Tips for a Successful Family Road Trip

Tips for a Family Road TripGuest Blogger Deborah Citarella is a mom with 4 kids who loves to travel with her family and write about it.  Her goal is to find the best deals and pay little or no money. Follow her family’s road tripping adventures at , Twitter (@TipsonRT), Facebook (, and Email (

Are you heading on a road trip with your family?

A family road trip can be adventurous, educational, and lots of fun. It’s a time to connect with each other.  A time to learn about each others hobbies and interests . Or it can be a nightmare that makes you want to scream every time you hear those famous words,

“Are we there yet?”

Keeping your kids entertained can be challenging. I used to think that portable DVD players, iPods, iPads, and electronic games were a great way to keep the kids entertained . Experiencing travel has showed me that kids get bored and then start to fight with each other.  Don’t overlook the games you can play with your family as you hit the road. With these tips, a little planning, preparation, and creativity could keep you and everyone in the car happy and well behaved.

Here are my top 10 favorite games for a family road trip!


You can buy a CD or make your own. You can sing songs that keep going on and on like (Old McDonald had a Farm, Three Blind Mice, Row, Row Row Your Boat, B-I-N-G-O, 100 bottles of Beer on the Wall, The Old Woman that Swallowed the Fly, The Littlest Worm etc.) This will surely get the mood going in the car for a few hours.

Card Smarts

You can buy trivia cards or even print them from the web. Trivia cards are a great way to get the little minds thinking and at the same time teaching them something. There is a great game that came out on the market that has fantastic trivia cards. “Beat the Parents”

Road Tripping games

20 Questions, License Plate Game

The Alphabet Game: Starting with the letter “A” challenge everyone to find each letter of the alphabet on signs as you travel. Players call out the letter and the word it’s in as they see each one. The first one to reach “Z” wins.

TWIST~ Limit where to find letters to only license plates ,road signs, or billboards. You can also play as a team with each player finding a letter.
Who Are They?

Chose another group of travelers or car on the road and make up a story about where they are from and where they are going. We always crack up laughing with this one. You will be surprised with the way a child thinks of others.

Travel Scavenger Hunt

Using the back of a map, compile a list of objects for each player to look for while traveling on the road. For example, you could list things like “White Horse” or “Corn Fields” Anything that comes to mind that you may be passing will work. The winner is the first one to find the most things on his or her list.


Story Telling

The object of the game is for the group to make up a story one person at a time. One person starts and each person has to add on to it. You can have each person say one word and add to the story, or they can say several words.

Map Explorers

Pick up the free maps at the Visitor Centers. Give each kid a map with a yellow highlighter. Have them highlight each road you take on your road trip. They can even write in what time it was passed at. Not only is it entertaining, its a keepsake.

Master of the Journal

Buy a a sturdy journal. The kids can write what they see or do along the way. All the brochures you are collecting don’t have to go to waste. Prepare a head of time bring scissors, markers and glue sticks. They can cut up the brochures and paste the important stuff in their journals. At the end of your trip they have a finished book to show their friends and family. You will be amazed  that each journal is completely different and unique from one another.

And last but not least (One of my absolute favorites)

After hours of singing, journal writing and creating, trivia challenges, map exploring, storytelling, card games, and road tripping games you will all appreciate…..

The Quiet Game

“See who can be the quietest”

Keeping your kids happy is one part of enjoying a memorable road trip!

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About Jodi Grundig

Jodi Grundig has loved traveling since she was a little girl. She started blogging in 2007 on her popular review site Mom's Favorite Stuff and after doing quite a bit of family traveling, decided to launch her own travel blog. Jodi resides in Massachusetts with her husband, eight-year old son, ten-year old daughter, and Havanese dog.


  1. Um, yeah, the Quiet Game never worked for us. :-) I love the map idea. Our favorite car game is “I’m thinking of an animal, Try to guess what it is.”

  2. Great ideas! We love our DVD player and other electronics for road trips, but they are most effective for making the miles pass quickly when limits are enforced. Also, too much electronics time can cause kids (and adults) to miss great sights outside the car.

  3. Good stuff here! A game that we also play is what my 7-year-old calls the “car game.” We each pick a color of a car, then my daughter picks a number. When she says, “Go!” we see who can spot the winning number of cars in our chosen color first. A couple of rules: Parked cars don’t count, but those waiting at traffic signals or stop signs do. You cannot count a car driving down the road unless it is directly in front of and/or beside you. We’ve been playing for years as a way to teach her colors and how to count.

  4. Duncan Faber says:

    We have 5 kids (I know. What were we thinking?) so we’re always looking for ways to keep them entertained when we go out. We download a lot of audiobooks. There’s plenty of sites where you can get them, but we use this site a lot because it’s free and all the stories are original. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

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