Join AAA
Join AAA
linkedin image
KeeKee's Corner
Planning the Perfect Summer Family Road Trip

This guide has everything you need

Are you looking to plan a memorable family summer road trip this year? Road trips can be the perfect way to bond as a family, explore new destinations, and make lifelong memories.

With this helpful planning guide, you’ll have everything you need to hit the road with your crew in no time! Keep reading to learn how to plan your perfect summer road trip with your family.

The first step is picking a destination!

You can start by asking your family members for their input. Take a survey and get an idea of what destinations each person would like to visit and what things they’d like to do. That way, you can look for a destination that accommodates everyone’s interests.

Decide what type of experience you’re looking for – Is your family interested in beaches and watersports, city sights and culture, or mountain trails and national parks?

Also, think about how much time you have for the trip and your budget. These will help you narrow your destination list and pick the best one.

Once you’ve decided on your destination, you can plan the specifics.

Make your list of must-see places at your destination and the activities you want to do. Then be sure to make reservations for any of the popular ones.

For your kids, look for fun activities, like amusement parks or kid-friendly museums. Look into outdoor options as well; hiking, swimming, and even camping can be great ways to bond as a family.

Research information about nearby events, festivals, and attractions. This will help you decide if it’s worth planning a visit around something specific, like a music festival, annual carnival, or parade in the area.

When selecting your accommodations, consider where you’re traveling, what budget you have, how close to nature you want to be, and the level of luxury you are after. You can choose from motels, hotels, Airbnb, camper, or tent camping. You can also mix the type of accommodations for a varied experience. Read up on relevant reviews and research the amenities offered by potential locations before making your decision.

KeeKee Travel Like a Local

Before you pack up the car and hit the road with your family, make sure you plan the drive. This will help you know what to expect, what to see, and where to stop along the way.

Consider if it would be best to take your car or do you want to rent a vehicle so you have more room for your family to be comfortable, more space to store luggage, and don’t put mileage on your car. If you take your car, give it a full inspection to ensure it's road ready.

Check the distance and travel time – Determine how far you want to drive and how long you plan on spending at each location. It might be better to break up your trip into smaller sections with more stops rather than having one long journey to a single destination. This will allow you and your family to have different experiences along the way.

It’s a good idea to have your route and stops mapped out before you leave, from bathroom breaks to meals. TripTik Travel Planners can help make this easy. Get directions and maps, find gas stations, identify popular landmarks, fun pit stops, and any interesting to help plan your stops and things to do—all in one resource. You can even save TripTiks to make planning your journey quick and efficient. Plus, it’s mobile-friendly. Get started here.

Creating Packing Lists for your road trip is a great way to ensure you have everything you need.

Start with your “What You’ll Need on the Journey” list, including keeping everyone engaged, entertained, and taken care of.

  • Maps, driving directions and TripTiks
  • Phone chargers
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Screens
  • Road Trip Games, including KeeKee’s Fun Family Road Trip Games List
  • Books and Activity Books
  • Pillows, cushions, favorite blankets
  • Podcasts, audiobooks, and fun playlists
  • Garbage bags
  • Hand sanitizer (and any other sanitary supplies)
  • Sick kit with things like Dramamine and Tylenol
  • Car emergency kit with a flashlight, first-aid supplies, batteries, small toolkit, tire pressure gauge, and jumper cables.

Then create your “What You’ll Need at Your Destination” list.

  • Clothes based on the length of your trip and the types of activities you’ll be doing
  • Footwear – walking shoes, flip flops, sandals
  • Toiletries for everyone
  • Medications
  • Electronics
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Fun and games for your destination
  • Other supplies based on the type of trip – towels, beach towels, rafts, beach games, camping supplies, etc.

If you're making stops along the way, consider packing a smaller bag so you don't have to take out all the luggage for the interim stops.

KeeKee Planning a Family Road Trip

While some beautiful scenery is along our nation’s highways, spending hours in the car can cause boredom. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep the family entertained while driving, from iPad and video game consoles to books, activity books, and family car games.

While watching movies or playing games is a great way to keep kids entertained, we recommend a mix of all-family activities too. After all, your kids can watch movies and play games at home – this is meant to be quality family time.

Consider playing games like I Spy, the Alphabet Game, or telling stories. Pick up a deck of conversation prompt cards and take turns sharing ideas and thoughts. Check out KeeKee’s Fun Family Road Trip Games List.

You know your family best and what mix of personal time and family time to avoid “forced family fun.”

Family road trips can be stressful, but careful planning can ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible and everyone has a great time.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start planning your family’s summer road trip!

Adventure Awaits!

AAA has expert advice, tools, and resources for planning your next road trip with special Member benefits and savings. Check It Out

KeeKee Travel Like a Local