Summer is around the corner which means families are gearing up for road trips to the mountains, the beach, and even grandma’s house. Before you head out on the road with your brood this summer, make sure you have your ducks in a row to prevent hearing an endless stream of “are we there yet?” Check out our top summer road trip tips to start the trip with a smile and get from point A to point B without any hiccups.
- Pack up an emergency road trip kit filled with everything you might need in case of an emergency including, extra water, flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and extra snacks. Be sure to double check that your spare tire is available and ready in case of a flat. Anything can happen on the wide-open road. Consider getting a roadside assistance membership just in case.
- Create a packing list specific for each family member and check it twice. If your kids are older, have them pack their own suitcases with their own packing list (although, you may want to double check to make sure they REALLY packed everything they may need and not just toys, the family hamster, or some candy).
- Snacks, snacks, snacks. Did we mention snacks? Apples, oranges, dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, beef jerky, goldfish, trail mix, you name it… have it, and extras on hand that you can access on a whim. Grab a few freezer packs to keep things cool and avoid the mess of melted ice. If you’re travelling through the desert heat make sure to limit or eliminate the melty snacks like chocolate. No one wants a chocolatey mess in the car!
- Plastic bags; just in case. These come in handy if someone gets car sick, or has an accident. If you’re traveling with pets this can be used as a waste bag. Plastic bags can also hold sandy beach towels and shoes, keeping your car from becoming a beach on wheels.
- Have a few extra sets of clothes handy for each kid; you know, just in case someone does in fact get car sick, has an accident, or spills something in the car. They’re great to have for an impromptu dip in the water - a tired, warm and cozy kid will nap like a champ in the car!
- Make sure your phones and tablets are charged to 100% and filled with family-friendly road trip music, movies, shows and games. Pro tip: have a car charger or extra battery pack ready in case your electronics die!
- Have each child fill a backpack with activity and coloring books, crayons, travel games, and favorite stuffed animals, action figures or dolls. This will give them something to get into when they’re bored 5 minutes into your trip.
- Have a slew of screen-free car games for kids in your arsenal. Think of the classic road trip games you played as a child (before smartphones, tablets, and navigation) like I Spy, Road Trip Bingo, and the License Plate Game.
- Pack blankets and pillows to encourage mid road trip naps and quiet time. Sometimes a slight change of position can make all the difference when you’re cramped in the backseat for many hours.
- Hand sanitizer or baby wipes, have them handy… things can get pretty dirty on the road!
- Practice patience. Yes, a family trip can certainly test your patience, but the fun and memories of the journey and the destination will last a lot longer than a spat.
When you get back from your amazing summer road trip, check out kid-focused activities like The Little Gym to stretch your legs.