Family Travel Tips · Fulltime RV Travel · Parenting

7 Tips for Planning Day Trips with Kids

This post does contain affiliate links for products which we use.

Since we are traveling full-time for a year, there are a few things that we have to consider and prepare for as we venture off to different cities for the day.

Often times, we will keep our RV parked in a central location like a campground and we will go off and explore cities close by. This means we are often gone for the whole day because it may mean taking a 1-3 hour drive just to get there.

For this reason, here are the things we do almost every time to travel with kids for the whole day.

picture of family
A big day out to Morton, WA to watch their annual Logging Jubilee
  1. We pack backpacks (maybe 1-3) filled with what we need. Here is what is inside:
  • We found some great hiking backpacks that hold water bags so that we are not stopping for water at gas stations or lugging around a big water bottle that gets left behind.
  • We put some dry snacks or fruit. Each child could add what they would like to have.
  • We would throw in a jacket and maybe even a rolled up towel and change of clothes and a bathing suit
  • A pair of binoculars
  • Sometimes we include our walkie-talkies since our kids do not have their own cell phones (plus, you can’t always rely on good reception everywhere).
  • Extra water bottles

By the way, we’re really enjoying these backpacks we purchased recently. This link below is to a similar kind by the same brand.  You can also find them at Walmart.

image of backpak

This is a similar kind with a water reservoir. Same brand! Here is the Amazon link!


2. We lay out our clothes and fill our backpacks the night before so we don’t have to struggle with extra stuff in the morning. In fact, we sometimes even allow our children to sleep in the next day’s clothes if we’re waking up REALLY early.

3. We try and plan our seating arrangement so there is no argument in the morning. My mother-in-law, who has traveled to all 50 states with our granddaughter, even has the grandkids sit in their seats the night before to “act it out”.

4. We fill a cooler with ice packs in the morning and add cold food and lunch to it so we’re not eating out all day. Traveling can be fun, but it can also get expensive, especially eating out with a family of 5. For that reason, we opt to try and make our own lunches sometimes. I usually try and wake up 30 minutes early to help get this going since the kids are too groggy to be of much use!

5. We make sure all technology like their Kindle, iPad, our phones are charged through the night. Long drives can get boring. Although we don’t allow our kids to use technology the entire drive, we do allow them to use it for about half of the time. Trying to juggle dying electronics, sharing chargers, etc can get annoying, so we make sure they are all charging overnight.

6. I go over the trip with my husband and figure out our route and put it in Google Maps. We even use a cool app called Toll Guru to help us compare toll vs non-toll routes so we’re not wasting $10 to get there 5 minutes sooner! Plus, it helps avoid traveling mistakes, like the time I almost sent us to Seaview, WA instead of Seaside, OR!

7. After looking at sites like TripAdvisor or reading the visitor website of the city we’re headed, we check to see if there are any coupons or discounts we can use by searching Google. Then we weigh our options. Sometimes, the least expensive thing can be the most fun thing. More money does not always mean more fun!


I hope this post helps you have a fun and stress-free day with your family!







One thought on “7 Tips for Planning Day Trips with Kids

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