Hit The Road With The Family

This weekend, pack up the family and take a road trip. Preparing for the journey will be almost as fun as taking it. Planning the route, making a playlist, grabbing the games and packing the snacks are all part of the fun! Read on for our ideas for bonding with your brood while on the road.

Plan your route

Hop on the internet and do a little research. What semi-local haunts do you and the family want to check out this weekend? The kids will love throwing out ideas and seeing what sticks. Once you've decided, grab a map and have the children help you chart your course. They can help figure out everything from how many miles you'll be traveling each day to how many tanks of gas your car will need. If you really want to go "old school," once you're on the road, forgo the GPS and assign the kids to help navigate. They'll even learn something about geography in the process (and maybe you will too!).

Grab the games

To keep the kids entertained, come up with a list of road trip games you can play. Pick a few oldies like I Spy and 20 Questions. But also get creative and come up with some of your own, like family trivia. Base all of the questions on your family. Ask the kids to tell you when your birthday is and to name the city where you were born. Get some road-trip inspired trinkets to give them as prizes. Not only will this be a fun way to pass the time, but it will be a great way for the kids to find out more about Mom and Dad.

Check out these road trip games to play with the kids >>

Go tech-free

Leave the gadgets and gizmos at home (you know, the iPods, iPads and, well, iAnything). If you have a DVD player in the car, turn it off. How often do you get this kind of time with your family? So why not use it to find out what's going on in your kids' lives?

Avoid brain drain this summer >>

Pack the snacks

A huge money-saver and a healthier option than going through the drive-thru is packing your own road trip snacks. Hit the grocery store before you leave and stock up your cooler. Leave your food budget for your lunches and dinners out.

Top 5 tips to stay healthy on a road trip >>

Make your playlist

Make a family-friendly playlist. That means everyone who will be riding in the car gets to choose favorite songs they want to hear while on the road. Burn them onto a CD in no particular order. One minute you could be listening to the Rolling Stones and the next Rihanna. This is a great way to bond with the kids by becoming engaged in their music and asking them why they like the songs they do. You can also share stories of your favorite tunes from "back in the day."

Road trip anthems for your playlist >>

More road trip tips

Simple tips for road trips with kids
5 Tips for a fun family road trip
Baby's first road trip

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