In a few days, we’ll be embarking on an eight-hour road trip with two young children. I am excited about this. I remember my mom taking us on road trips to Oregon when I was a kid…she’d drive the three of us kids from southern California to Portland, Oregon by herself, and without a cell phone or technology to entertain the masses. How did she do it, right?!
While I’m sure it was a very different experience for my mom, I have nothing but fond memories of these trips, even if I do occasionally have flashbacks to my sweaty legs sticking to the vinyl seats as I hung my head out the open back window, trying to hide from the smell of my little brother’s Cheez-its. It’s funny what we remember, isn’t it?
I wish I had tips of my own for taking kids on a road trip, but I don’t. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for the greatest ideas and travel hacks out there as I try to plan a trip that will be inexpensive, low-stress, and fun for the whole family. I’ve organized the greatest ideas and best information I could find (from deciding where to go to entertaining the kids in the car) into the Ultimate Family Road Trip Resource Guide. If you are thinking about a road trip with the kids, I hope you find something helpful here!
How to Decide Where to Go
- The 10 Best Road Trips in America: Don’t know where you want to go? Here are some ideas to get you started
- 3 Must-Have Books for Creating Family Travel Plans: If you want some guidance, these books look like an incredible resource
- Roadtrippers.com: Enter your starting location and destination, and this site gives you places to visit along the way (it’s AWESOME…I’ve been finding all kinds of fun stuff on here!)
- Find the Closest National Parks: No matter where you’re at, this site will help you find a National Park nearby
- How to Plan a Camping Road Trip: Don’t want to stay in a hotel? Here’s how to plan a camping trip
- What to do on Vacation with the Kids: Lots of fun ideas to plan your trip around
How to Keep Your Family Road Trip Under Budget
- Road Trips on a Budget: Ideas and apps to help you keep your road trip expenses on track
- Tips for Saving Money on Road Trips: How to feed and entertain the kids on a budget
- Practical Tips to Same Money on Your Next Road Trip: Lots of great ideas for cutting costs
- 10 Tips for How to Save on Gas: These tips aren’t just for road trips, but they are helpful for cutting back on gas expenses in general
- Stocking an RV or Camper Kitchen: Traveling by RV? Here are some tips for stocking the kitchen properly.
- On-the-Go Snacks for Kids: Healthy and inexpensive snack ideas that travel well
- Healthy Car Snacks: More great travel-friendly snack ideas
- 10 Ways to Save Money on a Beach Vacation: From picking dates to packing toys, this post has tons of budget-friendly ideas
How to Keep the Kids Entertained
- Travel Bingo: Print this fun Bingo game out before you leave and let the kids play as you’re traveling
- Road Trip Games and Scavenger Hunts: Fun game ideas, and a printable scavenger hunt
- Goody Bags for the Road: Make fun goody bags to entertain the kids
- Road Trip Playlist: Kid-friendly songs that the adults will like, too
- Make a Traveling Toy Tube: Fun ways to entertain toddlers with toys you probably have around the house
- Big List of Tips to Keep Kids Entertained on a Road Trip: Allllll kinds of ideas!
- Road Trippin’ Car Packs: Cute kits to entertain the kids
- Unplugged Road Trip Activities for Kids: Ideas for traveling without technology (like the good ol’ days!)
- Road Trip Binder for Kids: Fun games that teach your children about America as you’re traveling
How to Pack for Your Road Trip
- Road Trip Packing: How to organize your food, activities, and luggage (love this post)
- Camping Gear for Kids: What to pack for a camping trip if you are bringing a baby or small children
- Inspiring Car Organization: WOW – she has some incredible ideas for organizing everything!
- DIY First Aid Kit: What First Aid supplies you should take
- 5 Must-Haves for Travel with Children: 5 items you won’t want to forget!
How to Enjoy Your Destination
- 10 Tips for Visiting an Amusement Park with Kids: Tips for enjoying amusement parks with little kids
- Ways to Save on Amusement Park Discounts: Clever ideas for saving on admission to your favorite amusement parks
How to Prepare / Traveling Logistics
- Traveling with Pets Tips: If you’re taking a four-legged friend along, here are a bunch of helpful tips
- In-Home Pet Care: Call Rover.com to get a reliable sitter in your area to care for your pets while you’re away.
- What to do with Your Pets When You Travel: Don’t want to take your pets along with you? Here are lots of options to ensure they are safe when you’re away
- Hospital Finder: Quickly locate a hospital if you are in an unfamiliar area and get hurt (they have an app you can download, too!)
- How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip: A few important things to do before you hit the road!
- 4 Things to Check before Your Summer Road Trip: Just for tires – everything you need to have serviced/checked before you leave.
While I have no intentions of recreating a solo journey across multiple states with three kids in the backseat (props to my mom), I do hope we can create some fun memories that will last our kids a lifetime.
What are your favorite tips for road tripping with kids?