Road Rules: 13 Tips for Families

Breakfast in a restaurant with young kids is often a waste of time and money, so if your hotel doesn't offer free breakfast, stop at a grocery store the night before and eat in your room. Saff recommends instant oatmeal packets and fruit. She also notes that lunch in restaurants didn't work out so well. "If you've been sitting in a car all day, you don't want to get out of the car just to sit some more in a restaurant. We'd stop just before lunchtime—maybe run around in a park or playground—then get back in the car and eat while we were driving again."

13. Pack lots of snacks.

Fruit is great. When my family drove through California last summer, we stopped at roadside produce stands and let the kids pick out whatever they wanted. Also, squeezable applesauce packets were a big hit. Finally, virtually all the parents I spoke with advised dividing up snacks into small portions in zip-top bags or plastic containers… so no one can dump out a family-size box of Cheerios in your minivan.

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