Tips for a Relaxing Road Trip

AAA Mid States

The great American road trip is still one of the best ways for families to relax and reconnect with one another. This is quickly shaping up to be another busy year for family travelers, both on the roadways, as well as other popular travel destinations and attractions. To make the most of their vacations, experts recommend that families plan and research as far ahead as possible to avoid missing out on popular activities and fun.

Be prepared – For passengers, pack books, games, or music for the ride, and a pillow. Bring information on your destination to keep kids and other passengers entertained. Pack healthy snacks for kids, especially if you can’t stop for a full meal while traveling.

Safety first – Drivers should plan frequent stops, about every 100 miles or two hours, to remain alert. Make sure everyone is restrained by seat belts or a child safety seat to prevent injury in case of a sudden stop, swerve, or crash.

Pack your patience – Be prepared for busy roads and long airport security lines throughout the summer. If hitting the road during a holiday weekend, consider leaving earlier or later than the typical holiday travel times to avoid heavy traffic. The same goes for air travel and be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before scheduled take-off.

Be road-trip ready – Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. In case of an emergency, always carry a flashlight, extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, and extra water.

Do your research – To make the most of your trip, map out your route in advance. GPS and smartphone navigation apps are great for getting you from point A to B, but it’s recommended to always have a paper map and printed directions as a backup. The bladder of a child waits for no man, so keep in mind rest stops, gas stations, fast-food restaurants, or lodging while planning your route. For extra guidance, seek the advice of a knowledgeable travel agent.


7 Great Road Trip Games

During road trips, both a driver's alertness and their passengers' patience can eventually drift. Playing games alleviates boredom and can help keep the driver's brain in gear too. Most car games can be adapted to suit the age range of passengers, and some can even be played by drivers embarking on solo trips.

I Spy

A classic car game for kids and adults alike.

Age Range: 4+

Rules: Someone chooses an object in the car or in the distance and says..."I spy with my little eye something beginning with [insert the first letter of the word]. Players take turns to guess what's been spied and the winner gets to choose the next object.

Yellow Car

An easy-to-play game that can help keep the driver alert.

Age Range: 3+

Rules: Race to be the first person to spot any yellow cars on the road. Shout "Yellow car!". No points are collected. You are a winner or a loser for each 'spotting'. It must be a car (not a van/other). It must be agreed it is yellow (not metallic yellow ie. a variation of gold, or line, or orange).

License Plate Letters

An easy-to-play game that can help keep the driver alert.

Age Range: 7+

Rules: Try to make a word out of the last three letters of the license plate of each car you follow, keeping the letters in order. For example, SND could make "send" or "sound".

If you want to get competitive, the longest word wins!

Who Am I?

A question and answer game that gets everyone racking their brains.

Age Range: 7+

Rules: Each player is secretly assigned to a famous figure and must guess who they are, using only yes/no questions.

If you get a "Yes", you get to ask another - a "no" gives the next person a turn to ask about who they are, until the winner guesses correctly.

Counting Sheep

A counting game that might help kids nod off.

Age Range: 4+

Rules: Passengers compete to be the first to claim any sheep they spot on the journey.

Keep count and the person with the most by the end of the journey wins.

Make this game tougher by canceling out any sheep collected if you pass a traffic cone on your side of the car.


An observation game that can be played by groups or solo drivers.

Age Range: 5+

Rules: Each player races to be the first to spot something from A through to Z outside, going in alphabetical order. Each object can only be claimed once, so players have to be quick to shout out when they spot something new! 

Find It First

An observation game that can help keep kids quiet.

Age Range: 5+

Rules: Someone picks an object they might expect to see on the journey and everyone competes to be the first to find it.

It could be a model of a car, an animal, or a type of building. The person who spots it first gets a point and gets to pick the next object.

To help inspire would-be road trippers, AAA has curated more than 450 pre-planned road trips. Start your journey at Need help planning your epic summer road trip? Contact your local AAA Travel agent at 1-800-222-1469 or stop by your local AAA office.