Tips For Staying Sane On A Family Road Trip


In 9 days we drove over 1400 miles on our New Mexico road trip last summer.  We had several tantrums (directions/not sharing/spilt drinks/speeding ticket (!) but the whole family left on speaking terms.  If you’re planning a road trip with the family, here are my tips on how to keep yourselves sane.

  1. Hire a car that you feel comfortable in and feel comfortable driving.  I’ll admit that I’m a bit daunted by our rather large Chevy Traverse but my husband loves it and it gives me sufficient bootspace for my Target purchases. 
  2. Stop off at a supermarket or thrift store at the start of your trip to stock up on activities for the kids and plenty of snacks.  Disney’s Frozen figurines were a big hit on this trip.
  3. Hire a car with a sat nav.  It’s a life saver. You can also use apps like Waze which help you navigate traffic, particularly useful if you’re driving through an unfamiliar city.
  4. Break up your journey with fun pit stops.  Get tips on where to go from everyone you meet, from the hotel receptionist to the cashier in Walmart.  You never know what local gems you’ll stumble upon.
  5. Keep chargers in your car.  The kids will ask for the iPad at some point and you need that baby full of juice!
  6. Load up on water and snacks.  Do stop off at roadside fruit sellers – they always have the best local produce.  
  7. Use sitting up at the front of the car as your time to zone out the kids.  Play a podcast, crank up the classic rock or listen to comedy stations on the radio. 

Yep.. that's our speeding ticket


  1. Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    Yes, yes, yes to hiring a decent car. Too often in the past we have gone for the cheap option and always had a problem or been disappointed. We had a lovely big Volvo estate for our trip round Sweden a couple of years ago, made all the difference.

  2. Kids Are A Trip

    So important to hire from a reputable car place and get the best sat nav available with updated maps! On our most recent trip to Norway the maps were 2 years out of date. Not helpful with all the road construction they were doing at the time, but somehow we made it home!

Leave comment