There are few better ways to create amazing family memories than embarking on an epic road trip. The adventure of the open road, the new sights and experiences to be discovered, the sense of freedom that comes with setting out for distant destinations… all these factors combine to create something truly magical. At least, that’s the way it can be. Anyone who’s ever traveled with children knows that things aren’t always that perfect. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to help things run smoothly. Obviously there’s no way to guarantee a hassle-free holiday, but these tips will certainly make things a lot easier.
1. Travel in shorter stints
Travelling for hours on end across open country is all part of the road trip experience for many adults, but it’s wise to keep in mind that kids may not find long stretches in the car so appealing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to scale back the scope of your trip, but planning plenty of rest stops and even a few fun activities along the way can certainly help with keeping boredom at bay. Even better, take a look at the route with your kids and decide together what highlights you’d like to check out along the way. This will go a long way toward reducing the amount of times you hear “Are we nearly there yet?” over the course of the road trip.
2. Play good old fashioned road trip games
Sometimes it’s enough just to give kids a book or a tablet and let them amuse themselves, but if they’re getting a bit restless it may be time to try a few classic car games. These are games that don’t require elaborate set up or equipment, but instead tend to revolve around observation and imagination. “I Spy” will keep little ones occupied for a while but it can get stale pretty fast for older kids (not to mention adults). However, there are dozens of road trip games that are far more engaging, and can provide some excellent family fun along the way. If you’re a little stuck for ideas, don’t worry - we have you covered. Check out our top ten road trip games
to keep the long stretches between stops interesting for everyone.
3. Collaborate on the road trip playlist
This can be a tricky one. Music is an integral part of the road trip experience, but gaining a consensus among family members who may have wildly different musical tastes can be challenging. The key is to not to leave the decisions until you’re on the road but rather have a plan going in. Maybe each family member will have a certain amount of songs they can select for the playlist, or everyone gets a certain leg of the trip where their music choices rule. How it works is completely up to you, but one thing’s for certain: if just one person rules the playlist it’s probably not going to make for happy road trip times.
4. Bring entertainment
Road trip games are only going to get you so far. If you haven’t brought along something to keep your kids occupied in the backseat then no amount of I Spy is going to save you. Fortunately it’s never been easier to get your hands on portable entertainment that can keep children busy for hours on end. Tablets are a great option, as they can store a moderately large amount of music, movies, and even books. Just remember to bring enough earphones and chargers for everyone so that each of your kids can enjoy their own entertainment. Of course, you don’t have to opt for high-tech gadgets. If your kids love reading (and can handle reading in a car without getting motion sickness) sometimes all you need is a paperback or two. If reading does cause sickness or they want to switch it up, make sure you also bring something they can manipulate with their hands like a Rubix Cube, Silly Putty, string or portable mind puzzles.
5. Stay positive
Not every road trip is going to be 100% perfect. It’s inevitable that once in a while, things are going to go a little differently to the way you carefully planned. This is the critical point: either you can get upset about it, or realise that this is just bump in the road and get on with enjoying your trip. The reason that attitude is such an important factor on a family road trip is this: children are incredibly quick to pick up on the emotional cues of those around them. If the mood begins to sour, they’re going to be first ones to pick up on it and reflect it back. This can work both ways though, so if you’re quick to tackle any potential obstacles with positivity and optimism, your kids are far more likely to do the same.
Now that an amazing family road trip is within reach, why not start planning your next journey
? Whether you return to an old favourite location or strike out for something completely new, the power to craft a memorable family experience is entirely yours.