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Road Trip with Kids: 5 Tips to Staying Sane

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We all dream of showing our kids the world. Some of the best vacations are the ones spent cooped up in the car, driving across the land. You see so much more than you would experience if you took a flight to your destination. But taking a road trip with kids isn’t for the faint of heart. 

Road trips are cheap, entertaining and can help you stretch your dollar but are they worth it? For us, getting there really IS half the fun, if not most of it.

Spending hours in the car with your family will be some of the best days of your life.

Music up, windows down, memories in the making. It’s all so amazing.

But don’t get me wrong, it can be stressful, too! Boy, do I know that! After spending over 30 hours traveling down Route 66, from the midwest to the Santa Monica Pier,  with my kids, I learned a thing or two about road trippin’.

Taking a road trip with kids can be the best days of your life with these 5 tips! #travel #travelingwithkids #roadtrip #makingmemories

5 Tips for Your Next Road Trip with Kids

Bring Snacks:

The secret to keeping ALL travelers happy is food. No matter how old they are, you can easily distract cranky travelers with a snack. Stay stocked up on easy and yummy snacks the whole family will enjoy. I like to pack grapes, fruit snacks, nuts, pretzels and string cheese for easy to grab snacks that don’t take up a lot of room. 

Just Relax:

Taking a road trip with kids is stressful, no doubt about it. Being stuck in the car for hours at a time, with moody husbands and toddlers is a challenge. The best way to deal with the time is to just relax. Kids can sense tension, no matter how young they are.

Once you relax and enjoy the trip, others will follow suit. Make sure you’re husband has a good attitude before hitting the road. If yours is anything like mine, he gets just as annoying as the kids when cooped up in the car for too long.

I would love to travel the world with my husband someday, but first, he has to learn to relax and enjoy the trip! 😉

Stop and Move:

I know that going on a road trip with kids can be exhausting but one way you can stay sane is by stopping when needed. We tend to stop every 2-3 hours, for a few minutes then a few times a day, for a longer period of time.

And we have some rules about stopping when we go on a road trip with kids:

No matter what the kids say, they ALL get out, go to the bathroom and do some jumping jacks or running around to burn some energy. No exceptions. This helps keep the wiggles at bay while we’re driving down the road.

They know that they have to move for the entire time we’re stopped. They can run into the gas station and grab a drink or play in the grassy area at a rest stop. No matter what, we burn some energy while we’re stopped.

Stay Busy:

Being in the car isn’t too bad until boredom sets in. Then it’s a nightmare for all. Keeping kids busy doesn’t have to be a lot of work, though. You can play games, look for license plates, listen to audio books, play “Would You Rather,” or just bring along some coloring books. 

Our youngest loves to play games, so I surprised him by whipping out his favorite card game when we were about 6 hours into our big family road trip. He was so excited to see the game, he forgot how miserable and boring the trip was and spent the next hour playing his favorite game. I brought along a large cookie sheet to use as our card table. 

It would be so amazing if we could have rented a more cool car than ours, but maybe for the next road trip, we will rent a big ol’ party bus from Limo Find! That would make it even more fun for the kids and they could get their wiggles out without stopping!

Plan Ahead:

Taking a road trip with kids can be the best days of your life with these 5 tips! #travel #travelingwithkids #roadtrip #makingmemories

Taking a road trip with kids can be as much fun as you make it. I have big plans to see the world with my kiddos before they leave my nest forever. By planning ahead, you can make the process so much easier on everyone involved. 

When planning our family road trip down Route 66, I knew we needed to stick to our budget if we wanted our 2 week vacation to last that long.

Instead of planning expensives excursions, I spent hours researching the most fun and FREE things to do along the way. 

Once I’d found some interesting and affordable ideas, I let the kids pick what they wanted to do.

Our first day of travel gave them the option of stopping at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX or visiting Meteor Crater National Monument. Surprising to me, they chose the free Cadillac Ranch over the rather pricey hole in the ground. 😉

By planning ahead, we were able to relax and enjoy our trip so much more. Our tiny budget allowed plenty of souvenirs because the things we saw and experienced were all so cheap. It’s amazing what a little planning ahead can do for you!


Taking a family road trip with kids is one of the best things we’ve ever done for our family. We still talk about the memories we’ve made and the once-in-a-lifetime things we experienced. And those are the things I wouldn’t trade for all the money or plane tickets in the world!

Taking a road trip with kids can be the best days of your life with these 5 tips! #travel #travelingwithkids #roadtrip #makingmemories

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