How to survive and enjoy your next family road trip adventure.
I love family road trips! Giving my kiddo the opportunity to explore new places is everything! Creating family memories. Bonding. A risen appreciation for our home after the return. These are just some of the reasons I love road trips. This summer we did a 10 day cross-country road trip with our toddler, moving our family from Boston to Houston TX.
So if you are wondering how we not just survived, but also enjoyed it, here is a list of family road trip tips we found useful:
Make a mix of favorite and new toys. My toddler is always entertained for a while when there is a new toy in her hands.
2 Be flexible
Planning out your trip is key to success. But being flexible and able to toss parts of it through the window, will make the family road trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Depending on how long your trip will be, start making a list of songs, that you listen to at home. This way your kid/s will know the songs and enjoy them that much more in the car. The songs that my daughter knew, she engaged with more. Here are a few of our favorites: “I am a pizza.” “Zoom, zoom, zoom we are going to the moon.” “Baby Beluga.”, “ABC the alphabet.” “Slippery fish.” and of course “Baby Shark”.
4 Be intentional
Regardless if you are planning for a multi day/cross country road trip, or just a one stop thing, make sure the hotel/motel/AirBnB you are booking is in the right location. It doesn’t have to be the prime spot, that you have to pay extra for, it just needs to be the right spot for you.
There were two kind of stops for us along the way. Actually three, but I’ll talk about the third one in my next point. The drive through stops – where we would arrive into a city, park the car in a garage, explore the city for a few hours, then drive to our hotel. The accommodation would be strategically located on the outskirts of the city, in the direction of our next stop. And first thing in the morning we took off. The two-day stops – as you can guess, these were places we drove to, settled into our accommodation, went to explore the city, came back to sleep, and spent the morning exploring a bit more. This kind of stop you want to be in a prime location, easy for you to access attractions from.
5 No driving days
This is the third kind of stop. We made sure to incorporate a few days of rest. We were lucky to have friends along our route we could stay with. So for those stops we incorporated an extra driving-less day.
6 Stay safe
Always park your car in a safe spot, we mostly looked for garages. This is not the time when you are trying to save a buck on free street parking. And there is a good chance you will have to leave some valuables in the car, as you are going to explore the city. Always make sure there is nothing visible left in the car, that might be tempting anyone to break in.
7 Document it
I am a family photographer after all. So I feel it’s my duty to remind you. Make sure you are capturing all the fun (and maybe some not so fun) moments. You will cherish these memories for a much longer time this way. You can just free-style it and snap a pic or video whenever you feel like it. Or make a plan, like take a group selfie each morning and evening.
8 Limit the driving
In order to keep the road trip experience a fun one, make sure you aren’t trying to squeeze in too much for each day. We only drove a max of 4 hours a day. Some days we drove less. This way it does’t feel like driving is all you are doing.