Road trips with kids can be fantastic bonding experiences...or absolute nightmares. The difference often comes down to preparation. With some thoughtful planning, you can ensure your family road trip is heavy on the fun and light on the headaches.

Safety First

Before hitting the road, take care of a few safety essentials:

  • Ensure car seats are properly installed for your child's age/size
  • Pack an emergency kit with blankets, first aid supplies, etc.
  • Set clear rules about seatbelt wearing and backseat behavior

Plan for Sanity

Keeping kids entertained on long drives is crucial for your sanity. Have a road trip arsenal ready with the following:

  • Audiobooks, movies, music playlists, and headphones
  • Classic road trip games like I Spy, 20 Questions, Mad Libs
  • Coloring books, crafts, and digital activities

Make Pit Stops Count

Breaks are essential for releasing pent-up energy. Research your route for:

  • Parks and playgrounds to run around
  • Scenic areas for hikes and picnics
  • Unique roadside attractions like the world's largest frying pan

Snack Smarter

Avoid a junk food rabbit hole by packing:

  • A cooler with fresh-cut veggies, fruit, and sandwiches
  • Healthy, non-perishable snacks like nuts and granola bars
  • Reusable water bottles to stay hydrated

Don't Forget Downtime

While interaction is great, you'll need quiet moments too. Build in:

  • Audiobook or movie time for the kids to zone out
  • Conversation starters to share stories and bond
  • Organizational hacks to keep the car clutter-free


With preparation and reasonable expectations, you can make unforgettable memories on your next family road trip. Just remember to pack your patience!