ROAD TRIP TIPS
Family Road Trip Tips for a Fun and Better planned journey:
We’ll be embarking on our 6th road trip as a family this week. We’ve learned along our travels each time, what works best for us! Because I’ve had friends & clients frequently ask me to share our experiences & tips with kids on a road trip, I’ve written this up to have everything accessible on one page. We now have a newly 2 year old & newly 5 year old. We’ve been doing this through every age of them. Yes, we’ve flown as well – but, found if we can make the time.. the road trips are a great experience, plus additional family time we don’t always get in our every day busy schedule! I’m originally from New England – where I have family in Connecticut, Mass / NH. We drive from South Florida, making our road trips typically a 21-24 hour drive, give or take.
My top bullet points first are as follows & then I get into detail with ideas, products, & pictures. I hope you can find use in some of these to make for a fun trip for you & your family!
Safety: Oil change, tires full & rotated, first aid kit, jumper cables, proper car seat safety. Comfort: Neck pillows, blankets, headband strap for napping children, window screen for sun. Entertainment: Travel tray for eating, drawing, puzzles, & activities. Scavenger hunt, games, books, audio books, movies.
Handful of grocery bags for trash. Toiletries as back up. Travel potty for littles if needed. Pit stops! Food & drinks!
Our typical route is 95 to 26 to 77 to 81 to 84 to 290 to 495 to 3 This way can avoid high traffic areas in New York or Washington…
However!… we have also taken just 95 before as well! The pit stops I am sharing with you throughout this are from the first set of routes.
TIPS & PRODUCTS!…
Shower caddy on window! We love this! Great storage system & easily accessible to the kids when they want another activity or snack. State countdown. Our now 5 year old has loved this since he was 3. He gets to pull down the state off the string, every time we reach a new one. It gives them something to look forward to on the way, along with educating them.
We have a built in pull down TV / DVD player in my husbands truck, but we also own portable DVDs and iPads which is what we use in my vehicle or for rear facing when needed. Click to purchase
Download movies prior to your trip if using an ipad, as you won’t have internet on the ride.
Here is a strap piece to put a phone or iPad in that we have: Click to purchase
Are you sick of constantly jumping in the back seat during a long drive to fix your child’s head when they fall asleep? We love these! Click to purchase
The travel trays are a must have, especially with eating! It’s a perk however to have it be a dry erase board or used for puzzles & coloring & other activities! Dry Erase Board Activities
Click to purchase
We have also brought a cooking pan to play on with magnetic letters! Great for our preschooler to practice words on also!
Road Trip Bingo & Scavenger Hunt
Adult games! Where else can you and your spouse or family/ friends ask questions about one another for a long period time? Great bonding & also something for the parents to do, especially once the kids fall asleep! I googled different questionnaire templates and just printed the ones I liked. You can make your own as well of course or bring an adult type game!
Find a real map & print / laminate a vehicle that looks like the one you’ll be driving! We just put a double sided stick pad on the back or a piece of folded tape works. Let your child move the vehicle along the map as you go on your trip.
Basic rest stop for gas, gift shop & fresh fruit!.. Florida / Georgia line!
You can also view some baby gators in a tank.
Savannah Children’s Museum Savannah, Georgia
Outdoor activities, crafts, playground, maze, cool train info & some parts you can ride.
Great for outdoor eating. Picnic tables. Cost to get in museum: $7.50 per person.
Hope Park Mooresville, NC.
As a gym owner & trainer.. I loved this for getting in that extra physical activity while traveling!
Unique large park with a tot spot area, tire swings, rock walls & splash pad!
Great for outdoor eating as well. Benches and picnic areas. Free.
Roanoke Star & Mountain! Roanoke, Virginia.
One of my favorite spots to get some fresh air and stretch during the ride! Beautiful view from the top of the mountain! Can drive right up &/or hike or walk mountain trails. They also have the worlds biggest man made star, which is really cool! Free.
When not doing the drive non stop, we have enjoyed staying in Hagerstown, Maryland for the night. The hotels we’ve stayed at there are near a Chucky Cheese, Cold Stone Creamery & mall called Valley Mall! I like to stock up at the store Bleacher Bums in that mall. They carry memorabilia, décor, & apparel for almost every single sports team!
The rare occasion we take 95, we have stopped at South of the Border. It’s okay, but not what most people would expect! There are alligators and turtles, plus some random little stores. It’s cute, but not crazy!
Some other side tricks is a car dust buster vacuum to try & keep up with any mess. Love mine! You can get one that specifically plugs into a vehicle. We have an actual outlet in our truck, but even if you don’t… there are blenders & coolers & food heaters that are made specifically to plug in cars.
Happy & safe travels! I hope you enjoy your next road trip!