A Family Road Trip Guide

A family road trip checklist makes vacationing a breeze.

As summer kicks off to its final stretch, families are still mapping out getaways. And many are deciding that a road trip is the way to go because they have the opportunity to check out some amazing sights along the way that they couldn’t otherwise see if they were flying to their destination.

If a road trip is on the vacation agenda with the kids, here is a checklist to consider before taking to the open road.

Snack Time

On the long drive, moms and dads can anticipate that everyone in the family will be hungry and thirsty at different times. To satisfy those needs and having to avoid stopping every hour or so, bring a trusty cooler and fill it with juices, waters, and snacks. And don’t forget the healthy snacks such as sliced carrots, nuts, grapes and more. If possible, bring a larger cooler and a smaller one. Store the larger one in the back of vehicle and keep the smaller one within reach in the main cabin of the car — refill the small cooler along the way to help avoid frequent pit stops.

Markers, Not Miles

Keep the kids engaged with their own maps. Have highlighted destinations of “things to see.” Rather than answering the question to, “Are we there yet?” they can be in charge of their own digital or paper map with markers. Not only will it grasp their attention, but the kids can help take part in the navigation. 

And speaking of maps, while so many are connected to their GPS systems, go ahead and bring a paper map along as backup in the event a GPS signal is weak or nonexistent.

Backpack Relief

Have each kid pack their own backpack with their items such as tablets, coloring books, crayons, games, and more. It helps keep the peace. Go ahead and encourage them to toss in their favorite snacks, too.


If the conditions and sights are perfect for a picnic, take advantage of the great outdoors. It’s also an ideal opportunity for the kids to burn off some energy be it tossing a Frisbee, football, or even kicking around a soccer ball. When retreating back to the car for another stretch, don’t be surprised to hear some napping sleepers in the back seat.

Sense of Humor

Don’t forget to pack that sense of humor before backing out of the driveway. On vacations, do expect the unexpected and try to roll with it. Find the humor in the unexpected and chalk it up to another memory.

Happy travels!