There’s something special about a family road trip. It’s a time to bond with your loved ones, create memories that will last a lifetime, and explore new and wonderful places together. But before you hit the open road, there are a few things you need to do to prepare. Here’s how to make sure your family road trip is smooth sailing from start to finish.

1. Choose your destination carefully.

Consider the interests of everyone in the family and pick a place that has something for everyone. If you have young children, look for destinations with kid-friendly activities. If you’re traveling with teens or adults, find somewhere with interesting attractions and activities for them as well.

2. Make a packing list.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pack everything you and your family will need for the trip. This includes clothes, toiletries, medication, first-aid supplies, snacks, games, and anything else you might need while on the road.

3. Plan your route carefully.

Once you know where you’re going, map out the best route to get there. Avoid highways and interstates if possible, as these can be congested and stressful. Instead, opt for scenic backroads that will give you a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.

4. Schedule breaks.

Family road trips can be long and tiring, so it’s important to schedule breaks along the way. This will give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and grab a bite to eat. Breaks are also a good time to let the kids burn off some energy so they’ll be more likely to take a nap later on. It also gives you time to do a quick vehicle inspection.

5. Keep everyone entertained.

There’s nothing worse than bored children on a long car ride. To avoid this, bring along some portable entertainment like books, handheld games, and coloring books. Older kids and adults may enjoy listening to music or audiobooks.

6. Service your car before you go.

The last thing you want is to break down in the middle of nowhere. To avoid this, make sure your car is in good working order before you leave. This means getting an oil change, checking the tires, and filling up the gas tank. Visit for more information.

7. Prepare Your Interior

Decide ahead of time what things will provide entertainment during the drive. Think about extra chargers or battery packs that may be needed to keep cellphones, iPad and video games running. And what about books, coloring books, or travel games? Seat back organizers are perfect to keep the car clean.

Road trips often lead to snacking and drinking in the car.  This can mean spills, crumbs and a lot of mess. Prepare snacks that are not sticky or crumbly and liquids that are not sticky or colored. Additionally, secure protective car mats, dash mats, and car seat cover to keep food, drinks dust, dirt, mud, and accidental spills at bay.

8. Pack a roadside emergency kit.

Even if you take all the necessary precautions, things can still go wrong on a road trip. That’s why it’s important to pack a roadside emergency kit with items like jumper cables, a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight.

9. Don’t forget your camera.

One of the best parts of a road trip is taking photos along the way. So don’t forget to pack your camera (and extra batteries) so you can capture all the memories. Even though smartphones have good cameras nowadays, an actual camera will still create an element of nostalgia.

There You Go

Family road trips can be a blast, but they do require some planning and preparation. By following these tips, you can be sure your trip will be smooth sailing from start to finish. Bon voyage!

Main Image Credit