Family road trips can often be the stuff of nightmares, with the kids screaming in the back of the car that they are bored, you and your partner pulling your hair out, and then getting stuck in traffic. It reminds us of the Lampoon family.

Many of us dread the thought of going out on the road with your entire family for hours on end, but if you prepare for it, the trip can be manageable, fun even. The trick is to keep the kids entertained so they don’t distract you as you drive and cause you to need a car accident lawyer on the first day of the trip. Here are some great tips on making your family road trip much better for everyone.

1.Include the kids from the start

The best way to ensure that your kids will be excited for the adventure ahead is to let them help pick the destination. If you are struggling to choose between a few choices, ask the kids and see what they think. It will make them feel like they’ve chosen the trip when really you already had the choices narrowed down.

  1. Start a savings account

Think about all of the possible expenses you will need for the trip. Fuel money, pit stops for food and drink… anything which will cost you on the trip; save for. Open a savings account and put a small amount away each week for a few months to build up a fund.

  1. Start planning

Part of the fun of the trip is planning what you’ll do when you get there. Take the kids to the library and check out books on your destination. Make a list of sites you want to see and activities you want to do. Some will require advance reservations. Discounts are often available when purchasing tickets in advance.

Mom and writer Cathy Chestnut shared in Southwest Florida Parent & Child magazine that she creates an Excel document with headers like date, place, time, confirmation number, price and details. It allows her to keep everything from flight information to horseback riding reservations all in one place.

  1. Get a paper map

Sat Navs may be the first choice for your navigation across the country, however make sure you are also prepared in case in cuts out due to bad signal. Use a paper map and get the kids involved in drawing the route and destination on the map, highlighting places to stop along the way.

  1. Pack smart

Before you pack your bags with everything you own, think about it smartly. The last thing you want to do is bring everything including the kitchen sink on holiday with you, decide what is necessary and what isn’t. Of course, you’ll want to be prepared for entertaining the kids on the journey too, so make sure you have some options ready for them such as colouring books, small DVD players or stuffed toys. Download movies onto your tablet to keep the kids quiet throughout the journey.

  1. Point out interesting sites as you drive

As you travel, point out interesting sites- they could be landmarks, stunning scenery or even a cow in a field. Kids are easily impressed, and they will likely point things out to you along the way too.

  1. Make time to run

Let you and the kids burn off some steam along the way. Stop off in parks or grassy fields and bring a ball or frisbee to play with for a while. It’ll fix your cramp and split up the day.

  1. Snacks

Bring a cooler with food and drink, you won’t like it when your family is hangry.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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