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Family Road Trip Guide

happy family on a road trip

The long-haul drive with children can be your worst nightmare! Imagine kids crying at the back of the car, repeatedly asking "Are we there yet?" and kicking the back of the car seat - yes, that often happens if you couldn't handle your child or children. That's why it is important to find ways on how you can make their travel experience comfortable. Below are a few tips to help you get through:

Practical tips for parent or parents planning a road trip with their kids

For children (3 - 6 years old)

kids in a car rental

  1. Goody bags. Prepare a goody bag before the trip which can consist of books, toys, sweets and games.
  2. Car Fairy. Invent a car fairy who loves car rides and leaves little presents or clues in the car especially for little people.  Grown ups are not allowed to be visited by the car fairy though.
  3. In-car cinema. Invest in a portable DVD player with twin screens and don't forget a varied selection of suitable films that would interest toddlers such as cartoons. You can also download some movies in your tablet or iPad. If you have pocket or mobile WiFi, it is easier to browse movies on YouTube or  NetFlix.
  4. Comfort breaks. Have regular stops and get the kids to run about before getting back on the road. Wear them out a bit so they end up sleeping all throughout the trip. 
  5. Halfway point. Have a secret small supply of toys/books or games or a new DVD to break up the ride and prevent fighting and boredom. Kids love surprises and seeing something new would catch their attention. 

For Older Children

This could be fatal if the older ones are not catered for as well. You could easily ask them to behave in the car, but it is important to give them a good experience or they may end up despising going on another road trip with you. Here are some ideas:

happy couple with their daughter going for ride in a car

  1. In-car entertainment. DVD player or tablet is a winner when you have relevant films.
  2. Goody bag. An older-style goody bag with magazines, books, sweets, snacks and games. No Car Fairy for this age group!
  3. Portable game consoles. You can buy cheap but the best will last longer such as Nintendo 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita. Load it up with some cool games! 
  4. Portable music players. iPods are a common choice, but most smartphones have their own radio and music players. You can even plug it on the car stereo and enjoy some carpool karaoke with your kids. 
  5. Disposable camera. Fun for long trips, let the kids snap away to relieve boredom and be creative. If you already have a compact camera at home, let your child borrow it so they can practice their photography skills.

Always try to plan ahead when you are travelling with your child or children. It would be best if you can pack everything that you will need in the car the night before. Since you know your kids best, then it won't be difficult finding things that will keep them occupied during the whole trip.

America's best family-friendly road trips 

Looking for the best family vacation? Make sure to plan a trip to one of these three family road trips in the United States.

1. Orlando, Florida

orlando florida skyline over the highway

Known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World," no other city in America – the world, even – that glorifies childhood quite like Orlando in Florida - thanks to Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando Resort. These famous attractions are road trip traditions for most familiesDo you have any idea how many tourists came to Orlando last year? A record of 68 million visitors!

2. Montana

If you and your family love  trying extreme sports and amazing adventures, then driving to Montana is just right for you. Start with the breathtaking Glacier National Park. There are plenty of things to see along the Going-To-The-Sun Road, with lakes and forests to explore. You can head toward Flathead River after where the whole family can enjoy a white water rafting experience. There's nothing like heading down the rapids to get the heart racing, and a guided tour ensures maximum safety for kids (and their nervous parents),

3. Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway

Colorado's Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway is a mix of pre-historic sites, national monuments and beautiful national parks waiting to be explored. This is a must see a family attraction with its Dinosaur Wall slanted rock layer consisting hundreds of genuine dinosaur fossils. There are also fascinating sites like national parks, geysers and other natural wonders near at Dinosaur Diamond - all ideally suited to your next family road trip.

Need to rent a car? VroomVroomVroom can help you compare cheap car rental deals in locations across the country.