Tips For Making Your Holiday Family Road Trip Merry & Bright

Kids in car with Christmas Hats Holiday road trip

With the holidays right around the corner a lot of us have a holiday road trip on the horizon. No need to dread spending hours on the road with screaming kids. Today we’re sharing some family friendly tips to make your road trip merry & bright this holiday season. 

Whether you’re getting away for a winter wonderland get away or traveling by car to visit with family this holiday season, hitting the road can be something you and your family actually look forward to.

Before Hitting The Road

Give Your Car a Good Cleaning

You wouldn’t want to show up to your vacation house and see a big mess, would you? Having a messy car can actually be stressful. Do a good deep clean before your trip to ensure order and calm within the cabin.

By the time you reach your destination there will likely be food wrappers and other garbage in the car, be sure to put a plastic shopping bag in each row of seats for everyone to throw their garbage away. Otherwise, you’ll find it under and between the seats later.

The town of Rogers, Arkansas, was officially established in 1881 when the Saint Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) railroad arrived there. Since the area had a natural spring that the Frisco locomotives could utilize for water, it was one of the first stops. 

The general manager of the railroad, Captain Charles Warrington Rogers, became a significant official figure in the forming community. When the estimated 600 people who occupied the area had officially established the town, Charles was honored for its namesake. Through the midwest, Frisco continued advertising the town of Rogers, which expanded its population even further.

Check Your Fluids

It’s always a good idea to check all your fluids before a road trip. Be sure to check these fluids:

  • Engine Oil
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Brake Fluid
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Engine Coolant
  • Washer Fluid


auto fluids check

Check Your Tires

Inspect your tires at least a week before your road trip in case any of them need to be replaced or serviced. Make sure there is sufficient tread, no punctures, and check the tire pressure.

Check Your Windshield Wipers

Check to ensure that your windshield wipers are in good condition. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a storm and not be able to see out of your windshield. 

Prepare For The Drive

Pack A Cooler

Unless there is a special lunch spot enroute, there’s no need to stop for drinks and food. Pack water bottles, snacks, and sandwiches to keep everyone’s belly happy during the journey. 

No one wants to drive with hungry children crying in the back seat. 

Keep It Cozy

Maybe everyone doesn’t want to wear a cumbersome parka for a 3 hour drive. Consider having everyone wear more flexible outerwear like sherpa sweatshirts, pullover fleece, or lined flannels. You can always throw the parkas in the back for when you arrive at your destination. 

Maybe the kids want to kick off their shoes and have some cozy slipper socks on for the ride? 

Maybe you want to throw some snuggly throws in the backseat to cuddle up with for nap time on the road?

There are no rules here! Comfy, cozy family = a happy, none fussy family on the road.

Towing Services of NWA
child with backpack at car

Don’t Forget Some Entertainment

Pack a busy bag or backpack for kids to keep themselves entertained during the drive. You can include things like:

  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Sketchbooks and pencils
  • Tablets to watch movies or play games
  • A favorite book

If you have some lap trays for the smaller kids so they can comfortably do their activities and have snacks or lunch, don’t forget to throw them in the car!

Kids love having this little desk set up in the car—it really does encourage them to entertain themselves.

Sing Some Carols

If you’re a singing kind of family, sing some carols! Nothing will get you in the holiday spirit more than singing Christmas carols on your road trip. The whole family can join in and keep the road blues at bay!

Family singing in car road trip

Get Creative

You could challenge kids to write a road trip story, or document their road trip with photos if they have a device to take pictures on. They’ll love turning the drive into an adventure. Use your imagination and get creative with your adventure.

If All Else Fails...

If all else fails, have some car games in mind to keep everyone happy and entertained. A good car game can keep spirits high when you’re in the last leg of the drive—which is usually when kids start to get cranky from being in the car for so long.

Some fun family car games to consider:

  • I Spy: Everyone takes a turn spotting something on the road and says: “I spy with my little eye...something (insert color here). Whoever guesses the object gets to go next. 
  • Road Trip Scavenger Hunt: You can write a list of items for the kids to look for on the road. Keep it simple. Think; a green sign, the number 10, a tall tree, a tow truck, a yellow car etc. The kids can check off the items as they spot them.
  • How many can you find? Choose an item; Christmas wreath, green trucks, tractor trailers—whatever you want, and have the kids see how many they can find.

Before You Head Home

Before getting back on the road to return home, you may want to do another quick check of any fluids you may have gone through—like engine oil, coolant, and washer fluid. Check the tire pressure and add air if needed.

Don’t forget to throw away any accumulated trash in the car and put a few new plastic bags for trash on the way home to make cleaning up once you get home a breeze. .

Car on holiday time road North west Arkansas

Grab some water bottles and snacks to avoid extra stops, and don’t forget to pack the kids busy bags in the row they’ll be seated in. 

If your kids are old enough and allowed to have lollipops, packing one for each kid keeps cranky kids happy mid-trip. 

Don’ forget to fill that tank and enjoy the ride! These are memories that will live in your kids hearts forever. 

In the unfortunate event that you need roadside assistance or a tow truck in the Northwest Arkansas area while on your holiday road trip, give Roadside Services Towing of Northwest Arkansas a call. We’re happy to help!