If you’re trying to avoid sacrificing your travel budget for plane tickets, planning a family road trip can help you stay present during your travels and enjoy a great experience with the whole family. Although the thought of being stuck in an RV with the whole family for hours straight might sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, here are five tips for planning your next family road trip.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before leaving for your family trip, it’s important to prepare your RV. Start by scheduling an inspection for your RV to check the condition of your HVAC system, portable generator, latch, hooks, tires, and any movable parts. Additionally, make sure your hitch is working properly.
If you don’t already have it, make sure to purchase an RV warranty before your trip. When RVs break down, repairs are expensive. Especially on a long family trip, it’s essential to ensure your RV—and everything in it—is safe in case of an accident. ARW’s extended RV warranty protects RV owners from unexpected repair costs and covers a wide range of issues, including engines, freshwater systems, and slide-out mechanisms. Founded by warranty experts with over 50 years of experience, ARW RV warranties provide peace of mind and savings to RV owners.
Plan Your Itinerary
Part of the fun of a family road trip is planning the itinerary. To make the most of your family road trip, let your children help choose the destination. Consider offering the kids a few choices that already have parent approval to keep them invested in the process.
Making a list of the sites you want to see and activities you want to do can also help you save money and provide peace of mind. Some activities require reservations, and discounts are typically available when purchasing tickets in advance. For example, if you’re planning to visit Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, a family attraction in Halifax, PA, reserve a picnic table in advance to enjoy lunch with the family between visiting the petting zoo and enjoying a safari tour.
If you pack too much, the RV will be cluttered, but if you don’t bring enough, you risk dealing with the complaints of bored children. To avoid excessive clutter, consider limiting in-vehicle entertainment to what can fit into a backpack for each child. If you’re not sure what to pack, try books, small dolls or cars, and notebooks and colored pencils.
Hide way a small toy that you can introduce when the kids get bored and save movies and electronic entertainment as your last resort. To ensure that your kids will be entertained, download movies and digital books before the road trip in case you lose internet connection.
In addition to entertainment, packing snacks is essential to ensure your family trip goes smoothly. Nothing slows down a road trip more than making multiple stops, so consider stocking a small cooler with bottled water and snacks. Goldfish crackers and Cheerios are easy-to-eat road trip foods for smaller children, while apples and baby carrots are great snacks for the whole family. Make sure to bring napkins, paper towels, or wet wipes for easy cleanup.
Make Time for Rest Stops
Although it might be tempting to drive all day until you reach your destination, setting aside time for rest stops can keep your kids from going stir-crazy. Most rest stops have big grassy lawns, and some interstate exits have signs for nearby parks. Stopping a few times throughout the day gives your kids the opportunity to run around, get some fresh air, and use the bathroom if needed.
Packing a Frisbee or ball can also help keep your children occupied. Planning your rest stops around lunch allows the family to enjoy lunch together at a picnic table and enjoy the nearby sites.
Whether you’re visiting relatives up north or planning a cross-country adventure, a family road trip is a great opportunity to spend quality time with the family.