How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids

Going on a road trip with the boys are so much fun! Road trip typically consists of many stops and long stretches of driving that we weren’t sure how our boys would be able to handle it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it as well. However, we all survived (barely) and had a blast! I would not have changed anything about it and would do it all over again.

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Tip # 1 Have The Right Vehicle

You thought I was going to suggest a minivan, didn’t you? Nope, not me. I don’t own a minivan. I have nothing against it. I just chose an SUV over the minivan for our family car. And it works very well for us. We have had our SUV for 10 years now and it still runs smooth.

Our SUV is more than enough room for the four of us. It is a seven-seat SUV with the third-row seat up. However, that would cut into our cargo space when we do have to have more than the four of us. (Those are the times that I wished I had a minivan though 🙂 ).

Having the right vehicle and enough space for us to stretch out especially on road trip is ideal. So the right vehicle for me may be different for you. Whatever works for you and your family.

Tip # 2 Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!

I cannot stress enough to be sure you pack snacks for the trip and that they are within reach of the boys. Snacks are the number one thing that keeps our boys happy. I typically bring their favorite snacks along with fruits and nuts to keep us from going hangry. Happy kids = Happy parents! And we don’t have to make a stop anytime someone says “I’m hungry”

Related Post: The Ultimate Family Road Trip Planning Guide

Tip #3 Start Out Early In The Morning

We like to start out early in the morning for our road trips, typically between 3-5 am. This would get us a head start out on the road while the boys are still sleeping in their pajamas. By the time they are fully awake and wondering where we are, it is time for a stretch break.

We would rather start out early in the morning and get to our destination and still be daylight. So much safer to do that than drive into the wee hours of the night to an unknown place. An example was when we were leaving Yellowstone National Park, we decided to stop at Grand Teton National Park for a swim then stumbled into Jackson Hole. We stayed in Jackson Hole for a bit and that took us into a late start towards our next stop, Denver, CO. As nightfall arrives, we were still nowhere near Denver, making it a scary drive to get there.

Tip # 4 Take Turn Driving and Take Lots Of Stretch Breaks

We take turns driving so each of us is well-rested. Typically we do not drive more than 4 hours at a time. Make sure you make lots of stops for stretching, bathroom breaks, and sightseeing. Even if the boys do not want to get out and stretch, we made them get out. We can’t stay cramped up in the car for hours and expect to be happy all the time.

Tip # 5 Electronics

Bring their electronics with! While we still limit their use of their electronics in the car, there are times when we all need silence (meaning no fighting with each other back there!) or when they are tired of watching Toy Story for the millionth time.

We love road trips as they allow us to spend time together (in the car for those long drives) and having nothing else to do but reconnect with each other. We always survive our road trips but they are never uneventful. Never uneventful yet always memorable!

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Another famous question was “How many more hours and minutes until we get there?”

For inspiration ideas for your next road trip, be sure to check out our road trips and what you need to bring:

Need help planning your next road trip? Check out Best of The Best Road Trips here for some awesome ideas.

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Road leading to trees

13 thoughts on “How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids”

  1. I use to take road trips with my family and these tips are so accurate. I love how you said we made it (barely ) lmao because I know that feeling all to well. Now as an adult I still use these tips and make sure I have a good buddy because I hate when they fall asleep on you lol

  2. I love this post! The last roadtrip I went on with my immediate family was when I was about 12 years old. I’ll be honest, I wish we had done more of them. I think it’s why I love taking my friends on mini roadtrips now – it’s reliving the fun! Thank you for the tips! xx

  3. Hahaha!! This post is perfect for me. I’m wanting to bring my nieces & nephews to visit me, but it’s a 7-hour drive to where they are!! I’ve been wondering how I’ll pull it off as they’re all 8 years or younger..

    1. You will survive 🙂 I was a nervous wreck the first time we went on our first big road trip but the boys did so well.

  4. Yess these tips are ones my parents used when I was younger and we traveled by car. Always always have snacks. That was my dads favorite thing to buy snacks for our road trips. 😁

  5. I stumbled upon this at the perfect time! We are taking our first major road trip with our two boys (2.5 and 10 months) later this week.

    These are great tips!

  6. Hi, I am truly amazed by your post especially as people nowadays think that kids are terrible travelers, they cannot sit still in a car and kids are too young to remember anything from the trips or mix it all up. These tips are really helpful for those who don’t like to travel with kids.

  7. You’ve got some great tips! I think people often overlook the importance of what time of day they are leaving to keep a road trip as smooth as possible. From missing rush hour traffic (and therefore sitting unnecessarily in your vehicle) to reaching your destination before dark, it can make a significant difference!

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