How to Get Through Your Family Car Trip Without Tantrums or Arguments

Taking on a big family trip in the car can be fun, but it can also be a disaster. We’ve all been there when you’ve got kids arguing in the back, kicking your seat from behind and generally making the trip a living hell. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right planning and some careful forward-thinking, you’ll be able to keep your kids happy for the duration of the trip and make your life easier.

It’s so easy to get this right, so don’t assume that every long trip with your kids has to be a chore. Even if that has always been the case for you and your family in the past, it doesn’t have to carry on that way any longer. Now it’s time to look at some of the ways in which you can avoid those terrible backseat tantrums and arguments, so read on.

Make Sure You Know the Route

The last thing you want to do during a family car trip is get lost. If you allow yourself to do that, your kids will only get more frustrated because they’ll be in the car for longer than necessary. To avoid all of that, just make sure you know the route your taking before you even get in the car. If you have a sat nav, allow it to tell you the way. Otherwise, take a road map and have a clear route worked out well ahead of time. It’s something you certainly won’t regret.

Let Them Know the Plan and the Schedule

It’s also a good idea to share the plan and the overall schedule with your kids before the journey gets going. That way, they won’t be given any surprises regarding what’s going to happen during the journey. They’ll know what time you’ll all be setting off, as well as the time that they’ll be stopping for breaks and eventually getting to their destination. If you try to spring surprises on them, that will never go down well, so don’t even try it.

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Stop as Regularly as Possible

Stopping is a good idea because it breaks down the journey into segments that are a little easier for your family to handle. You don’t want to the trip to become too overwhelming, especially not for your kids. Once that happens, they’ll get frustrated and that’s when the complaining and the negativity really begins. It’s worth planning out in advance whereabouts you’re going to stop along the way too, so give this some thought as soon as possible.

Take Turns at Deciding What Plays on the Radio

One reason for arguments in the car is what’s being played on the radio. If your kids are being forced to listen to music they hate for hours on end, they’re probably not going to be all that happy about it. That’s just the way it is. So why not make a point of allowing everyone to have a say on what gets played over the radio? That way, each person can take it in turns deciding what you listen to, and no one will feel like they’re being left out.

Give Them Something to Play

If your kids have a smartphone or a handheld gaming system that they can take with them in the care, let them do so. Just make sure that the battery is fully charged before you hit the road because a dead battery halfway to your destination will only result in tantrums. They can join FF15 mobile strategy game or play a racing game while you focus on getting to your destination safely. If it keeps them occupied and quiet for the trip, it has to be a good thing for you.

Take Extra Pillows and Cushions

Comfort is obviously another major factor that you’ll need to think about when you’re going on a huge trip like this. You want your kids to be as comfortable as possible because if they’re not, they’ll probably take it out on you. So be sure to pack a few extra cushions and pillows for the trip. It’s one of those things that parents so often forget about or ignore completely, but it really can make a journey more bearable for your whole family.

Ensure You Have Enough Drinks and Snacks

Another thing you’ll need to have with you is snacks. If you don’t have enough drinks and snacks to last your kids throughout the entire journey, they’ll only start asking for more and you’ll have to add extra unscheduled stops to your plan. It’s easier for everyone if you just stock up on all this stuff ahead of your journey’s beginning. It’s easy to do, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it either.

Don’t Take the Scenic Route

It might be tempting to take the scenic route, but the scenic route is usually always the long route too. If you don’t want to annoy your kids with more time stuck in the car, you should take the shortest possible route to your destination. It’s best for everyone, and you can then enjoy whatever’s waiting for you at the destination rather than wasting time in the car.

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Place a Barrier Between Warring Siblings

If you think there is a major chance of arguments breaking out between your children on the back seats, you should find a way to separate them a little more. Adding some luggage on the middle seat in between them might stop them from reaching across and invading each other’s space quite so much. It’s a simple car trip trick, but it’s one that so often works.

Getting through those long car trips is always daunting, but if you prepare for it right with the help of the tips mentioned here, it needn’t be the nightmare you fear. It’s more than possible for you to get through all this without experiencing the tantrums, the arguments and the headaches that so often accompany car trips.


  1. Biplab Poddar says

    Thanks for sharing this. Your tips are very helpful. I am a travel freak and travel a lot. Next year Alaska is on my card.Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness., and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Next year I definitely want to explore Albany.
    People often have a theme that they base their worldly travels on, but how about a mental mantra for your travel? Out of a cheerleading event that consisted of our family shouting supportive words at our daughter who was attempting to kill a rather monstrous spider that the rest of us were too chicken to get close to, came this great quote, “If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!”

    This quote came back to haunt me when on vacation in Seattle. I thought it would be a great idea to take the kids on the Seattle Great Wheel, the ferris wheel overlooking the ocean, but as we approached it, I realized how high it went and immediately panicked! Just as I had decided to put the kids on it on their own, my daughter says, “Come on dad…If you don’t think, and you just do….then it’s done!” What could I do at that point?! She was telling me to stop thinking and creating more fear about the situation and just get on the thing!
    “If you don’t think, and you just do, then it’s done!” We all now keep this quote in our back pocket, ready to whip out at any time to push one of us forward into an adventure we know they won’t regret. No hesitations, don’t allow any time for fear to set in, and be prepared for your kids to turn your life advice back on you

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