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Road trips are an excellent way to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of a country. And they’re a great way for bonding with your family. 

If you haven’t taken a multi-day road trip before though, these are a few basics that will help make your journey smoother.

Planning Basics for Your First Family Roadtrip

Fuel Up

Gas petrol station car roadtrip RF

Before you hit the road, it’s important to fill up your car with fuel so you don’t run out at a critical moment during your journey.

Consider filling up before every 100 miles of driving as well as whenever you see cheaper prices around major cities and highways.

Calculate how much fuel you will need based on the number of miles you plan to travel and the fuel efficiency of your car.

Pack Light

Packing suitcase car RF

Try to limit what you pack so that everything fits in the car. Remember, it’s much easier to bring too little than too much.

Depending on how big your family is, it can be really easy to overpack, and you may run into issues about being able to physically fit everyone and everything in the car. 

Be cautious of safety when packing the car, like not blocking your rear view window, and not overloading the car beyond it’s weight limit, which is usually written on a sticker on your door.

Be sure to check the weather forecast for your destination before packing, so that you know what kind of clothes and supplies you may need along the way – packing appropriately is the more important key here to not overdoing it. 

Map Out Your Route

Couple with map roadtrip car RF

Before departing on your road trip, create a list of destinations or attractions you would like to visit during your journey. This will help ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the hidden gems that your American road trip may have to offer.

Additionally, mapping out a route will help you plan your stops so you can break up long stretches and take advantage of rest areas or tourist attractions along the way.

Stay Healthy

A healthy body and mind are essential for making the most out of your road trip. Plan healthy snacks and meals for everyone in the family that you can bring along with you, or pick up from grocery stores on your way.

Avoid sugary drinks and processed foods, as well as long periods of sitting in the car, to help keep you energized for sightseeing and activities. Additionally, plan regular breaks to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and get some fresh air.

Stay Safe

Singing family in a car RF

When traveling by car it’s important to remember basic safety tips such as wearing a seatbelt at all times and avoiding distractions while driving.

Additionally, be sure to check the oil before departing – this could save you from an unexpected breakdown in the middle of nowhere! Also consider having important documents such as your driver’s license, registration, and insurance in a safe spot.

There are several important tips and strategies to keep in mind when planning a road trip. Fuel up before you hit the road, pack light, map out your route ahead of time, stay healthy during the long drives, and remember to stay safe at all times. 

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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