Make Your Family Road Trip Fun Not Frustrating

If you dread long car journeys with the kids and it is an ordeal rather than a pleasure, there are a few things that you can do to improve the experience for everyone involved. Of course, being cooped up in a small vehicle for a long stretch of time is always going to have its challenges, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the best of it. To begin with, you need to plan the trip to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. You also need to pack well to ensure that you have enough entertainment to stop the kids from driving you crazy! Here are a few of the top ways that you can make your family road trip fun rather than frustrating.


Include the Kids in the Planning

Even if you have a specific destination in mind for your road trip, you can still include the kids in the planning stages. They are much more likely to get excited about the trip if they are actively involved in it. Perhaps you could let them choose a stopping point along the way so they have something to look forward to before you arrive at your final destination. You could also encourage them to help with packing so that they have all the things they want once you arrive. Finally, you could also allow them to get involved in deciding what sort of entertainment they would like for the trip, but we will go into more detail about this later on in the article.


Prepare the Route and Navigation

It is a good idea to have a clear idea of the route that you are going to take and the stops that you are going to make en route. Although we heavily rely on GPS systems these days, you could still get yourself a paper map to mark out your journey. This is also a fun activity that you can do as a whole family, and it also helps to teach your kids something about geography. The more prepared you are, the less likely it will be that you will make wrong turns along the way which is always a nightmare scenario when you are cooped up in a car as a family!

Stone arch over the road. Beautiful nature

Get Your Car Ready

Minimize any risks of breaking down by doing all the basic checks on your car. Check all the fluid levels including oil, windscreen washer fluid and brake fluid and top them up as needed. Also, check the tire pressure and adjust them to the correct levels – they will be different depending on the number of people in the car and the amount of luggage that you will be transporting. Make sure that the spare tire in your trunk is still in good condition. This may also the time to brush up on your tyre-changing knowledge, so you are prepared to deal with this particular problem if you encounter it.

Top up your car with a full tank of gas at your local station before heading out. It is also a good idea to check for places that you can fill up as the highway is likely to be where it is most expensive. If you want to be especially well-prepared, you may want to take your car in for a tune-up before you head out on the road. Perhaps you have very young children and need to invest in baby seats, so take a look at Make sure that you have the number of your breakdown company in case the worse should happen and you need to call them out for any reason.


Pack Smart

When it comes to packing for your trip, you should divide up the things into two categories; items that you will need in the car and items that you won’t. Your children could be allowed one backpack each to bring the things that they want. A few possible entertainment ideas include magnetic travel games, books, dolls, paper, and coloured pencils. Of course, movies and electronic entertainment are alway an option, but you don’t want to be over-reliant on these. However, they are obvious always going to be useful in small doses. Also, consider the items which are important for your safety on the trip like a first aid kit.


Don’t Forget Drinks, Snacks, Blankets and Pillows

Grab yourself a cooler and stock it up with food and drink that you will want on the trip. When it comes to beverages, water should be your first choice as it is healthy and it also won’t cause a mess if it is spilt. As for snacks, you could for a combination of healthy and not-so-healthy options. Whatever you or your kids choose, you should avoid things which are likely to be sticky or cause stains in your car. Bring some napkins and paper towels along with you just in case. When your kids do start to nod off on the trip, you will want to ensure that they are comfortable. This is in your best interest as well as theirs! So, bring some blankets and pillows so they can sleep their way through the trip.


Map Out Pit Stops

Everyone is going to need a pit stop from time to time, so map out where these are going to be. Find the places which have nice-looking eateries, roadside attractions, and a bit of space so that you and the kids can stretch your legs. Pack a frisbee or a ball in the car and you can all have a run around. Perhaps you are going on an especially long journey and need to plan some overnight accommodation en route. Make the booking in advance and you have a clear destination that you are heading towards, and this is also one more thing off your mind that you don’t have to worry about when you are out on the road.


Learn Some Road Trip Games


What would a road trip be without some classic car games that you can play along the way? Obviously, there are the classics like ‘I Spy’ and ‘The License Plate Game’, but you could also learn some different ones to keep everyone engaged and interested. ‘20 Questions’ is always a good option for people of all ages. And when you decide that you would like to have a little break, there are plenty of games that the kids could play amongst themselves like ‘Tic Tac Toe’ and ‘Hangman’.


Plan Some Audio Entertainment


Something else which everyone in the car can enjoy is simply sit back and listen to some audio entertainment. Maybe you could each create a playlist of your favourite songs and take it in turns to put them on. Otherwise, there are plenty of audiobooks that you could download (many of them for free) that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Switch up the types of entertainment that you enjoy on your road trip, so that your kids are much less likely to feel bored along the way.


As you can see, the key to a successful road trip is to ensure that you have everything properly prepared before you get in the car. Obviously, your safety is paramount, so make sure that you are fully prepared in this regard first. Afterwards, you need to think about the logistics of the trip and how you will stay entertained. Finally, you are prepared to enjoy your adventure!