Road-Tripping Dads: Three Tips on How to Plan a Road Trip with Kids, But Without Mom | My Family Travels
Fort Klamath Guard House, photo by Gary Halverson, Oregon State Archives

It’s not often that you find a dad (or mom for that matter) who is willing to embark on a road trip with the kids without his better half. Whether you’re a single dad or a husband just giving his wife a chance to stay home for some peace and quiet, road-tripping on your own is a brave act. From planning and packing to actually hitting the road without a hitch, dads traveling without moms have a lot on their plates.

No matter if it’s an overnight camping adventure or a long car ride to see out-of-town relatives, here are just a few road trip tips to help any dad make the next road trip hassle free. 

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

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 wife to enjoying your destination without “mom” around to help, road-tripping dads 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 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 insurance rates and other road-tripping needs.

This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.