Family road trips can be a fun and memorable way to spend quality time together. But keeping kids happy and engaged throughout the journey requires some strategic planning. Here are tips to make road-tripping with kids a smooth and enjoyable adventure:
Get Kids Involved in Planning the Trip
Getting kids actively involved in planning the road trip builds engagement and excitement. Based on their ages, here are some ways to get them planning:
Help Pick Stops and Activities
Have younger kids flip through travel guides and brochures to highlight points of interest. Let them help choose 2-3 key attractions or activities they’d enjoy. Older kids can research stops along your route online and pitch ideas.
Create a Custom Road Trip Playlist
Let kids curate a family road trip playlist with their favorite songs. Make it collaborative by having everyone pick 3-5 must-have tunes. Playlist services like Spotify allow everyone to add and reorder songs.
Assign Photography Duties
Handing kids the family camera or phone for backseat photography duty captures their unique perspective—Snap pics of landmarks, funny road signs, or scenic views. Set a goal for the number of quality photos to take per day. Giving kids specific roles makes them feel valued. It also helps foster engagement during long drives.
Pack Snacks, Games, and Other Entertainment
Having ample snacks, drinks, and screen-free entertainment prevents boredom and crankiness. Check out our post on must-have car accessories for a family road trip to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Rotate through different activities to keep kids occupied during long stretches. Apps like Roadtrip Bingo add some educational fun. Getting kids involved in planning the games and snacks makes them more engaged too.
Plan Engaging Stops Along the Way
Breaking up car time with frequent stops gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and explore. Choose kid-appealing attractions like:
● Parks with playgrounds and trails
● Family-friendly museums and farms
● Amusement parks and arcades
● Petting zoos and aquariums
Search for hidden gems and kid-rated attractions along your route. Having a mix of both
structured activities and free play time work well to keep kids engaged.
Some types of energizing stop to consider include:
● Nature parks and botanical gardens
● Children’s museums with interactive exhibits
● Mini golf courses and arcade game centers
● Zoos and aquariums with hands-on displays
Allowing kids to get active and explore their interests will make road trip stops more memorable and exciting.
Pack Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
Dress kids in soft, breathable natural fabrics for comfort en route. Shoes should be slip-on/easy-off styles for security checks and rest stops. Having at least one extra change of clothes per child handles spills and messes that commonly occur.
Additionally, packing familiar, comforting items like special blankets, stuffed animals, and favorite toys eases anxiety and aids the transition for reluctant young travelers. The right clothes and personal items help kids feel content during long stretches of travel.
Explore the Outdoors
Incorporate outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, or visiting national parks into the itinerary. Hiking trails in your local area are a kid-friendly way to explore nature.
According to a popular outdoor tours venture providing hiking tours in Scottsdale AZ, kids thrive when we “unplug and venture into the great outdoors together as a family.”
Getting kids engaged with nature creates priceless memories.
Make Sleeping Comfortable
Getting good rest is crucial on long multi-day road trips. Make overnight stops as relaxing as possible with a few key items:
● Pack familiar and comforting pillows and blankets from home so kids can sleep soundly
in new environments.
● Choose lodging with pool access so they can burn energy before bedtime.
● Extend bedtime a little so kids can unwind after a busy day of activities.
● Keep healthy bedtime routines like brushing your teeth and reading books. The
familiarity is reassuring.
● Use white noise apps and night lights to recreate their normal sleeping environment.#
Prioritizing rest through the little touches makes all the difference in keeping kids refreshed and ready for tomorrow’s adventures. Sleep is vital for happy family road trips!
Be Flexible and Keep It Fun!
Go with the flow when delays or tantrums happen – it’s all part of the journey! Having a stash of surprises like new toys and snacks helps to diffuse any crankiness. Laughing off the little mishaps helps keep things light. Most Importantly, focus on making great memories together.
With the right preparation, attitude, and activities, family road trips can be enjoyable for all ages. Don’t overschedule – leave room for spontaneity and bonding time. Most importantly, soak up every magical moment together. The memories will last a lifetime!