Road Trip with Teens
Cars & Parenting

Road Trip with Teens

Road Trip with Teens

Summer is coming and for our family vacation that means road trips. Believe it or not, we as a family enjoy traveling by car. It's just so easy. There is room to bring everything we want, and it makes it easy to travel without two dogs. What I have learned over the years though is that a successful road trip comes down to a few simple tips. We hope that this Road Trip with Teens post inspires you.

Road Trip with Teens

It's critical to plan the travel portion of your road trip.  Beyond the route that we are going to take, I look for interesting places to see along the drive. What I have found is that when traveling with kids, it's important to break up the drive with little pit stops. I try to find interesting little towns or state parks that will make for a fun side adventure. By breaking up the trip in this way, none of the kids get that cranky “I've been in the car too long” attitude. For my husband and myself, having a road trip plan with stops relieves stress

How to Prepare for a Comfortable Road Trip as An Outdoor Adventure Lover

Road Trip with Teens

Road Trip with Teens

Lay out the plan before you go and share it with everyone.

We let our kids take part in the planning process of the trip and then I give them each a role at our destination. Everyone has to have something to do and something to be responsible for.. If you are going to take a road trip, show the kids on a map where you are going and how you are getting there. Show them the little stops that you have found along the route, and maybe challenge them to find a few stops that they would like to see. Involving the kids in the planning process creates excitement and anticipation for the trip. The kids are eager and happy to get in the car and hit the road. I share it all digitally. Remember, on a road trip, happy kids equals happy parents!

Road Trip with Teens

Keep everyone entertained.

No matter how you plan it, most road trips will involve at least a few back-to-back hours of drive time. The best way to deal with this is to bring along a little entertainment. Have the kids bring a favorite book or game. Our family, really likes the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet. They start at $99.00, which is pretty cheap for a tablet. The kids can load books, games, and movies onto the tablet for the long drive (just remember to pack some headphones). Even better, the tablets are about as kid-proof as possible.

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Our just barely a teenager uses a Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet featuring Amazon FreeTime which allows you the parent control over what your child views and does with the tablet. As you are driving you can be sure that your child is watching and playing age-appropriate content. It is also important to note that the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited content is available to download to the device, meaning there is no need for wifi while on the road.

Our older teens bring their iPads or laptops and connect through their phones to play some of their favorite games. Make certain that everyone brings their headphones so everyone (including the driver) can do their own thing. Also set aside a pouch for charging cords and cables, etc.

Road Trip with Teens

Take breaks at scheduled times.

We build lots of stops into the road trip plan. This keeps meltdowns to a minimum and just makes the road trip itself a fun experience. The key here is to make the drive just as interesting and fun as the destination. Little stops along the way to take in the sights make the drive fun, and you just might make some cherished memories. For our family, this means truck stops. Loves. Pilot Travel Center. Flying J. All of those places are his jam. That's right…we make scheduled stops at truck stops along the way during absolutely every road trip we take. I kind of enjoy the truck stops, too. Where else can you shower, get your fortune roll-up paper, maybe find an attached Denny's or diner, find more random things than the middle aisle of Aldi, get gas, take a nap and so much more? 

Here is what Jason Connerty (my husband) of FoodieFather.net has to say about truck stops:

Road Trip with Teens

Pack the day before. 

Now we don't let the kids pack without any guidance at all, but we do involve them in the process. We will the kids what kind of plans we have so they know how many outfits they need, and then the kids go and pick out clothes for the trip. This creates a sense of involvement and buy-in for the upcoming trip, and it teaches kids the practical skill of packing. They will learn just how much room their suitcase has, forcing them to decide which items to bring and what to leave at home. We also schedule a clothes-washing day on every trip. This is so much more practical because we can pack less room in the car.

Road Trip with Teens

Don't forget the snacks.

We always make sure to bring a little cooler on our road trips. Before leaving the house, we fill it with snacks, fruits, and drinks. This is a lifesaver when anyone announces they are hungry or thirsty 30 minutes into the ride. Be sure to stock up on everyone's favorite snacks.

Road Trip with Teens

Road trips can be a wonderful way to vacation and see the country. Just remember, a stress-free road trip takes a little planning on the front end (see how stress-free our daughter is in this family vacation gif or road trip gif). Following these tips will help to ensure that your trip will be fun and stress-free. We hope that this Road Trip with Teens post inspires you. Happy driving!

Road Trip with Teens

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