May 25, 2024

Organizing a Family Road Trip Easily and Efficiently

5 min read

Family road trips are a lot of fun, but they can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. The key to a successful family road trip is organization, so you should make sure that everything you need is packed before the trip begins.

Remember to include the kids in the planning process. That way, they will feel more involved and will be less likely to rebel during the trip.

1. Plan Your Route

It is important to plan your route ahead of time. Start with determining how long you are planning on being gone for your family road trip. Then see if your hopeful destination list will fit within that travel time frame.

During your planning session, include the kids in the process. It makes them feel invested in the trip and helps prevent grumpiness during the actual drive.

You should also decide how far you want to travel per day. This will help you plan for snack breaks and stops to enjoy quirky attractions.

2. Pack Your Bags

Family road trips can be fun and memorable experiences for everyone if you take the time to plan out your trip. Organizing your car and packing your bags ahead of time is key to making a smooth, successful trip.

Use small totes or zipped bags to compartmentalize items like clothes, snacks, and toys. Keeping in-demand items within reach will make the trip more enjoyable for the kids. Be sure to have travel sized items such as tissues, paper towels, and printed maps in the door pockets for easy access as well.

3. Pack the Car

There are lots of things to pack for a road trip, including clothes and toiletries, electronics, toddler or baby necessities, activities to keep the kids occupied during long car rides, and more. You should also pack a few “just in case” items, such as a roll of paper towels, trash bags, and a battery pack.

Using clear boxes is an easy way to keep everything organized in your trunk for the trip. They can be used for clothing, shoes, extra toys, and even trinkets that you collect during your trip!

4. Pack the Kids’ Bags

Sitting in a car for long periods of time can be difficult for kids. Help them get through it by having each child pack a family road trip activity bag.

Fill their bags with things like workbooks, drawing and puzzle books, trinkets, and crayons or markers to keep them occupied. They can also create their own artwork inspired by the trip to take home as a souvenir.

Also pack a couple of packages of wet wipes, and a small backpack for each child with easy access snacks and toys.

5. Pack the Electronics

Family road trips are a great way to spend time together. But they can also be stressful and chaotic if you’re not prepared.

Don’t forget to pack some old-school back ups like a reusable shopping bag and a paper map. They come in handy when technology fails.

You can also find some fun travel games for kids online or in free printables. And don’t forget the snacks! Hungry and thirsty kids don’t make for happy travellers. So keep some healthy snacks on hand to prevent fights during the ride.

6. Pack the Toiletries

If you have children, it’s a good idea to pack basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste. You should also include a first aid kit with bandages, ibuprofen, and pain relief.

Another top tip is to use packing cubes, which make it easier to pack and unpack. You can also roll your clothes, which takes up less space and makes them easier to find. It’s a great way to reduce the amount of luggage you have to carry from car to hotel room each night.

7. Pack the Entertainment

For many families, family road trips aren’t the most fun unless the kids are well-entertained. Plan ahead by bringing toys, activities and music for the whole family.

Books, travel games and coloring books are great time passers for younger children. For older kids, consider a scavenger hunt or road trip bingo.

Make sure to bring a bucket for spills and sick kiddos (it may not be a bad idea to keep one on hand for yourself, too). A trash bag is also essential. Keeping everyone’s things contained helps prevent the mess from getting out of control while on the road.

8. Pack the Food

Road trips can be a great way to make family memories. With a little preparation, they can also be a stress-free, affordable family adventure.

Keep everyone happy and nourished with snacks and meals that you prepare ahead of time. This reduces the likelihood that your family will become hangry and irritable during your drive.

Keep your kids’ activities organized with a clear box like this one or this DIY hack (which uses a shoe organizer hung over the back of the front seat). It helps to have items easily within reach and keeps them from fighting over the same things.

9. Pack the Medication

It’s easy to forget something in the mad dash to pack for a trip. But one thing you definitely want to remember is your medication.

This is especially important if you have children with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere and discover you forgot their asthma medication.

It’s also a good idea to have antacids, cough drops and allergy medication on hand for those unexpected aches and pains that are bound to occur during the trip.

10. Pack the Entertainment Equipment

Make sure each person packs a backpack, tote bag or Rubbermaid storage bin for their own items. They will be able to grab their own entertainment without interrupting you and they can keep everything organized.

Stock busy bags filled with toys, activities and games that they can hand out every couple of hours to stop them from becoming restless or whiny during the trip. Download a road trip scavenger hunt from Creekside Learning or use our free 4-page version to keep the kids entertained. Also pack a portable battery pack.

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