Pack the snacks and pick the playlist: With summer just a few weeks away, it’s time to start planning your road trips.
Parenting and travel writer Guiomar Ochoa shares a few destinations that are perfect for family fun — plus tips on how to stay sane in the car, where to stop along the way, and what to do when you reach your destination.
‘Are we there yet?’ Tips for taking road trips with kids
A little bit of planning and preparation can help make your road trip a more peaceful experience. Here are some of Ochoa’s top tips for traveling with kids:
Make sure to download all forms of entertainment — movies, TV shows, music and podcasts — on phones and tablets before you get in the car, in case you run into areas of spotty service.
If your journey requires an overnight stop before you reach your destination, make hotel reservations ahead of time. “Especially in the summertime, it’s important to try to find your halfway point before you leave and make a reservation somewhere because a lot of these hotels and motels book up pretty fast,” Ochoa said.
Be mentally and physically prepared for traffic. “It can be grueling on all of us, so you just need to prepare yourself for that. And you will find traffic, no matter what route you take — especially if you’re traveling on holiday weekends,” she added.
Slurpees? Soft serve? Ochoa said allow for splurges at gas stations and roadside stands along the way. “Sometimes, you all need a break, you all need to stretch your legs, and a little bit of sugar can go a long way as far as getting you to go another (hour or two) in the car.”
Pack lots of snacks for the car trip. Having something to munch on can help break up boredom. Plus, stocking up on your family’s favorite snacks ahead of time will save money at gas stations along the way.
Bring a pack of baby wipes with you. These will come in handy in the car and on stops. (It’s not uncommon for public restrooms to run out of toilet paper or paper towels.)
“And lastly, pack lots of patience because you’ll need it,” Ochoa said.