The Typical Mom shares lots of easy recipes your family will love but when we’re not home we love to add more family travel ideas to our road trip blog! We have a ton of road trip ideas for kids, packing hacks, and the best vacation spots for kids you really need to visit before they grow up. We’re so glad you’re here!
Yes we are a family who loves to travel together and can’t wait to share our road trip blog full of family travel destinations and tips with all of you! Of course we love to fly to new places but many times we just hop in our van and go on family road trips together where we can visit new locations along the way to our destination! We started traveling A LOT when my youngest was about 3 years old and it was so much fun for all of us that we did it more and more often to the point that whenever our kids were on a break from school we would take off.
On our way back we would brain storm about where we wanted to road trip next, and the older our girls got the more involved they became in choosing the next location. For years we didn’t think anything of it I guess and just assumed that all families road tripped as often as we did, but then it dawned us after speaking with friends who said “you guys travel together a lot!!” that maybe this was out of the norm (yeah for us..lol).
Follow along on our journey, and here are a few pointers to start with:
By that time (around 2012) I started blogging and thought I should share our road trip blog, and places we had been, with others so they could incorporate family road trips into their lives as well….and here we are today. 😉
As my oldest ventures out to tour college campuses and leave our house in a year from now I look back and am so very grateful we traveled together as a family as often as we did.
Every year we took at least one road trip together and it has become an integral part of our memories together, and brought the 5 of us closer than ever. I truly believe had we never started this road trip blog all those years ago we would have a different relationship with each other today.
If you’re thinking of road tripping with your family I hope we can inspire you to do so and create the long lasting memories we now have to look back on.
Let’s start by talking about our vehicle and how we make it all happen shall we………
This. Is. Us.
We started traveling in a Tahoe which worked okay but there wasn’t much storage and we had to pack things on the roof which lead to a lot of frustration when unpacking and packing again to hit our next destination.
Then we upgraded to a Transit Connect (mid size sedan/van style) and that gave us a bit more room…but we still had the no storage issue and had to attach a rack on the back to carry our bags and coolers.
NOW we have the road trip vehicle we always dreamed of and are so comfortable when traveling together. With plenty of storage in the back, seats that recline, plenty of leg room, and no need to store things on the back or on the roof we now travel in a Ford Transit Passenger Wagon (mid length, higher roof line) <—— can’t you tell I am totally technical with the way I explain my vehicles. LOL.
I do not work for Ford obviously, but I have had so many people ask me how we travel and what our vehicle is now (it stands out and seriously every person who sees it says “that is SO awesome!”) that I wanted to share what has worked for the 5 of us to travel together often…and comfortably.
- Update – since our move to Idaho we’ve traded in “the beast” for a 4 wheel drive Ford Expedition because of the weather here and areas we plan on traveling through that are snowy. We’ve taken one 15 hr. road trip in it thus far and it’s been great. I’d recommend both vehicles depending on the size of your family and/or where you live.
Here’s a quick picture I took on our last trip from California to Idaho.
Ok, now on to some resources for you to start a sort of road trip blog of your own!
Not that you have to blog about your travels, but I have heard of many families who start a simple travel blog of sorts just to share their photos and adventures with their family, so that could be fun.
Whatever you do, just step away from things and document your journey(s) with photos, even if you just use your cell phone to snap shots!
Here are a couple of tips on what road trip gadgets you should bring on your journey from The Typical Dad:
From our best vacation spots, to road trip games for kids, to what to do when you’re on vacation and need a doctor…we have all our road trip blog tips here!
- Let’s start with how we travel for free often. Seriously!! It’s an easy way to get free gas gift cards and even free flights on Southwest too.
- Next, we love staying in a house vs. a hotel if possible (more comfortable for more than 4 people in general) so here’s a list of other websites like Airbnb to search for reasonable accommodations.
- Follow these travel packing hacks to save space in your vehicle and use every inch available, and packing for a road trip requires a bit of practice.
- Here is a list of the top 10 best vacation spots for kids you really should visit before they grow up! Of course there are TONS of fabulous family travel destinations but we compiled many of our favorite ones here early on in our road tripping journeys to share with you on this post.
- Here are 100+ road trip games for kids that you can play along the way. Most are completely free and fun for all ages.
- Here’s a printable Road Trip I Spy game that is fun for kids to have to keep them busy.
Stopping often is always important for everyone too, not just the kids! We tend to stop every two hours to go to the restroom (everyone has to at least try or you’ll be in trouble in an hour when there’s not one in sight), get gas if needed, and get a snack.
We learned early on to bring this electric cooler with us packed with drinks and makings for pb&j just in case you’re in an area with nothing to eat and you’re just too hungry to wait.
It is great when you’re visiting National Parks (we were in Yellowstone here) because you don’t always want to find somewhere and many times there isn’t even anything to find….so this works really well.
Here are a few more road trip blog tips for you to keep the kids busy, how to save money while you’re on the road, and things you may not think about beforehand like what happens if someone gets sick??!!
- These road trip busy bags are what we have made for the kids when they were younger to keep them busy and happy!
- When they got older I wrote this article for our road trip blog sharing some road trip tips on creating bags for each child to keep them busy and we use this method today.
- Road trip safety tips are always good to have and refer back to before each and every trip.
- If you’re heading out on a road trip in an RV, here are some easy RV meals you can cook that don’t take a lot of time or prep.
- Here are 17 essential little things to pack for road trips that you may not think about but make your trip a lot easier.
- If you’re headed to the great outdoors here’s a printable on things to pack for camping that is really helpful, including how to make your camping trip easier with kids.
- Here are some tips on planning cheap road trips and ways of planning a few cheap weekend trips no matter where you live.
- This post on where to find a doctor when you are on vacation has become very handy when my youngest had an ear infection.
- Here’s a printable road trip checklist of things to do to your car before leaving so you don’t have an “uh oh” moment on the road and encounter car troubles.
- This printable road trip packing list is helpful so you don’t forget essentials like sunscreen etc…
- And…….here is how to prevent car sickness because inevitably you WILL encounter some windy roads and you should be prepared.
Below I will share a few of our favorite vacation destinations we have been to so far….we will continue to add them year after year.
We lived in California until my youngest was 9 and my oldest was 17…. then we moved to Idaho!
Many of our earlier adventures are on the West Coast but year after year we continue to add more family travel destinations to our road trip blog so stay tuned to see what new locations we add.
We’re always interested in visiting somewhere new so if there’s somewhere you’re passionate about let us know, we’d love to check it out and maybe add it to our itinerary!
Here’s a look at a few of our road trips on the West Coast we loved!
- If you’re headed to Ca. here’s a post to plan the ultimate California Coast road trip as well as a few of the best California road trips we have been on together.
- If you’re headed to Utah we have had two incredible stays at a place called Zion Ponderosa! It is truly a hidden gem and I recommend it to all families looking for a vacation of a lifetime with some outdoor adventure!
- If you’re looking for an indoor getaway that everyone will love we really enjoyed Great Wolf Lodge Southern California! We stayed there twice at this SoCal location, but there are many others around the country.
- Arizona Grand Resort is incredible for families with a water park on the grounds of the hotel itself so you can walk there, another fabulous place in Arizona is Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
- Head up to Sedona in Arizona during the summertime to visit slide rock, it is absolutely gorgeous there….and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is like no other!! Here are some tips on camping with kids if you plan on going all out in the wilderness or a campground out that way.
- We visited the Lake Tahoe area recently, here’s our pictures and some Reno lodging information on where to stay.
Now that we live in Idaho we’ve traveled quite a bit more and have these family travel destinations we loved here:
- There are a ton of places to visit in Orlando Florida if you want to take a road trip there!
- If you’re in or near Idaho you have got to visit Schweitzer Resort during the Winter to ski or Summertime for lots of fun!
If you’re interested in taking a road trip to a National Park we have visited many of them and love sharing why we love them on our road trip blog ….as well as how to get into National Parks for free!
- First read how you can get free admission to National Parks! We have done this for 3 years and saves you hundreds of dollars.
- What to see in Sequoia National Park, and lodging near Sequoia
- Yellowstone National Park
- Zion National Park Utah
- Why we love the Grand Canyon.
- We visited Bryce Canyon Utah as well when we stayed at Zion Ponderosa Ranch the second time.
- Things to do near Mt Rushmore
- Here’s tips on how to visit National Parks on a budget.
If you’re interested in visiting a theme park, here are a few we have visited, tons of posts for each one, tips we can share on how to make your visit the best possible, and how to get in for free!
- Knott’s Berry Farm California
- Disneyland Theme Park posts plus how to get into Disneyland for free …..seriously!!
- Universal Studios
- Our rundown of the top 25 places to go in Southern California if you’re planning a vacation there
Articles from our family about more trips we’ve taken and how it’s strengthened our bond:
I hope this long list of road trip tips and resources helps you plan your next (or first) family road trip too! I cannot emphasize enough how important I think it is to travel with your children.
It not only becomes a part of their memories and childhood but brings all of you closer, and we believe it makes them more confident individuals as they see who and what is outside their little world at home. 😉
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