Tips for Taking a Road Trip with Kids as a Single Mom

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This post is sponsored by Moon Travel Guides.

Taking a road trip is a great way to travel with kids as a single Mom.

In four years of road tripping with my children, I’ve learned that single mom family vacations are a whole different ball game than traveling with two adults and children. Today I’m sharing my best tips for taking a road trip with kids.

Plan Ahead

Careful planning is the best way to keep travel as a single mom as stress free as possible.

While the ability to be spontaneous while on a road trip is a big positive of this type of vacation, there are some things a single mom traveling with kids shouldn’t leave to chance.

Before leaving on a road trip, plan all your driving routes and reserve each night’s lodging. Remember that each pit stop for a restroom break takes longer as a single mom- you’ll have to park the car and everyone will need to go inside together, so be sure to account for extra travel time!

The hardest part of single mom road trips, for me, is being the only adult in the car. With no extra adult available to use a smartphone while the other adult drives. This means that there is no easy way to suddenly change plans mid-drive, or to look for a good hotel when you get ready to stop for the night.

My favorite resource for planning the details of a road trip is using a great guide book, such as Moon Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip. Inside there are several suggestions of road trips already planned out for me. Since the guide book divides the large area into smaller ones and then describes the best of the area sights, entertainment, museums, shopping, and more it is easier to make decisions for each section of our trip. Plus, the detailed maps of the individual areas help me visualize both the driving route and the locations of attractions and activities for each stretch of our drive.

While planning for a road trip vacation can feel daunting, the best thing is that by the time vacation begins everything is planned and you’ll have nothing to decide or worry about during the vacation.

Keep it simple

Simplicity is always a good idea when traveling with kids. Don’t wear them, or yourself out! Only plan one activity for each day, leaving some room for spontaneous activities or extra rest.

Give the kids a say

Involving children in the planning and choices during vacation makes for happy children. I often give either or choices such as “this afternoon would you rather swim in the hotel pool or go take a hike?”

Pack smart

While a road trip gives the ability to take along everything you’ll need, smart packing will make your trip easier.

When staying overnight in several different locations while on a road trip, unpacking and repacking the entire car single handedly over and over again is exhausting.

Usually when packing for vacation you pack per person, but on a road trip it’s better to pack for each different overnight location. Pack everyone’s clothing for each stop in a single suitcase.

Also pack one bag with all the everyday necessities such as hair brushes, toiletries, a noise machine, etc.

Carrying in only one bag of clothing and a bag of necessities makes a huge difference in unloading and reloading the trunk at each stop!

Think about yourself

It’s easy to make vacation all about the children, especially when you are the only adult.

Remember to fit in some things just for yourself while planning your family road trip. Whether its choosing a hotel with a great bathtub or  picking a museum you’d prefer, you’ll feel better about the sacrifices it takes to vacation with children if you’ve also enjoyed some special things!

Ready to take a road trip with kids as a single mom? Grab your Moon Road Trip Guide and start planning!


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