trip
5 Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Family Road Trip
U.S. Daily News
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy