08 Apr
Pros of Taking a Road Trip with Kids
Cons of Taking a Road Trip with Kids
Teaches children that it is possible for them to sit for a long timeI-spy gets old
Great time to get to know one anotherSo many questions
So many memories are created Your car will quickly become messy
Great time to listen to books on tapeNap schedules get messed up
Fun stops along the wayBathroom breaks are never ending
New places to eat Gas for a larger vehicle is a lot of money

Taking our kids on a trip in the car for more than 10 minutes is enough to give me an anxiety attack. Growing up, I loved going on road trips with my family. We would sing songs, tell crazy stories, and eat licorice.

After my husband and I moved six hours from our families. The thought of visiting is daunting. What are the pros and cons of doing a road trip with small children?


Pros and Cons of Taking a Road Trip with Kids

  1. Road trips teach small kids that they can sit still for a long time. There are a lot of moments in life where children and adults have to sit for hours on end. It is good to show kids that they can do it as well.
  2. It is a great time to get to know one another. There are so many things to see and questions to ask. One of my favorite things to do is look up questions to ask small children. We can learn a lot about them with things we never thought to ask. For example: if you could be a type of candy, what type would you be? Or tell me a time that made you sad.
  3. So many memories are created in the car. From favorite snacks to landscapes we have never seen. Even our four years old brings up memories of our road trips.
  4. Listening to books on tape as a family is priceless. My mom read us stories as we drove around as a family growing up. I do not know how she did not get carsick, but I do know the books on tape are the way to go. One of my favorite memories is listening to the Percy Jackson series with my husband.
  5. Even gas stations and rest stops create fun memories. My grandparents once took us on a road trip so my parents could get away. I remember stopping at a rest stop like no other I had seen. I often think about how much fun I had running up and down the hill by the restroom to stretch my legs. Now that I have gotten older, I always look forward to the clean gas stations to get a snack and use the bathroom.
  6. Unless you pack food for the trip, you get to try new places to eat. Even if it is Subway or Wendy’s, it is a new location with new things to see. It says a lot about a town as you watch the employees working and interacting. On top of that who does not love eating a warm meal after a long drive?

Cons of Taking a Road Trip with Kids

  1. I-spy gets old! With a four-year-old and two-year-old, I-spy is a never-ending game. Sometimes silence is golden. With I-spy, there is no silence, and it is not golden!
  2. Are we there yet? This question will be asked at least 400 times an hour. My husband and I always hope the kids fall asleep to have a small break from the constant questioning.
  3. After the first hour, the once clean car is now a disaster. From candy wrappers to spilled drinks, it feels overwhelming to look back in the backseat and see a disaster. Maybe it is just me, but when I am in the car, I like to feel comfortable and not cluttered. Which does not happen with kids.
  4. The way back from a road trip is ten times worse than on the way there. You are grumpy, the kids are crying, and the time goes by slowly!
  5. Bathroom breaks are never-ending. As an adult, I might need one bathroom break every six hours. With a child, it is every two at least. This can be a problem if you are in the middle of nowhere and do not have a city or rest stop for another 30 to 45 minutes. Do not judge those parents on the side of the road who have a little one using the restroom. It happens to the best of us.
  6. Naps get messed up. There is nothing worse than messing up your child's sleep. After having a weird nap schedule and finally reaching a destination, good luck having your child sleep through the night. Maybe it is just our kids, but they have tons of energy. This does not help when they are in the car. The night after a road trip is like a circus!
  7. Do you dread car problems? Dread them that much more with kids! It is already stretching them to be in a car for a long time. Then having a tire go flat. You might as well start walking. Haha!
  8. Gas costs a lot of money. Road tripping with kids means a larger vehicle that needs more gas, and more money, and this means you need a better job. The list goes on and on.
  9. Do you have a baby who is still on a bottle or nursing? Your trip just became twice as long. With our six-week-old, there is no way we make a six-hour trip with her. Not only are you stopping for bathroom breaks for other kids, but you have to stop to feed the baby every two hours. The road trip may take forever.
  10. Lack of sleep is dangerous for a parent who rarely gets sleep. Driving for more than 20 minutes makes me feel like I will fall asleep. Taking a long road trip as a mom or dad can be dangerous for all the family because of your lack of sleep.

After writing this article I decided to make a road trip survive guide to help parents make a long trip without electronics. Click the link below to view the ebook!


"Our goal is to help the world make decisions with a list of Pros and Cons. We invite all to add to our lists to help others make the most educated decision possible. We are all in this world together to help each other and learn from what others have learned from their lives journey."

- Pros and Cons Team

Written By: Sarah

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