Have you ever wanted to take a long road trip but thought it would be torture? Well, my family and I took a road trip to California and it was great! My daughter got to visit four new states in just seven days. She got to see desert, mountains, and… lots of rest stops.

As fun as road trips can be, they’re also a bit rough if you aren’t properly prepared for them. Here are my top ten tips on how to survive a road trip:

  1. Make no solid plans on where you’re going to stop. My only plan was to make it to California to check into our hotel the day we scheduled. The rest was open for whatever we wanted to stop and do. This freedom not only relieves stress, but gives you more of an opportunity to explore.  
  2. Pack LOTS of snacks and drinks. This saved us in more ways than one. We didn’t have to buy over-prices convenient store snacks. We didn’t have to stop between meals to satisfy that snacking craving. Lastly, snacks make everyone happy, so we all stayed in a good mood on our travels. 
  3. Pack a small carry-on sized bag with a couple outfits and toiletries.  You might decide to ditch the car and catch a plane… I’m just kidding! The small bag is easier to grab for the hotel stops you make before you get to your destination. It’s a lot easier to pull out a carry-on sized bag than to dig through bigger suitcases to try to find something you need. 
  4. Download your kiddo’s favorite movies and shows on a tablet for them to watch on the trip. This will keep them entertained and save on you data plan.
  5. Bring disinfecting wipes to use at rest stops. You never know who used those bathrooms before you…
  6. Stop and eat where the locals eat when passing through cities. You will not be able to be there all day, so what better way to experience the city than to eat local?
  7. Create a road trip playlist with upbeat songs. This keeps the energy up in the car and helps everyone stay in a good mood. Pick songs that everyone knows and can sing along to.
  8. Pack activities books for the kids to do on the drive and during downtime on the vacation.
  9. Bring pillows and blankets for kiddos so they can have great car naps.
  10. And most importantly… JUST HAVE FUN!!!!