Road Trip Tips – My Top 5 Summer Sanity Tips


Going on a family road trip is supposed to be fun right?  You get some family time together, get to see some fun sights, and usually, the destination is always worth the drive! That sounds fun in theory and usually, the first hour or so in the car is fun!

Then the crying, fighting and the dreaded “are we there yet” question kicks in. This is when you need to be prepared and ready to defeat the dreaded situations. You have to remember that when you are going to be in the car for an extended period, you have to be flexible with your schedule and willing to go temporarily insane at times. To help you keep your sanity this summer I've put together a few of my favorite road trip tips.

road trip

5 Road Trip Tips

1. Plan Your Route Carefully

Before you hit the road, make sure you have your route carefully planned out. Yes, it might be faster to go a certain way but is there anything good stops along the way or good sightseeing from the car window?

Sometimes it is worth it to go a little out of your way if that route is going to provide more entertainment. Taking a bit longer to get to your destination, might mean getting there without a headache.  You would be surprised at the things kids like to see on a road trip.

2. Get the iPod Ready

Kids love their music and parents don't always like their music choices. Before you even leave your driveway, have the music situation under control. Create a road trip playlist and have each family member select 5 to 10 songs.  Or if you aren't willing to compromise on the music choices we turn the vehicle speakers to the front only and play our music while in the back the kids can listen to their own!

Lately, we've loved listening to audiobooks.  By visiting your local library or buying your favorite audiobook online, you'll be set for any road trip.

3. Have Food on Hand

For me, I can't make it 20 minutes out of town and the kids are asking for food.  Stopping at every fast food restaurant or gas station will get expensive quick. Not to mention it will slow down your trip. Have snacks on hand!

Make some sandwiches, juices, fruit and other family favorite snacks. The minute you hear I'm hungry, you will be able to provide an option.  Don't forget to pack a few surprises too!


Simple Tips to Pack a Cooler

We have a little cooler that fits in between the seats of the kids, so they can grab what they want as they get hungry.  This helps me keep my eyes on the road if I am solo with them and not have to play the what do you want game with them.

4. Play Games

Nothing ruins a road trip like boredom setting in. There are several road trip games you can play in the car. I Spy, 20 Questions and Road Trip Bingo just to name a few.

We made our bingo printables for in the car and laminated them so we can use it over and over again.  Cheyenne had the idea for her Earth Day Recycle Project at school!  She made a road trip box with laminated games like bingo, tic tac toe, the square game, hangman, and a few others.  You can grab a copy of our road trip printable sheets HERE!

road trip games

5. Road Trip Map

Since Cheyenne is a little older now and likes to know what's going on, we've started including her in the planning process of any road trip we do.  I'm not sure if you all remember back in the day of using a paper map instead of a GPS or smartphone but when I was a kid I thought it was so cool to unfold a big map and see what point A to point B looked like.

What we do is make a road trip booklet for her to follow along on our route so when she asks where we are she can find it on the map and see how far we've come and how much we have left to go.


That pretty much sums up my road trip tips.  Remember to keep things simple because we need our sanity this summer to it should be about rest and relaxation.  Here's to making a lot of memories this summer.

A quick reminder of my top 5 tips are:

  1. Plan Your Route Carefully
  2. Get the iPod Ready
  3. Have Food On Hand
  4. Play Games
  5. Road Trip Map

Does your family love taking road trips?

1 Comment

  1. Debbie White Beattie on

    You’ve got great tips and advice! I love your idea of playing games in particular I Spy because I can still remember playing as a kid when we were on our way to wherever.

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