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10 Tips for a Stress-Free Road Trip with Kids

How to ensure your trip is fun, safe, and smooth

Many budget-conscious families are opting to travel by car, instead of by plane, but driving with kids can be especially challenging. “Are we there, yet?” “I’m bored.” “He’s picking on me.” “I’m hungry.” And the list goes on. But with proper planning, the ride can be fun and relatively painless for all. Consider following a few important tips.

Here are 10 tips to ensure you have a fun, safe, and smooth trip.

  1. Service your car. There is nothing worse than setting off on a road trip and breaking down along the way—especially on a hot day with kids in tow. Get your car checked out before you take off
  2. Plan properly. Before you even get in the car, plan your destination and route. A portable GPS device or smart phone navigation app can help guide you to your vacation spot, but it may be worth having a paper map as backup. Try to drive during off-peak hours to avoid traffic or other delays
  3. Check your car seats.As many as 80 percent of car seats may not be properly installed. Also, have your seat inspected to make sure it’s safe.
  4. Pack well. Loose items in the car can become dangerous projectiles in a crash. Secure all luggage and gear in the trunk or cargo area. If children are playing with toys, try to keep ones they are not using tucked away.
  5. Bring all the necessities. Driving with kids means you need to make sure you have enough drinks and snacks, not just for the trip, but in case there is a problem and you are stuck on the road longer than expected. Carry an emergency kit. If traveling during cold weather, be sure to bring blankets and coats. Also, don’t forget garbage bags, baby wipes, and paper towels, just in case.

Learn more: How to ensure your trip is fun, safe, and smooth