How to Road Trip with Kids, Without Going Crazy

How to Road Trip with Kids, Without Going Crazy

Simple tips on how to road trip this season without losing your mind in the process

The days are getting longer. The weather is getting warmer. Summer is just around the corner. If you're anything like my family, that means the season of road-trips is rapidly approaching. Which means if you want to survive the summer with your sanity intact, it's time to get started planning your next family road trip now.

Living in North Carolina presents plenty of road-tripping opportunities. Between the beaches and the mountains, there's plenty to see, and we often try. During the summer months, we typically spend at least one weekend a month on the road. Still, no matter how many road trips we take, road-tripping with a kid, is considerably more difficult, than road tripping with adults. Which is why before we leave, I take extra measures to ensure that our road-trip doesn't deprive me of my sanity.

Preparation is Key

Plan well and start early. If it's feasible for your family, start now. The summer will truly be here before you know it. So if you have several destinations in mind, start planning now. Set aside a bit of money. Start looking at hotels. Make sure your car is tuned up. Time will fly, and trying to throw together a last-minute trip leads to stress. And stress leads to the slow loss of your sanity. Trust me.

Avoid "Cranky" Places

As a rule of thumb, we tend to avoid beaches and amusement parks during the summer months for two reasons 

1). They're HOT
2). They're crowded

I don't know about you, but crowds and heat make me cranky. And if momma is cranky, everybody is cranky. In our case, because we live close to two major beaches, it's easy enough for us to travel there on the off season, so we tend to reserve the cooler months for our beach trips and amusement parks. 

Shorten Car Rides

On long road trips, try to shorten the amount of time you spend in your vehicle by breaking down your days. Do not attempt a 14 hour car ride with 5 kids, two dogs, a hamster, a husband and no A/C just to save a few dollars. I promise, no amount of money you save will be worth the price of your sanity. 

Organize, Organize, Organize

With several road-trips in our very near future, we've been looking at updating our luggage situation. Depending on where you're traveling to, and with whom, luggage can make a difference. Make sure that everyone has a separate backpack with electronics, backup batteries, and warmer clothing if necessary. Try to limit the amount of luggage you have. The lighter your luggage, the less you'll pay in gas. You can always wash and dry your clothing while at your hotel if needed.

Which brings us to the next point...


Last year we took a weekend trip to Charleston, and stayed in an Airbnb for the first time. Wow. I was completely unprepared for how life changing Airbnb is. Instead of your typical two-bed hotel room, Airbnb's typically come equipped with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, a full-kitchen and laundry room. Because Airbnb's are typically homes that are rented out, they have all the luxuries of homes, and are typically the same, or less than a regular hotel rate.

Use Use a Checklist

Because I believe that no mother should be forced to choose between making timeless memories with her family, and her sanity, I'm going to help you achieve both with this downloadable printable. This family-friendly road-trip guide will ensure that your next vacation goes off without a hitch, sanity intact. 

The ultimate road trip with kids checklist

To download, click on the image below or click here.

So, what do you think? Is there something that typically makes your kid-friendly road trips less stressful? Feel free to comment below.

Until next time,

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