Tips for a Fun & Stress-Free Family Summer Road Trip

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Ah, the family road trip: it’s practically a rite of passage. But parents know it’s not always as simple as gassing up the car, buckling in the family and heading out for America’s open highways. You’re going to need a true road trip hero when the urge to pile into the car and hit the road strikes your fancy.

Depending on how you prepare, a road trip with kids can feel either like a terrible chore or a fun-filled adventure. Before you hit the road, be sure to read our family road trip tips. These suggestions will help keep parents sane and kids content during your journey

Bring Along Your New Favorite Travel Companion: Bring along a favorite toy and my new favorites for travel, Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablets. These bad boys are the ultimate in keeping the kids occupied when you’re tired of playing road games.

They allow the kids to enjoy their favorite apps, books, and videos at any time. They have fun apps and tools that let the kids do things like photo edit and draw so they can create their own travel memories. In addition, both tablets have parental controls, so you don’t have to worry about what the kids are doing or how much of it they’re doing.”

Power Up Early & Often: Make sure everyone—and everything—is ready to go is a priority before you hit the road, including charging up any and all electronics coming with you. Even when you’re cruising along the highway, you want to have backup power sources, too.

Don’t Forget the Headphones: the secret to keeping the family sane is a good pair of headphones—and, if there’s more than one tablet riding along with the kiddos, make sure they each have their own pair of headphones, too.

Crank Up the Fun: Don’t be afraid to crank up the radio and have a jam session. This is your chance to be silly with your kids. Sing along to your favorites and impress (or embarrass) your kids with your amazing recall of every word from your favorite ’90s songs. Whether you create a playlist before you go or surf the radio, let everyone take turns playing DJ and picking the next song.”

Snacks, Snacks & More Snacks! Have lots of snacks for road trips, but it’s important to get them involved in the process of packing snacks before they ever leave the driveway. Always let the kids pack their own road trip snacks. We have found that this gets them extra excited for the time on the road, and we are almost guaranteed that the kids will like what they pack as opposed to what we pick out for them.

Prepare for Plenty of Pit Stops: Pit stops are inevitable, so take a more proactive approach when she’s road-tripping with her kids. Don’t forget, children’s bladders are smaller than ours, so frequent pit stops are a must. I make it a rule to stop at least every couple of hours to ensure that my kids never have an in-car emergency. All bladders are different so your mileage may vary.

Make Memories with a Road Trip Journal: Ultimately, road trips are about creating lasting memories with the family. Here’s how we can captures the spirit of the family journeys after they come home. Why not put the kids in charge of recording those memories? There are tons of ideas on Pinterest to help you make a road trip journal so kids can record their special thoughts—in words or pictures. It gives something to do and is a great way to preserve family memories.

Embrace the Unexpected: In the end, here is some down-to-earth advice that could be applied to anything from road trips to just about any other kind of family experience, too. Seriously, if you are traveling with young children, really even without, road trips don’t always go as planned, expect that and be okay. It’s great to have a plan, but knowing that it will be okay if it doesn’t and when it doesn’t, don’t allow that to ruin the trip.

With these awesome tips in your parenting arsenal, you’re ready to buckle up the fam for just about any road trip adventure you have mapped out this summer.