Road-Tripping: Three Rules for Planning a Single Parent Road Trip - My Family Travels

It’s not often that you find a dad (or mom for that matter) who is willing to embark on a single parent road trip with the kids without his or her better half. Whether you’re a single dad or mom or a spouse just giving a partner a chance to stay home for some peace and quiet, road-tripping on your own is a brave act.

In my experience, from planning and packing to actually hitting the road without a hitch, dads traveling without moms have a lot on their plates.

Here are just a few road trip tips to help any single parent make the next road trip hassle free. 

Single mom driving a car
Single parents face special challenges (and great rewards) on road trips with their kids. Photo by Peter Fazekas for pexels.

Road Trip Tip 1:  Getting Gas

Consider using the full service option when getting gas. Self-serve may work most of the time, but if you’ve ever swiped your credit card at the pump and saw the notification that said, “Please see attendant,” you know that self-service may not be worth the hassle of hauling all the kids out of the car and into the gas station with you. (Never leave your kids unattended in the car, even to run into the gas station just for a moment.)

When you use full serve, attendants will help you pump and pay without ever leaving your vehicle full of valuable travel items, including your most valuable cargo — your kids. 

Road Trip Tip 2: Planning Rest Stops

There’s nothing worse than a kid who has to go potty when there’s no rest stop in sight. Depending on the ages of your children, think about packing a mini training potty in the trunk for these last-minute occasions. This item can be a time-saver, especially for newly potty-trained toddlers who don’t have the ability to “hold it” for long.

By planning your rest stops before you leave, you’ll also be able to set expectations with your kids, letting them count down to the next place to eat, play and use the bathroom before buckling back up for the next leg of the journey.

Use these rest times as a chance to let them burn off pent-up energy. Encourage them run around on the grass, play a game in the food court or simply stretch their legs.

Road Trip Tip 3: Tallying Tolls

Volkswagen bus parked on unpaved trail near lake.
Getting out on the road to explore the unknown is a favorite family adventure. Photo by Alfonso Escalante for pexels.

Gather the spare change and dollar bills you’ll need for tolls before you ever leave the driveway. That way, you won’t have to dig around in your glove compartment (or between the car seat cushions) when you near a toll booth. This eliminates distraction and unnecessary hassle during your next road trip.

And better yet, consider investing in some kind of easy-pass device that lets you prepay online for the tolls you will encounter and then, when you arrive at one, you simply breeze on through without stopping. This device will save you valuable time when traveling with little ones and gives you more time to enjoy your destination when you arrive.

From waving goodbye to your partner to enjoying your destination without “mom” around to help, road-tripping singles are more than able to plan a road trip with their kids and have it go off without a hitch.

To help make your road trip even more successful, be sure to find the travel insurance policy you need to keep you and your kids safe and protected should medical situations arise on the road. Check with your credit card and get quotes online to be sure you’re getting the best value for roadside assistance, rental car rates and other road-tripping needs.

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