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Tips for Family Road Trips with Kids

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If you’re able to take a road trip with the family this summer, take a minute to do some extra planning to make life as smooth as possible for you and your children

Summer road trips are a tradition for many families. Right now, it may not be possible to make plans for that big trip. But for those who are able to, a road trip can be a great vacation option for the whole family.

Of course, we all know that travelling with children on board requires a little more planning for the little ones’ needs; the last thing you want is to hear “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. So, if you’re feeling the call of the open road this summer, pack emergency essentials in your vehicle and then follow these tips to make your next journey easier on you and the kids.

Leave with plenty of extra time
It’s virtually impossible to take a road trip without some sort of delay popping up, like unexpected construction or bad weather. By leaving plenty of time for your journey, you won’t be stressed about rushing to reach your destination. So when the kids spot something interesting out of the car window or you need to take a breather, you’ll know you have time to stop.
Download the OnStar Guardian app
You’re used to the added peace of mind of having OnStar*1 in your personal vehicle. But if you’re renting a vehicle for your road trip, with a subscription to the OnStar Guardian™ app,*58 you can still bring key OnStar safety services with you. Simply download and install the Guardian app, which provides access to features like Mobile Crash Response and Roadside Assistance*61 right from your smartphone. Better yet — you can still use those features if you’re away from your vehicle, such as when you stop off for a hike or a picnic. Learn more about how to get the Guardian app and how it can help you.
Take regular breaks
One of the easiest ways to fight boredom is by pulling over for breaks. Maybe it’s to see a quirky roadside attraction or an educational stop like a well-known landmark. Or perhaps you need to quickly find a rest stop for the kids. Either way, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation*16 can help guide you to a destination from our database of more than 1 million points of interest.
Bring car-friendly snacks
“Hanger” — a blend of hunger and anger — is real, and it affects children just as much as adults. Fend it off by packing snacks that won’t make too much of a mess in the car. Think about things like trail mix, pre-cut fruits and veggies, juice boxes and granola bars. Avoid messier items like yogurt, chips and cookies.
Bring games and activities
Make sure your kids have something to read, colouring books, word puzzles or similar activities to keep them occupied. Or play an audiobook that the whole family can listen to together. Depending on your kids’ ages, you might also let them watch videos or play games on a tablet or laptop. In fact, properly equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles have an available built-in Wi-Fi® Hotspot*25 so you and the family can stream on the go — you can connect up to seven compatible devices at once! Learn more about getting the most from your hotspot.
Remember the classics
Tablets and phones are great, but don’t forget traditional road trip games like I Spy, 20 Questions and the classic licence plate game. They keep everyone involved and provide a break from screen time.

Employ them as navigators

Learning doesn’t have to stop because you’re on the road. Have the kids follow your trip route on a map to identify landmarks and see if they can figure out how much distance is left. In other words, have them answer “Are we there yet?”

Have lunch in the park

If you’re planning a lunch stop along the way, find a park or playground and take a picnic. For starters, you’ll save money and guarantee everyone has a healthy, nutritious lunch. But more important, running around outside might tire out the kids enough that they’ll fall asleep in the car, giving you some peace and quiet for a few miles.

Teach your kids how to use OnStar

Most likely, if you need assistance from OnStar, you can take care of pushing the blue OnStar button or red Emergency button.*12 But it’s a good idea to make sure your kids understand how OnStar Advisors can help them in certain situations. Before setting out on a long journey, take some time to teach your kids how OnStar works.