5 Family Road Trip Tips

All great family trips  have a beginning. Some begin at the airport and some begin in your driveway. Just because it’s the end of the warm weather, road trips don’t stop. Although the school year has begun, there are a many holidays where weekends become three or four day mini-vacations! What to do? Road trip!!! Below are my 5 family road trip tips.


5 Family Road Trip Tips

1. In-car entertainment is your friend. We allow our girls to bring a DVD or two, depending on the length of our road trip. During these rare, quiet times, The Hubby and I have an agenda (so romantic) of what to talk about. We talk about our careers, family calendars, future family vacations, logistics that we need to take care of…you know, all the stuff that you can’t talk about because you’re constantly answering to, “Mommy!” or “Daddy!”.


2. Follow the 40-20 rule. Although we allow a good amount of screen time on road trips, we also make sure that they aren’t always on. If they aren’t watching a movie (usually on longer road trips), they’re on their iPads playing games. This is where the 40-20 rule comes in: 40-minutes off the screen, and 20-minutes on. This allows them to manage their time and there is no disappointment when it’s time to turn all devices off. Plus, looking out the car window is pretty amazing. 


3. Individual snack bags. Instead of packing huge bags of snacks, pre-sort them into individual Ziplock bags for each kid, so they can easily manage on their own AND they don’t end up eating the whole bag of BBQ Pop Chips. Each kid should also get their own garbage bag to keep messes to a minimum. And they don’t pass their garbage up to you! Win!

4. Listen to something interesting as a family. Podcasts like 99% Invisible provide great story telling in the car. 99% Invisible does lean toward older kids (our 12-year old loves it, while our 8-year old tunes out.) Our favorite episodes were about revolving doors, bubble houses, product names, and holdouts — people who refuse to sell their properties to developers. It’s definitely geeky-fun. Really.

5. Don’t forget the bag of toys and books.  No matter how old the kids get, they need their bag o’stuff. The girls are old enough to pack their own depending on their interest: books, paper, crayons, markers, stickers, string for friendship bracelets, little toys like Calico Critters or Hot Wheels that you can bring a bunch off but they don’t take up much

In the end, the sign of a really great road trip? A dirty car. Then the last leg of your road trip: the car wash.

p.s. Need some help for family vacations? Read my family trip ideas for this school year.

I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are mine.