How to Survive a Family Roadtrip


family road tripTaking a vacation is no small feat for my family of seven. Between finding a location and activities to please our wide age span of children, to packing and coordinating this whole thing, taking a vacation feels like a full-time job! And don’t even get me started on how we possibly fund a vacation.  I mean, have you looked at the prices of plane tickets?!

Plane tickets obviously out, we decided to road trip our most recent family vacation. Twelve hundred miles and a van packed to the brim always makes for fun, right?

But you know what, it was fun. We had a great time on this road trip and made tons of memories. There were no major hiccups, no major meltdowns, no one puked in the car or peed in their car seat…SUCCESS! How did we manage the chaos of a two-day family road trip in a minivan full of seven people? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Snacks: We packed snacks and lots of them. We don’t do a lot of sugar in our family, so a little goes a long way, and the excitement over fruit snacks or a juice box is a pretty real thing. I also made sandwiches for the car, so we could save time on stopping for food. And DO NOT forget coffee for you… you will need lots and lots of coffee.

  2. Activity Bags: Each child had an activity bag, which I filled with new things for them to do in the car. I packed a variety of new toys, books, coloring activities, travel games, and fidget or sensory toys.

  3. Planned Stops: I suggest planning stops carefully. Stop for gas and when you do make sure everyone uses the bathroom (do not skip this or you will be stopping for someone to go 10 minutes down the road) this allows time to stop and see cool scenery or a cheesy roadside store or attraction for a little fun along the way.

  4. Blast 90’s Music: Yes, blast 90’s music and sing your heart out because we all know it was the best decade of music, and it will cause your teenager to roll his eyes while secretly loving these sweet beats.

  5. Play Musical Seats: I know it’s a pain to unlatch car seats and move them around, but when one child can’t handle sitting next to another one minute longer this can be the change we all need

  6. Stay In The Moment: If you stay in the moment and enjoy the excitement of your family and this road trip journey you are on, I promise you will make wonderful memories that you will talk about with your family for years to come.

  7. Electronics: When all else fails, pull out the iPad and portable DVD player you’ve been hiding under the passenger seat for such a time as this and relish the beauty of silence… for a few moments anyway.

I hope you don’t let the idea of a road trip scare you off from the family fun it can be. Take these ideas and sprinkle in some of your own and head off on the road of memory-making.



  1. Road trips not only gives you a better glimpse of places, but it also allows you to make your own stop at any place of your choice. While a longer journey can be stressful, but if planned well we can enjoy the most of it. Nicely written.


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