Road Trip Tips: How to Master a Family Road Trip with Babies & Kids in Tow

Many parents know that the secret to successful trips — whether to the grocery store down the street or on a road trip across the country — is being prepared. From being mentally prepared to withstand many “Are we there yets?” to being physically prepared for a car packed full of distractions, here are just a few road trip tips to help you expect the best rather than planning for the worst.

Pack distractions for your kids. Whether it be cheap toys and trinkets from the dollar store, some of your kids’ favorite snacks and treats, or simply a beloved teddy bear or blankie, make sure you bring along more than one little distraction for the ride. Also, don’t get everything you brought out as soon as you pull out of the driveway. A smart way to keep the entertainment coming is to bring out a new treat every hour or so, so your kids have time to eat or play with the item before another fun thing comes along. This strategy works well, no matter if your kids are toddlers or teenagers.

Make frequent stops. Give yourselves plenty of time to make frequent and sometimes lengthy rest stops. Your former, child-free selves probably drove long distances making great time by taking only brief stops to fill up your gas tank, take a bathroom break and quickly hitting up a drive-thru to eat. But once you have kids, a road trip isn’t a sprint, it’s often a marathon. Be sure to give your kids time to eat meals without car seat restraints, burn off pent-up energy and enjoy time outdoors so they won’t mind sitting in the car. If possible, take pit stops at more than just rest areas. Find fun places to visit along your route such as historical landmarks, national parks or even local playgrounds.

Try to have fun. In many cases, it’s probably in the best interest of your whole family to worry more about having fun on the road than making great time or getting to your destination in a hurry. Remember, you still have the journey home to look forward to, and you’ll want your kids to be as excited and well-behaved on that journey as they were for the one there. So, relax, take a few deep breaths and remember you’re making memories during the journey as well as at your road trip destination.

These are just three helpful road trip tips to get you started. There are endless ways to enjoy your next road trip with the kids, and it starts with being prepared. Another way you can be prepared before hitting the road is to make sure you have the right insurance for your car. Request an insurance quote to ensure you aren’t paying more than necessary to keep everyone protected on your next family road trip.

This content was written and provided by Nationwide Insurance. All Photos are my own. 

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