Car-Trip Tips for families this holiday season

It’s officially that time of the year again, and many of us will be embarking on exciting adventures across the midwest, visiting family that live out of town, or just getting away to use up our remaining vacation days before the end of the year.

If you have kids there might be some anxiety associated with the thought of being locked up together for so many hours at a time. Tantrums, arguments, boredom, constant toilet stops, “Are we there yet(s)?” are common for most long car trips.

Here are a couple of tips on how to survive your holiday road trip; or any road trip for that matter!

Prepare before you go

Preperation is key. Make a list and check it twice. Leave yourself plenty of time the night before to pack the car with your roadtrip essentials. This will help ensure that everything you need is packed and there are no last minute trips to the store. If you or any of the kids tend to get motion sickness, remember to prepare for this in advance as well.


This almost goes without saying. Music will go a long way with making your trip more enjoyable and fun. Upbeat songs with a strong beat are best for keeping everyone awake and perky. If you’re feeling in the festive mood, Christmas music can be a good option (if you haven’t gotten sick of listening to carols yet!) Make sure to bring some soothing music to help with those times when things are a little tense.

Save money on food

If you stop at every café, fast food outlet or service station along the way to buy food and refreshments, your road trip is quickly going to become very expensive. Instead, pack plenty of your own food and drinks, and keep everything cool with frozen ice packs in a big freezer bag. Chopped up fruit, vegetable sticks and mini bags of air popped popcorn are great healthy snacks for everyone.


Research car games before you leave and have a few ready to play once you’re on the road. There are quite a few fun ones involving the alphabet, like the supermarket game. One person starts with naming an item which can be bought at the supermarket that starts with the letter ‘A’, like “avocado”. The next player has to repeat the first person’s word as well as add on a food that starts with the letter ‘B’. If you forget a word, you’re out of the game, and the game continues until the last player to remember all the words is the winner. If you have older kids, try a more difficult topic like countries or famous people.

Emergency supplies

As well as a first aid kit, you’ll need a kit to clean up any other mess in the car. Pack plenty of moist wipes, tissues and paper towels to be safe, as well as a few plastic bags for your garbage..


This is the most important…Make sure that you have your vehicle checked out before you leave. One of the easiest ways to make sure that you are road ready is scheduling a 60 Point (Road Trip Ready) inspection. It only takes and hour and provides you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle be stopped on the side of the road miles from home. (Call 260.424.1630 or visit to schedule.)

In conclusion, wiith a few simple tips and a little bit of preparation, you’ll be well on your way to having an awesome road trip with the whole family.


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