June 5th, 2018
Tips for an Are We There Yet-Free Road Trip With Kids
Family travel often involves hitting the road—and the journey can be just as much fun as the destination! These four tips will help keep everyone—especially the kids—entertained on a road trip
I was always told that traveling with kids was going to be hard, and that it isn’t as simple as grabbing a durable travel pack and hitting the road. While our lives changed the moment we had a child, it didn’t mean that we were ready to stop exploring: It just meant that it would take a little bit more time and careful packing to get us out there. Here are the tricks my family uses to keep our road trips organized, and—just as important—to make sure they are fun for everyone.
Take Your Time
It’s hard to have fun when you’re in a rush. Part of the fun of traveling is enjoying the journey, and this is true for little ones too. There are so many sites to see along the route, and we like to stop at least every two hours at a fun country store, landmark, or rest area—any place that has some space to let everyone release some energy. It can get uncomfortable for little legs to be in a car seat for so long, especially since most kids are used to running around most of their days. A plot of grass, a bathroom, and a snack can help rejuvenate the entire family.
Pack for Everyone
You don’t want to get to your destination and discover that you forgot diapers or your toddler’s favorite stuffed animal, so pack a bag for each member of the family. For our family, we use the Expanse AWD 26 for long weekend road trips because it’s super-compact when filled with the essentials, but can also expand for when we’re stuffing that last piece of “Will I need something warmer?” clothing (or aforementioned favorite stuffed animal). For longer trips, the Gear Warrior™ 32 has enough space for the whole family.
Let the Kids Carry On
While carrying a suitcase is old hat for the grown ups, having such a “big kid” responsibility is a novelty for the little ones. When space permits, let them have a bag of their own, like the Expanse Wheeled Tote Carry-On. This convenient carry-on is the perfect size for kids to carry their most prized belongings wherever your travels might take you. The best part is that the No Matter What™ Warranty covers just about any damage that may result from your kid’s less-than-delicate handling.
Roll out New Toys
After a long time on the road when the snack supply has been exhausted and there is no rest area in sight, my final secret weapon is a toy grab. Before the trip, pick up new, inexpensive toys, and pack them away for each child in a different colored packing cube with a handful of toys inside. The toys keep the kids occupied for the road ahead, and the cubes keep the car organized for easy unloading at the final destination.
Road trips with the family can be a lot of fun. If you take your time to enjoy the journey, stay organized, and view the journey as part of the experience, you can create lasting memories—the good kind!—for the whole family.
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
How to Travel Portugal With Kids
Travel Better: Tips for Vacationing With a Big Group of Friends
6 Tips for Hiking With School-Age Kids
by Carl Hedinger
Carl Hedinger is a recovering American expat who writes about travel, life, and everything else at Travel Through Life. You can follow his family’s adventures there and on their social media Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.