Family Road Trip Tips

Taking a family road trip can be a great bonding experience between you and your family members. During this time, you can have great conversations, can sing along to songs, or can play games. While family road trips are meant to be exciting, it’s still a part of the traveling process you need to prepare for. Before you hit the road with your entire family in tow, be sure to consider the following while planning.

Planning a Family Road Trip? 5 Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road - Safety

1. Safety

Safety should always be your number one priority, especially while on the road. While you cannot prepare for things outside of your control, such as an issue with the roads or highways, you can prepare for other events. For instance, be sure you have a spare tire in your vehicle just in case. You should also have an emergency roadside kit, and a copy of your insurance card and registration. Before you head out on the road, too, you should have your vehicle in for a tune-up. This will allow a trusted professional to give your vehicle the touch-ups and tune-ups it needs to handle your drive. Finally, be sure all safety features are considered for every passenger. Have the right car seat for children, ensure airbags are working, and be sure everyone has access to a seat belt. By taking safety in mind, you can have a better chance of keeping everyone out of harm’s way while on the go.

Planning a Family Road Trip? 5 Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road - Immediate Needs - Distance

2. Distance

The distance of your drive should always be an important factor to consider. If you are going to be in the car for a very long time, it’s important you have prepared for this, especially with kids. Will your child be able to sleep in the car, or will you need to stop somewhere and rest in between? When driving, be sure you have plenty of snacks, drinks, and entertainment on hand too; otherwise, you’ll find yourself stopping more often than not, and this will put a big dent in your arrival time. Before planning your trip, be sure to fully consider the distance and what you need to do to prepare for everyone making it through the trip successfully.

Planning a Family Road Trip? 5 Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road - Immediate Needs - Immediate Needs

3. Immediate Needs

When it comes to packing, we often don’t think about what we will need in the car. Instead, we pile everything into suitcases and pile it in the back of the vehicle or in a travel pod on the roof. However, be sure to consider your immediate needs while traveling by car. For instance, if you have a young child, be sure to have a change of clothes, extra diapers/underwear, and plenty of wipes on hand. Your child could spill, have an accident, or even get sick along the way, so having the necessities at your disposal will help.

It’s also a good idea to keep medication nearby. Having things like ibuprofen and even a thermometer can help you deal with a child coming down with something without having to pull over and stop every time. And if anyone in the vehicle takes regular medication, it’s a good idea to have this easily accessible as well.

Planning a Family Road Trip? 5 Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road - Immediate Needs

4. Seating

When driving long distances, you and your passengers are often stuck in the same position for hours. And this can make you feel cramped and irritated. Be sure to consider seating when you plan your trip. For instance, if you have a bigger vehicle, try to space people out if possible. This way, your passengers can spread out enough to give them room to move their legs, take a nap, or just feel more comfortable. You also want to ensure everyone has access to the things they need. Whether it’s a USB port to charge portables, access to drinks and snacks, or access to medication. Think about those in the vehicle, how they behave, and how they get along with one another, and then plan your seating arrangements accordingly.

Planning a Family Road Trip? 5 Things to Consider Before Hitting the Road - Timeline

5. Timeline

You also need to consider your timeline while planning a trip. While two adults may be able to travel 700 miles in a decent amount of time, those traveling with kids will find that they stop more often and those stops take much longer. Pay attention to what the map says it will take to arrive at your destination. Then include enough buffer time so you don’t miss any planned activities.


Taking a family road trip can be a lot of fun. But it’s important that you consider all of these factors before you get in and drive away.


Written by Tim Baker. Tim is an avid traveller, blogger and freelance writer. Tim contributes to a number of travel and lifestyle blogs, sharing his travel and life experiences.