When it comes to family holidays, there’s a lot to like about the classic road trip. You’ll be able to pack plenty of variety into your itinerary, choosing your next destination and keeping on the move, so that things don’t get stale.

Getting the most from a road trip usually means putting together a loose plan ahead of time. That way, you’ll get the best possible blend between smoothness and spontaneity.

But exactly what should a plan of this kind look like?


Step one is to put together a budget. How much would you like to spend? What areas of spending are important to you? These questions will help you to avoid going beyond your means and causing stress for yourself in the long term. Bear them in mind when forming your budget.

Decide your destination

Part of the beauty of a road trip is that you’ll be visiting lots of different places in a relatively short timeframe. Still, you’ll need at least a rough idea of what part of the country you’d like to visit. Pick out several attractions in the area, and try to plot a line on the map, such that you can visit them all.

Make sure that the car is up to the job

When you’re on a road trip, you’ll be heavily reliant on your car. Any sudden mechanical failure can bring your holiday to a screeching halt, causing stress and wasting valuable holiday time. A little bit of preventative maintenance, in the form of a service, might be a good idea. At the very least, you should be inflating your tyres, filling your fuel tank, and making sure that your car insurance is up to date.

Pack plenty of snacks and drinks

Part of the joy of a road trip is the snacks and drinks you’ll be enjoying along the way. These will help to stave off hunger during long stretches of driving and keep everyone’s temper under control. Nuts tend to be more filling than crisps and sweets.

Plan some activities for the children

Bored children will tend to make life in a cramped vehicle unbearable. Make sure that you have some means of entertaining them – whether that’s a tablet computer, a colouring book, or a simple game.

Make a playlist

The right music can make your drive much more pleasant. Pick out music that everyone will appreciate. Chances are that you can still remember the music your parents played on family holidays. These things stick in the memory, so make sure that you pick out some quality tunes.

Have plenty of service stops

Making a stop will give everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Plan them in advance. You’ll be at your most alert and effective as a driver if you take breaks every few hours, too.