If you are planning a cross-country road trip covering so many states- it can be hard for kids to have a picture in their heads of exactly where you're going, how far it is, and what the journey looks like on a map. So to help create that picture, I borrowed an idea that I had seen on an airplane trip, where the TV screen showed exactly where the plane was on the map. Here's how you can avoid the calls of “Are We There Yet?” on your family road trips!
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I purchased a laminated wall map of the United States, and I sketched out our route so the kids can follow along, and I tacked it to the soft ceiling of our car using thumbtacks. I also laminated a little “Mommy bus” that I can move along our route according to where we are on our family road trip! (I purchased our own home laminating machine a long time ago- and use it often for fun projects like these!)
At the top of our map, I outlined for the kids where we're headed for the current day, how many miles we will drive, and how many hours it will take to arrive at our destination.I also let them know approximately what time we should arrive. Hopefully, that will minimize the constant questions of “How much longer?” and “Are we there yet?”
Another handy-dandy item that I've tacked onto a wall of the car is a “check-in checklist” for the kids to use when we arrive at a hotel.
I want us to be able to clean up and organize the car so that it's ready for the next day's adventures. I also to assign each child a role as to what they're going to help me carry into the hotel- the clothing, the PJs, the swim bag, the toiletries bag, etc.
The checklist also reminds the kids that they need to be quiet when we walk into a hotel- we are a large group, and we can make a lot of noise!
Want to See Family Road Trip Organization in Action?
I created this YouTube video that shares exactly how I plan and organize our family road trips…. check it out:
Packing for a road trip?
You might want to check out these other posts that offer tips and advice on planning and packing for road trips:
- How to Plan a Great American Road Trip
- Packing for a Road Trip: How to Pack the Inside of Your Car
- The Best Car Coolers for a Family Road Trip
- 8 Must-Have Road Trip Essentials!
- Are We There Yet? Tracking the Family Road Trip
And if you are looking for some cool family road trip destinations:
- 5 Amazing National Parks for Your Summer Bucket List
- Things to Do in Williamsburg with Kids!
- Things to Do in New Smyrna Beach Florida with Kids!
- 5 Reasons to Visit Mammoth Caves with Kids
- 5 Awesome Spring Break Ideas for Families