Travel

How to Plan the Best Family Road Trip Ever?

A classic family road trip is the best way to spend quality time with your family. It is a known fact that travel can help teach your children about different places. These fun getaways are also a refreshment to the family as a whole from routine life.

A family vacation is needed for every child as they grow up. It is that activity that will help bring the family together. It can also be some of the earliest memories for your child. And it will be the memory that you will cherish forever as a parent.

Planning tips are hard to get for a good road trip. So how can we plan it so it is perfect? We are here to help you with a road trip planner! These are helpful tips that you will love!

So here are travel tips when planning the best family road trip ever that is also a kid-friendly road trip:

1. Choosing a perfect destination for the family road trip

So the first step in planning a family vacation is to decide where you want to go. It would help if you chose a destination considering your available budget. Also, consider the distance from your location to the destination.

Be conscious of the accommodation options available in that area. The destination should also match the needs of your family.

If you are a young family with toddlers or a newborn, choose a destination where you will not have to walk much. Take a family road trip to a hill station or a town nearby. Look for cosier accommodation.

If you have kids between the age of 5 to 10, then you will have more options available. You can go on a skiing trip across town or drive to a national park.

With older kids, you can drive to all the above-suggested places and more. You can go camping with them or take a trekking trip. You can drive across the country as they will be more patient and safe.

2. Considerations to make while planning a road trip with kids

○ Budget

The most important consideration while taking a trip is thinking about the budget at hand. You need to calculate an estimated budget that will be required for the family vacation.

It is easier when you plan a kid-friendly road trip months. It will allow you some time to save up money so that you can have a more luxurious experience. This will also help you open more options when choosing the right destination for you and your family.

i. Accommodation

You can plan the general budget for the accommodation by booking your hotel online or researching about them. You also can look at reviews on sites like Airbnb or booking.com.

You can choose the accommodation of a hotel, lodge, resort, or an Airbnb. You can also decide on accommodation based on your budget and needs.

The budget also needs to be considered for renting a campsite or an RV park.

We suggest you rent your accommodation out of the city centre. This will help you bring down the cost of accommodation.

ii. Fuel

You can plan the budget needed for the gas for your vehicle by calculating the mileage and distance between the destination. It would help if you considered this while renting a vehicle. Choose a vehicle that will consume less gas.

Fuel will often drive up the cost when you are living further away from the city. This is one of the downsides of choosing accommodation away from the city.

Add the charge taken if you are renting a vehicle. It would be great if you thought about the vehicle parking charges of the place you are staying at and visiting.

Parking charges are often forgotten when calculating the budget in the planning phase.

iii. Food

Food often drives up the cost when planning a family vacation. You should not only account for the food you will eat on the way but also for snacks and drinks that you will carry.

It would help if you researched the restaurants and their cost for meals along the way. You need to consider the charge of cooking a meal and buying groceries if you are going to cook instead of eating out.

You need to opt for cooking a meal if you are going camping. You can also compare the cost of cooking or eating out when you are planning the budget.

iv. Insurance

It would help if you considered travel and renters insurance when you are travelling with kids. You will need to pay for renters insurance if you are renting a vehicle for your trip.

v. Other fees

The other fee that is needed to be considered when planning your budget is the cost for activities at the destination. If you are visiting a theme park, there might be an entrance fee.

If you are visiting trekking trails or hiking trails, there is a cost of the trail entrance. The same costs are applied in national parks.

It would be best if you considered road tolls when you are driving through cities. You need to consider the cost of the museum tickets, theme park tickets, and other additional charges.

vi. Shopping

Most first-time visitors buy souvenirs at the places they visit. It is a souvenir for remembering the places that you have visited. It might be a T-shirt, hat, or a decorative piece to show at home.

You have to consider these expenses when you are visiting a new town. Families also buy wines and chocolates for kids when they are visiting a new place. It may also be gifts for your families and friends back home.

So the budget that you need for shopping also has to be estimated and separated when you are on a family vacation.

○ Vehicle

You also need to decide on the vehicle you want to take for the road trip with your kids. This highly depends on the destination you are planning to visit and the route you will be taking.

Decide whether you will take your car or rent another vehicle that you will drive. This also depends on the budget that you have allocated for your road trip.

If you are planning on a long road trip with kids, you can also rent an RV. It would be best if you found RV parks along the way to your destination.

○ Roadside attractions

Roadside attractions can make all the difference when you are on a family road trip. It would be best if you searched for good places for visiting or famous along the route.

If there are alternative routes available, take the route where you will find most roadside attractions. These roadside attractions can be anything ranging from waterfalls along the way or famous towns.

It would help if you left a little time to take a detour or for some spontaneous adventure. Sometimes these unplanned activities prove to be the most memorable for kids.

○ Research, research, and research

But all in all, it is your responsibility as the road trip planner to research everything about the trip. It would help if you learned everything about travel routes and the destination.

You need to research what you need to bring vs what is available. For example, some campsites provide camping equipment, while others do not. Some campsites provide cooking equipment while others do not.

So research everything you need to know in advance to eliminate any contingency or risk. It will be the best tool for making a family road trip the best family vacation ever.

3. Before you leave

○ Deciding what to do with your pets

So you need also to consider what to do with your pets when you are about to leave. It would be best to consider whether you could take your animal with you or leave them behind.

Consider taking your dog if they are well trained, depending on the destination. Most cats do not like exploring as much as dogs, so decide considering their nature.

If you decide on leaving your pets behind, ask your friend or family to take them in for the time being. You can also find care homes or hostels for pets while you are away.

○ Preparing your house

You also need to prepare everything in your house before you leave. This involves cleaning out your refrigerator of all the perishable foods before you go. Consider eating the food that is left and cook with the leftover vegetables the day before.

It would be best if you gave away your plants when you are about to leave. Drop them to your parents or your close friend. Also, please provide them with instructions on watering the plant.

Check the plumbing and lights before getting out. Make sure the lights and water are off. Also, make sure the stove and oven are off.

4. Packing for your road trips with kids

As a parent, you will have to do all the packing for yourself and the kids. It is a great idea to start packing everything you need in advance.

If you are going away for a longer period, consider packing 4-5 days in advance. This will provide a time for you to remember something that you might have forgotten.

It is also important to make a checklist of everything you have to pack. Tick the packed items as you pack for being more organized.

So here is a list of items that need packing for a kid-friendly road trip:

○ Packing clothes

It is extremely important to pack suitable clothes for making a road trip perfect. Most parents have to pack clothes for themselves and their kids.

It can be hard for parents to do both when they are responsible for so much. It is wise to divide packing duties among partners or members of the family.

i. Considerations to make while packing clothes

1.      Weather

Research in advance what the weather is going to look like the days while you are visiting. If you are visiting places in summer, carry light clothes for you and the kids.

If you are travelling in winter or to a cold place, carry warm clothes like jackets for everyone. Also, check what the weather will be, pack an umbrella and raincoats if it will rain and a windbreaker if it is windy.

Make sure to carry at least one warm item of clothing no matter what the weather is.

2.      Activities

It would help if you packed your clothes according to the decided plans and activities. You need to pack swimsuits if you are going to a beach.

Carry jackets and waterproof trousers with hiking boots if you are trekking or hiking. Bring casual clothes if you are visiting a town.

Bring ski boots and other types of equipment if you are going skiing. Be sure to bring warm trousers and shirts if you are camping.

It is extremely important to carry comfortable clothing when you are on the road.

○ Packing entertainment for on the road

i. For parents

Pack the following things according to your desire for your entertainment:

  • Podcasts
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Camera
  • Spare batteries
  • Travel games
  • Laptop
  • Music
  • Earphones

ii. For kids:

Pack the following things according to your child’s desire for their entertainment:

  • Books
  • Toys
  • Colouring books
  • Storybooks
  • Tablets
  • iPod or mobile phone
  • Games

○ Packing food and snacks

  • Water
  • Juice
  • Dry fruits
  • Sandwiches
  • Chips
  • Trail mix
  • Cracker
  • Mostly dry foods

○ Packing first aid kits

It would be best if you made sure that the first aid kit contained the following things:

  • adhesive dressings
  • sterile gauze bandages
  • tape
  • topical antiseptic
  • wound cleanser
  • a thermometer
  • eye drops
  • insect repellent
  • insect bite treatment
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • safety pins
  • basic painkillers
  • sunscreen
  • antibiotics
  • disinfectant
  • calamine lotion
  • antihistamine tablets
  • band-aids
  • cotton swabs
  • latex gloves
  • Any other personal medications
  • rehydration solutions
  • sunscreen

○ Packing for emergency

  • Torch
    • Warm blankets
    • Spare batteries
    • Spare tires
    • Water

5. Last-minute travel tips

  • Charge all your electronics, including mobile phones, laptop, tablets, speakers, and camera
  • Inform your family or close friends that you are leaving
  • Fill the vehicle you are taking with gas.
  • Take some emergency cash out for any contingency that may occur on the trip.
  • Share driving duties with another adult
  • Take frequent breaks between towns for food and coffee.
  • Take pictures of any map signboards on the way.
  • Get your vehicle checked before you leave.
  • Make a checklist of essential things to take and tick them as you pack when you are leaving or coming back.
  • Make a checklist of things you have to do before you leave the house.
  • Take good rest the day before you leave.
  • Make a list of emergency numbers before you leave.
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