7 Must-Haves for Happier Family Road Trips
Whether you're traveling with the kids, friends or family, or all of the above, there are some things you'll need to keep everyone happy and entertained while on the road. Take a look at these 7 essentials and make your next road trip more enjoyable experience for yourself and your passengers:
- Snacks. Even the best-planned family road trip ideas can go awry when your passengers become hungry, so pack snacks for the trip – and plenty of them. Be sure to include things like nuts, cut veggies, fresh and dried fruit, chocolate and crackers, plus non-perishable homemade treats and water, so everyone stays hydrated and happy.
- Entertainment. When it comes to tips for road trips, nothing beats books, audio books, music, DVDs and headphones for keeping the troops (kids and adults) entertained, so pack at least one book per person, plus audio books DVDs and music that everyone can listen to together or play on their own electronic device. With a handful of options that you can swap and share along the way, you might be able to avoid hearing “are we there yet?” for hundreds of miles.
- Outdoor Toys. You never know when you'll happen upon a gorgeous rest area where you can stretch your legs and let loose, so be sure to keep everything you need for a little bit of fun free time with you. A Frisbee, picnic blanket, ball and jump rope won't take up much room and can help everyone stay active and fit even on the road.
- Cleaning supplies. A trash bag or two, paper towels and a box of wet wipes can go a long way toward keeping the kids, the adults and the car clean.
- A List of Optional Stops. Because it's not just about the destination, but the journey, no list of family road trip ideas would be complete without recommending that you stop to enjoy the sites along the way. Before you leave, be sure to look up fun and interesting places you can enjoy together. Whether it's a zoo, historical monument, a small town or a mall – give yourself options (at regular intervals) when you need a break from the road.
- Maps. In the era of smartphones, a map might seem a bit dated, but if you lose service in an unfamiliar area, they can help you find your way quickly and easily.
- A Little Comfort. Among the best tips for road trips is to give your family the comforts of home. So, if your passengers have a favorite blanket, a pair of socks that keep your feet perfectly warm, or a pillow – bring them with you in the car. Just be sure to limit the amount, size and type of these items, otherwise you run the risk of having too much in the car, which results in discomfort for everyone.