Roadmap to a Successful Family Road Trip

Fall is in the air, and as the temperature drops, many people plan to hit the road to see the fall colors. Choosing a destination is the easy part, especially with these “Best of the Road” suggestions from Rand McNally and “Prettiest Fall Foliage Drives” from Yahoo Travel. These sites are a great resource for planning your route whether you’re a self-proclaimed leaf-peeper or casual fall color fan.

Kids, however, aren’t known for enjoying long drives. We’ve put together a few tips on what to pack and how to pass time on your trip. No matter the destination, our roadmap to a successful family road trip can help!

Stop before Hunger Avenue

HowStuffWorks.com suggests that packing a lunch can save over $6 per meal. It also gives road warriors the freedom to eat when they’re hungry, but there are other benefits you might not have considered. According to Meredith Bower, author of 5 Tips For Packing the Car for a Road Trip, a home-prepared meal is a good opportunity to stop at a picnic area (playground is a bonus!) so travelers can stretch their legs and burn off some steam before hitting the road.

Make a U-turn at Dead Phone Road

A smartphone can be a useful tool on road trips. In fact, Claudia Stanic, in How to Keep your Cell Phone Charged While Traveling, notes that cell phones help travelers stay synchronized and can be a necessity in case of emergency. Be sure to have at least one phone fully charged at all times; you never know when you’ll need to reference a map, make a call, or use the camera. Don’t miss that priceless fall photo opportunity because of a dead battery!

Cruise Down Lookout Lane

There are plenty of ways to keep children entertained in the car that don’t involve a screen. Terry Ward, author of Road Trip Tips recommends a scavenger hunt to keep little ones busy. To get started, give your passengers a list of items to look for on the way to your destination. Looking for other screen-free activities? Check out this post from the Hilton Mom Voyage blog.

Yield for Family Fun

Scenic viewpoints and other stops can provide an opportunity for your family to stretch their legs and explore. Conde Nast Traveler suggests adding a corn maze or festival to your list of stops. A fun destination will help get kids excited about their autumn adventure and tire them out for the ride home! Conde Nast Traveler also recommends activities like collecting leaves for crafts and creating a fall color map to document your trip. For their full list of activities visit The Daily Traveler blog.

For more ideas on making your trip more fun for everyone, don’t miss BuzzFeed’s list of “29 Simple Road Trip Hacks”.

Do you have tip for making the most of a fall outing? Add it to the comments below.

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