How do you road trip as as single parent?
Have you ever been on a road trip as a single parent? Or even if you’re not single, have you ever been on a road trip as the only adult on the trip? It can be fun, but also very stressful.
My kids and I were so excited to visit my friend whom had just moved to Washington. Being a single mom, I don’t have
much any extra money and we decided to make it a road trip.
We were driving from Utah and so it would be a long drive. I would be the only one driving and I didn’t want to end up too exhausted and driving drowsy.
We’ve done smaller road trips and even though I know I can figure it all out, I still get nervous being the only adult and trying to figure it all out myself. (You can read all about our Washington road trip here.)
Tips for being on a road trip as a single parent:
- Budget: figure out what you can afford. Vacations are fun and a great way to make memories as a family, but single parents have enough stress as it is. We don’t need more stress by adding debt.
- Be Prepared: Take your car in, have it checked out, and make sure it’s in good condition. Breaking down while on a road trip is not something you want to deal with anytime, but it’s especially stressful when you’re alone with children. Or if you can afford it, you may want to rent a car so that you don’t have to worry about driving your own.
- Plan for emergencies: which includes anyone getting sick. Make sure you have any medications that your children regularly use and also a first aid kit for unexpected emergencies. It’s also a good idea to have a printed copy of any contact information you may want to bring (doctors, dentists and friends you may need to contact).
- Be Safe: You will be alone with your kids somewhere you’re not familiar with. Always keep in contact with a good friend or family member so that someone knows exactly where you are at all times. Also, be aware of your surroundings and don’t give out unnecessary information to people you don’t know well.
- Plan ahead: I used the Roadtrippers app to help plan our stops during our trip. It made it easy to plan restaurants, hotels, and activities that were right on the way. It was a great resource, but it would have been nice if the actual app had a GPS to follow our trip while we were driving.
- Organize: Make sure that documents you may need are printed out and that everything is organized so that you can find it when you need it.
- Pack ahead of time: Usually you will be able to stop for anything you forget, but it will probably save you money if you just remember to bring everything you need from home. It always helps me to write everything down and check my list (several times) before we go. Download my FREE road trip packing list.
- Snacks: Keep as many healthy and age appropriate snacks in the car, but also include a few of your kids favorites. We also like to keep a small cooler in the back seat. My youngest child is usually in charge of the cooler and she hands us drinks or snacks we need.
- Entertainment: Bring along fun games and activities that can entertain the kids during the trip. One of our favorites is looking for license plates and finding as many as we can from other states.
- Breaks: Keep the kids (as) happy (as possible). I try to make the road trip as much of a positive experience as I can. We take bathroom breaks when we need them and stop when we need to walk around and stretch.
One of my favorite sites to book vacations through is Get Away Today. They can help you plan and budget by helping you find the perfect hotel for your budget. Or go through them for discount tickets to where you’re traveling.
Road trips can be exhausting! Going on a road trip as a single parent can be extremely exhausting! I want my kids to look back on our road trip and remember the great time we had.
Road trips can be a perfect time to create fun memories. Sometimes the best memories come from the most imperfect moments. Remember to relax.
Don’t focus so much on your destination that you forget to enjoy your journey. Have fun and find fun things to explore on the way instead of rushing to the end.