Culture & Lifestyle / Family Road Trip Survival Guide

Family Road Trip Survival Guide

Culture & Lifestyle Mar 13, 2015

Get Through A Family Road Trip All In One Piece.

Family road trips are what great memories are made of. Though, they can also be fire starters for family arguments. Keep restlessness and hostility down with these tips.

Embrace Technology

Pack the kids' favourite DVDs and put them to use with a mobile DVD player. Piece of advice: Pick movies that won't drive you up the wall. South Asian Media has some good suggestions, like Matilda and, of course, Frozen. Also make sure to have a kids playlist ready on the iPod, have them weigh in on what songs to add beforehand. 

Word Games

Pass the time with clutter free word games. Play the Alphabet game using different themes, like food (A- Apple B- Banana etc.) or take turns finding rhyming words (One player says “dove” the next says “glove” and so on. Other games include saying the name of a place, and the next player using the last letter of that name to start a name of a new place (Arizona, Algonquin, Nebraska). These games not only pass the time, but get young ones thinking about their spelling.


Things get a tense when a car full of hungry people are involved. Keep cravings in check between stops by packing healthy, but filling snacks. Celery and carrot sticks are certainly healthy, but according to Everyday Health, adding dip will be what satisfies hunger, “The flavor and the fat will keep you feeling full longer and can help your body absorb nutrients like beta-carotene more effectively.” The website also recommends fruit, “An apple, or a serving of grapes or berries, all make the list of most filling foods.” Nuts are another filling snack. A small amount goes a long way because of the fat and protein nuts like almonds contain. Fraser Health has a list of other tasty treats in their list of Common South Asian Snacks. Keep water handy as well, sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Your family should be drinking two glasses of water every 30 minutes, so stock up!

Lap Desks

Kids can use their laptops, read, write, or colour, keeping stable with a lap desk. Kids Woot! has some fun designs, or for the DIY parent a how-to tutorial on how to make one is here.

Owl Laptop Cushion/Kids Woot!

Clutter Free Games

Before your trip fill a 2-litre bottle with rice along with household items like shells and paperclips. Create a list of the objects in the bottle and have your kids find each item by shaking the bottle. Make sure to seal the bottle tight! Travelmate suggests keeping a travel diary. Keep the kids busy with their own notebooks to fill with writing and drawings. Everyone can share later share the story of their trip experience.
Notice how whenever you get into another person’s car they apologize for the mess? It is really easy for a vehicle to get cluttered, fast, especially with kids involved.

Be Prepared

Keep these items in your trunk, just in case:
•                Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
•                Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
•                Tow rope
•                Jumper cables
•                Fire extinguisher
•                Warning light or road flares
Even with these ideas in mind, pack headphones. For everybody.

Any road trip tips or stories you'd like to share? Leave a comment below!

Feature image couresty of Patheos

Hillary Di Menna

Hillary Di Menna


Hillary Di Menna is a freelance journalist who manages to publish her scribblings while raising a six-year-old skateboarding ballerina and sharing her home with two snuggly black cats. Her parenting blog, Misfit Matriarch, follow her adventures in parenting. You can find all her work at