The romance of the open road can be, well, slightly less than romantic when you’re dealing with bored, squabbling or car-sick kids. Yet a road trip is still a fantastic way to explore a destination. It gives your family the freedom to stop and explore whenever you want and the opportunity to create shared travel experiences, as well as enabling you to carry a multitude of stuff in the boot. As with most things parenting, there’s an art to road tripping with kids. We asked our community of family travellers for their top tips.
The expert view
After being on a constant road trip for five years, we’ve learned a few things about what helps to make a road trip work with kids. First and foremost is snacks, lots of snacks! We have found if we pack a lunch box full of snacks for each kid and a water bottle we never hear ‘I am hungry!’ We do tell them that’s all the snacks they get in the car today and they usually do a good job spreading them out throughout the day. If it’s a long trip we recommend bringing a tablet and downloading a new movie. Then save it for a particular boring stretch or for the last half of the trip when everyone is getting antsy.
We’re also big fans of audio books – you can even rent them from your local library for free! If possible, hook them up through your car stereo so everyone can easily hear. If you’re travelling through a popular destination on your trip there are apps like GyPSy Guide to download and then, based on where you are, give you facts and tips about the location. They’re an awesome way for the whole family to learn more about where you are.
– Bryanna and Craig Royal, founders of www.crazyfamilyadventure.com
Our Twitter community says
A good play list. The kids love music and make their own.
— Christine Higgs (@ChristineHiggs3) May 28, 2019
My best tip is to get the kids involved in the planning of the trip. If they have made some important decisions eg. picked the hotel or decided some of the itinerary, or done some of the initial research they will be more invested in making it a success! It’s a win-win!
— Awaybies kids (@AwaybiesKids) June 23, 2019
Currently almost 3 weeks into a 6-week cross Canada road trip. Key is lots of snacks, audiobooks and podcasts that we can listen to together, short impromptu stops that make us smile and lots of patience.
— Karie Goes Global (@KedSaid) June 8, 2019
Our Facebook fans say
The above comments and more family travel tips can be found on our Facebook feed.
Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:
1) Our tips for taking a road trip with kids are on lonelyplanet.com.
2) Family travel blogger Jurga from fullsuitcase.com lists her essential family road trip packing list, which includes what not to pack too.
3) Lonely Planet has plenty of ideas, advice and inspiration on taking road trips all around the world.
4) And finally, keep your kids busy on the road trip with our recent Games on the Go activity set.