Tis the season for the great American road trip – complete with epic vistas, amazing experiences…and bored and whining passengers. Whether your problem travelers are kids or just impatient adults, we have an arsenal of ideas to keep them occupied while on the road, plus some fun ways to make the trip more interesting. Without further ado…the keys to your best summer road trip yet:
Be reasonable about drive time. Shoot for a maximum of 8 hours of driving a day. It will allow more time for impromptu plans.
Make unexpected stops. Speaking of changing plans, follow those aging billboards and make pit stops at those classic American roadside attractions. It will break up the monotony of the day and you just might stumble upon a hidden treasure.
Bring a paper map. Buy a paper atlas or folding road maps that cover your trip, and use stickers or markers to chart your journey.
Use sheet pans as lap desks. Kids and adults alike may appreciate this tip. A rimmed, metal baking sheet can contain small toys, portable crafts, or modeling clay, and makes a great eating counter or writing surface for journals, postcards, and adult coloring books. When not in use, a matched set will stack away neatly and occupy minimum space.
Pack a journal. While on the road, jotting down the events of the day and documenting your favorite spots will make for a fun memento to browse in the future. Try a traditional lined journal, an unlined journal to include sketches, or write yourself postcards each day to tuck into a scrapbook at home.
Listen to a great book. Here’s your chance to “read” that classic you’ve always meant to tackle, or to revisit beloved childhood classics with your young family. It’s an added bonus if you pinpoint books that are themed around your destinations.
Have a sing a long. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s also fun. From modern tunes to the classics, it’s a particularly valuable multigenerational activity for enlightening one another on your favorites.
Play “I Spy” or car bingo. Those timeless games live on for a reason. You’ll find all kinds of free printables online to keep your car mates occupied for hours.
Eat where the locals go. Instead of stopping at yet another national fast food chain, approach a native about community favorites. Your question will likely thrill and flatter, and you just might strike up an interesting conversation that could uncover a local delicacy.
Tags: fun, road trip, travel