10 Tricks for the Family Road Trip – Have a Lampoon-Free Vacation

True confession: the night before we left for our national park road trip my husband and I seriously considered cancelling the whole thing.  On a total whim (and moment of fantasy) I had planned a six day, 1700 mile family road trip to Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse.  Perhaps I was the crazy one?  As we stayed up late packing the minivan, my dreams of teaching my kids history and watching family movies in the minivan turned to fears of incessant back-seat bickering and kids bored by national parks.  But the meals were planned and reservation were made, so we sat our kids down for a lecture on road-trip rules and decided to make the best of this adventure.

RoadTripWe’re not new to road trips– my family lives in New England and we drive 22 hours each way to get there every summer.  In the end, our national park road trip was a fabulous success– a low-budget fun-filled time for everyone and well worth the planning.  The best part– I got to spend more than 9 hours straight talking to my husband.  I’ve learned a few tricks to cut down on the back-seat bickering, keep kids healthy, and avoid a National Lampoon’s family vacation.

Here are my ten tricks for a successful family road trip: