January 22, 2018

Road Trip Tips: In 100 Words or Less


I love quick and concise pieces of advice, particularly when they’re good pieces of advice, so I’m loving this feature at Gadling called 100 Words or Less. Basically it’s a forum for readers to post their best travel tips in, you guessed it, 100 words or less.

I’m thinking about doing a road trip with my kids this summer, so naturally I was drawn to the road trip advice to make my life less crazy with four kids in the car. Here are a few of my favorite travel tidbits:

Bring Cookie Sheets. Uh, what? Yes, these serve as great trays for on-the-go meals and snacks on road trips. They also double has a hard surface to use with coloring books or when playing card games. Love it. No guarantees my kids will keep the back seat clean, but we’re getting closer.

Load Your Car the Night Before. How many times have you planned an early start only to be two hours delayed because you haven’t packed the car? Or worse, you haven’t packed the car, then realize in the morning that not everything will fit in the car. Grr. Pack the night before.

Buy a Dry Erase Board. Now this is a fun way to preserve some of your thoughts, the scenery and more with captions. Write down a few words on a dry erase board, hold it up wherever you are and take a picture. It’s a fun way to preserve memories. You can get these for $5 at most drugstores.

Bring an Extra Set of Car Keys. Imagine this, you’re hundreds of miles away from home, and you have no idea where the car key is. Not fun. Bring an extra car key and put it in a special place in your luggage or purse. Just don’t forget where you stashed it in case you really do need it.

Load Up on Apps. I’m talking applications, like iPhone apps, not appetizers. There are lots of cool apps to get on your phone before you go to help you find gas stations, restaurants where kids eat free, nearby hotels and more. Here are six iPhone apps for road trips to check out.

Have a Tire Repair Kit. Don’t leave home without a tire repair kit, or at the very least, the phone number for AAA (presuming you have a membership – it’s not very expensive). If you’re planning to drive at night, this is a must. You don’t want to be on the side of the road in the middle of the night with a flat tire. Enough said.

Print Out Directions & Laminate Them. Sure, you might have a GPS device. Or maybe you have an app on your smartphone, like MapQuest Mobile. But neither will work in an area with a spotty signal, so print out directions just in case, and then laminate them to help ensure they don’t accidentally get ruined or tossed out of the car.

You can find loads more road trip tips here on the Gadling website. What are some of your best tips for taking road trips with your family? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Eric Rice


  1. Were are you looking to raodtrip? We have been doing annual family cross country road trips for the past few years. Last summer we packed up our 4 kids and hit the road on a 40 day 13,000 mile National Parks road trip. Had the time of our lives and just finished planning (although never really done planning) a 3 week 9,800 mile road trip for this summer. All I can say is ENJOY!!!!!!!!

    • Erin Gifford says:

      40 days? WOW. That’s amazing. My current plan is two weeks from here (DC) to Boston and back. I think there’s so much to see and do, and so much educational stuff, that it should be great. My 6-year-old just made a Liberty Bell in class this week, so naturally now I’m excited for her to see the actual Liberty Bell in Philadelphia! 🙂

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