Road-tripping before kids is always a lot of fun. But do you sometimes wish going on a road-trip with kids could be just as much fun? It can be. Avoid “Are we there yet” with these top tips for going on a road-trip with kids.
When embarking on a road-trip with kids (especially if this is your first time) then the success of the trip comes down to how well you plan beforehand. Part of the fun and adventure of a road-trip is not knowing or having a destination in mind, but forget about being spontaneous because a successful road-trip with kids means planning. Lots of planning.
Create an itinerary
First you’ll need to plan the itinerary. You’ll want to make a lot of stops. Depending on the age of your kids you’ll need to plan toilet breaks, food breaks (especially if you’re against in-car snacking) and of course activities and sights to see along the way. When planning your itinerary make it as fun for the kids (and for you) as possible. Remember that it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Make a packing list
Next, based on your itinerary, you’ll need to make a list of what to pack. Don’t leave this until the last minute or you’ll be scrambling and you’ll inevitably miss something important. Of course, you’ll need to make a list of what to pack for yourself, like your own music so you don’t go insane listening to Baby Shark Dance for hours on end.
Get the kids involved
You’ll also need to pack for the kids. Let them help you by getting them to write their own list which you can add to (or remove from if they want to pack everything they own). This will help them to feel like part of the process and get excited about the trip before you even embark. A good option is to also get them involved in planning the itinerary. Let them choose a couple of stops along the way which they’ll get excited about.
Make a budget
Another factor that’s very different when going on a road-trip with kids (as opposed to without them) is how much money you’ll spend. Set a budget and stick to it before you leave. Ensure enough budget for special activities along the way and accommodation to suit the whole family. You’ll also need to factor in meals.
When going on an international road-trip your budget is inevitably going to be larger. In certain countries, when planning a road trip you can keep the costs down by buying a second-hand vehicle instead of renting one. For example, in Australia it’s often cheaper to buy a used family vehicle and sell before you leave, than to rent a large car for an extended vacation.
Whether you’re planning a road-trip specifically to get from point A (home) to point B (holiday destination) or the road-trip is the holiday itself, don’t miss out on those special moments with the kids, even if they do ask “Are we there yet?”