How to Survive a Family Road Trip

Everyone loves a family holiday and why wouldn’t you? Quality relaxing time with your loving family is something that most people don’t get to have enough of so why shouldn’t we enjoy it? Well as much as I love spending time with my family, especially on holiday because we are all so busy and hardly ever spend time with each other, there is one thing that I find quite tortuous when it comes to a family holiday … Road trips! Now don’t get me wrong, I love road trips and think they are a lot of fun, but road trips with the family can stretch even the most evenly tempered individual. I happen to be a very patient person, and long drives with my dad or my boyfriend are a lot of fun, but jamming my younger brother and mother into that car too seems to wear me out quite a lot faster. This is because as much as I love them all, spending hours in a confined space with limited ways of keeping people amused and happy can sometimes attract problems seemingly out of thin air, and I’m sure that I am not the only one who feels this way. We love our family, but I can imagine that driving across country with them can be testing on our patience levels. However, there are ways to solve this. Having both a mom and brother with ADHD (the latter also struggles with motion sickness), I consider myself somewhat of an expert in surviving long drives with a full car so here is my guide to surviving a family road trip …

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Be prepared

This is my number one rule, and it’s quite self-explanatory. Your road trip would not usually be a surprise so you should have a fair amount of time to prepare for it and I suggest you use this time wisely. Make sure that, beforehand, you do all of your general packing such as clothes. This will simply make travelling on the day a little bit easier and prevent any unnecessary stress or scrambling. You must also ensure that you pack anything else you deem necessary (entertainment for example) because getting halfway into the trip and realising that you are missing something you need is not going to make anyone happy. Especially you.

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Personal amusement

Being in a car for a few hours leaves you quite a bit of time to yourself, and the last thing you want is to get bored before you’ve even left your suburb. For this, I’d recommend packing a few things that will help pass the time. This could be anything from books to movies or even work that you need to get done. Personally, I like to bring a book that I have been meaning to read, but this doesn’t work for everyone. My younger brother, for example, gets terrible motion sickness, so reading or watching movies for hours in a moving car is not a pretty sight. The trick is to know what will keep you from getting bored without compromising your health. You don’t want to be that one person who gets under everyone’s skin, and it is nice to have your own bubble, so this is my second important rule to surviving family road trips.

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Remember food and drink!

What makes car journeys a lot more fun than plane trips is that you can pack anything you want and this includes food and drinks. The reason why is because hunger and dehydration can be a huge factor in rising anger or irritation. These provisions just help keep everyone happy and functioning that little bit longer, so make sure that everyone has a few favourite snacks and beverages on hand.

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Don’t feel bad to take a break

One thing that can cause quite a few problems is when we get so focused on making it to our destination that we forget to take a break during the journey. A car is not exactly first class travelling, especially when your family is jammed into it, and sitting in the same place for a few hours can often instil a sense of cabin fever. So yes, while it is important not to waste time unnecessarily and get to your destination, don’t forget that it is perfectly okay to take a ten-minute pitstop now and then. This allows everyone to stretch their legs and get some much-needed space and fresh air after being stuck in a car. You can maybe decide that stopping for lunch is an excellent way to break up the journey or even just the occasional garage stop where everyone can refresh their beverages. What is important to remember is that sometimes, all we need is a little fresh air and some space.

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Games for the whole family

If your family enjoys constant chatter or all doing something together to help the time pass, then doing a few basic car games can actually be quite fun. When my brother and I go driving with my dad, we often end up playing a somewhat competitive game of Eye Spy, and as much as it sounds basic and childish, these kinds of games can quite often be the saving grace of car journeys. They not only help pass the hours but they are quite fun for family bonding, and I’m sure you’ll make more than a few memories along the way.

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Be the driver!

Now, this may not be an option for all of us but being the driver is often the best way to survive these trips. At least according to my dad. This is because what the driver says is usually what goes. They ultimately get to decide where and when the stops are. If they don’t like the music, they get to turn it off. They even get a little bubble of protection around them because the worst thing one can do in a car is disturbing or annoying the driver because that might end up causing more than a few problems so if you can, try to organise to be the one driving the car.

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Remember to think comfy

Yes, space can be very limiting in a car but don’t cause yourself extra discomfort by wearing your tightest pair of jeans and three layers when it is midsummer. My final trick to surviving road trips is making sure that you are comfortable. You may not have the leg room to stretch out, but if it is a long drive, maybe pack a pillow so you can lean against the door comfortably. Also, don’t forget to dress comfortably. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a car and feeling trapped by your own clothes so don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by wearing something tight or uncomfortable. Go for your soft tracksuit pants or sweats and a nice baggy shirt (maybe a jersey just in case you have that one family member who cannot exist without the aircon at its lowest) or even your pyjamas. No one is going to care if you get out of the car at a garage wearing your plaid pyjama bottoms and a Snoopy shirt, plus any excuse to wear pyjamas is always a win in my book.

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So there you have it – my tips and rules for surviving a family road trip. I hope that even if not all of them are helpful, you find at least one or two that can help make the difficult parts of the trip a little more bearable. I’m actually about to embark on a family road trip tomorrow so wish me luck, but as always, thank you all so much for reading my blog post. If you have any tips you’d like to share with me on how you cope with these family road trips, please do share them in the comments section or even if you have something you’d like to say. I always love hearing them. If you liked the post, then please don’t forget to hit that like button, subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss out on any future posts and share with your friends so that our community can grow.

See you on Saturday!

Blondey on a Mission xxx

Author: blondeyonamission

Hey everyone! I'm a lifestyle and travel blogger from South Africa and about to relocate to the UK for university. My blog is all about stories, tips and advice with topics ranging from university, organisation, friends, books, travel and more. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy xxx

6 thoughts

      1. I guess male family members want nothing to do with family road trips haha! It’s good you’re staying positive about it, change its reputation and prove us all wrong


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