7 Tips to Have a Stress-Free Family Road Trip
Help everyone stay calm and have an enjoyable journey on your next family road trip with these seven suggestions.
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Mentally prepare yourself
Traveling with your family typically means a longer travel time with more frequent stops than if you were driving solo. Mentally prepare yourself before the trip for this slower pace. Plan on making a pit stop every 3 hours for bathroom breaks and so everyone can stretch their legs.
Pack safe and healthy snacks
Avoid giving babies and toddlers finger foods and bottles without supervising them, especially while they are in rear-facing car seats. And steer clear of sticky snacks for young children to minimize the mess. Instead, pack healthy foods like veggies and fruit to reduce the chance that young ones will exhibit sugar-induced hyperactivity and mood swings on the trip.
With a little forethought, you can make sure everyone stays hydrated on the trip while minimizing bathroom breaks. Smarter Travel’s Christa Terry suggests snacking on grapes and letting everyone drink as much as they want approximately 45 minutes before the next bathroom stop.
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Pack a variety of activities
While tablets and built-in vehicle entertainment systems are a great way to keep children happily engaged in the backseat, make sure to pack non-electronic pastimes. Books, drawing pads, travel games, and other low-tech activities are great options.
Have exercise breaks
Pack balls, bubbles, and jump ropes to participate in some active playtime at rest stops. It’s a great way to release some energy while stretching your legs — and will help boost morale when the time comes to get back in the car.
Keep the cabin clean and secure
Pack baby wipes, basic cleaning supplies, and a few garbage bags to keep the cabin area tidy and help create a more zen environment for the journey. And make sure to secure your luggage and keep it separate from passengers to keep everyone safer in the likelihood of a collision.
Say “yes” sometimes
Take time for fun detours you might encounter on the way, whether that be a local fudge shop or pizza joint or a random roadside attraction. It can be as simple as stopping at a nearby park to let your kids play on the playground or wade in a stream.
Whitney Russell is a current resident of Dayton, though her spirit can be found beach-bumming in Puerto Rico (the land of her half-Puerto Rican heritage). When not adventuring through the exciting world of car news, she can be found hiking with her husband and their two dogs, visiting nephews and nieces, discovering new memes, thrifting, decorating, crafting, woodburning, researching random things, and escaping into a great movie. See more articles by Whitney.