License Plate Bingo is one of our road trip favourites. Since it’s closing in on spring and family road trips are just around the corner I figured it was time to share a few ideas on how to make family road trips a joy for everyone. A bit of planning goes a very long way towards making a road trip fun and memorable.
We’ve taken some amazing road trips this past 12 months. Even the winter didn’t deter us. Last summer we did the 8 hour drive to Quebec to visit Outaouais Region and Gatineau as well as the amazing Chateau Le Fairmont Montebello. This past season we did a 9 1/2 hour drive to Vermont’s Waitsfield area where we skied at Sugarbush.
In fact I am feeling pretty much like we’ve got the system down pat. So I thought I’d share what works for us. Maybe these can help you have a Smooth Family Road Trip too.
Six Secrets to Successful Family Road Trips:
– Map it out. Have the route printed out on paper. Have the route also programmed into your vehicle’s GPS and/ or your smartphone. We don’t have a car with built in GPS so I always have our route on Google Maps. I also always print it out because that way the driver can also glance at the print out. We do not text or look at screens when driving. Both my husband and I can easily see if we took a wrong turn, and we know where we are headed.
Family Road Trips can be lengthy and I guarantee you that no matter what age your kids are they will be hungry the minute they hit the highway or the country road. Pack a variety of easily accessible snacks. We always have clementines, bananas, Gold Fish crackers or snack crackers. WE also bring our water bottles and load them up often. So what if you have to stop…hydration is important.
Bring one small treat.
I mentioned this some time ago when I was heading to Collingwood and Wasaga Beach area with family for a quick weekend ski trip. It’s nice to have something to change the tone, distract, or uplift everyone when traveling. Maybe that’s cookies, or a snack bar, gum, or gluten free lemon squares.
PRINTABLES: Games, Paper, pencil crayons, sketch books and electronics as well as a book: DO NOT forget the games and the travel books. Family road trips can be endless if you forget the entertainment. I have a list of free printables and I always print out a batch of these prior to leaving. A word search can keep kids happy for 15-20 minutes sometimes.
Today I have Road Trip License Plate Bingo. Trust me this is a hit. There are five different sheets here. Print each one out and you will have enough for everyone (obviously the driver should concentrate on the road and not a game). They are slightly different only in that the icons are switched around in each one. Don’t forget to pop by my free printables Pinterest board.
– Listen, if you have teens or tweens like I do then they are on this. They will not forget the headphones. BUT, anything can happen so be sure to double check that they have them. These are our favourites right now – Monster Wireless, Bluetooth ClarityHD, Clarity HD On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones, BLACK. I also wrote about them way back here in the Fall. There’s not much that grates on my nerves more than listening to someone else’s music, or someone else’s favourite Youtuber the entire way. NOPE.
– If you don’t have roadside assistance on your vehicle then I suggest getting it. But also have a car safety kit in the trunk always. You know the one I mean – there should be a blanket in it and a few other necessities in the event of an emergency. And of course you always have a cell phone and a backup charger or backup battery to keep you connected.
The Most Successful Family Road Trips are the ones where you plan ahead and have a few things ready to go with you. Hungry children are not a joy at any age. Of course check your tires before you leave and be sure they are in good shape.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of the Amazon links then I can keep sharing free printables because I make a bit of money.