Road trips to take before kids go back to school

Vicky SosaJune 23, 2023

Road trips to take before kids go back to school

Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? This summer, before the kiddos head back to school, travel together on an epic RV road trip. It will create lasting memories, form strong bonds, and can even be educational.

We’ve gone ahead and listed some top destinations for you to consider for your road trip, as well as the benefits of family travel and some kid-friendly activities for the road. So, let’s get started!

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Benefits of RV trips for kiddos & families

woman in green backpack walking on forest during daytime

When you go on a road trip with your family, there are a lot of benefits. When you set up camp together, when you go hiking through the woods and spot a deer, or when you cook your meals together over a fire together – all of these experiences are great bonding moments. These are memories that your children will always remember.

Other benefits of children spending time outdoors include better physical and mental health, better physical and cognitive skills, and a greater appreciation for the environment. Taking a family road trip will also be very educational, without the kiddos even realizing it. While outdoors, your family will learn geography, history, geology, biology, and so much more, in natural and unforced ways. Some people even prefer this way of teaching their kids, like the Hathaways. They decided to homeschool while RVing full-time.

The benefits aren’t just for your younger kids either. If your child will be heading off to college soon, why not go on a college tour road trip? Let them drive a bit, see some sights together, and get to know them as the young adults they are becoming.

Kid-friendly activities you can do on the road

Uno playing cards

The journey can be just as fun as the destination if you plan and prepare beforehand. Start by having your kids help in the decision-making by letting them pick items and games that they enjoy. Then make sure they understand the itinerary; everything from snack time to bathroom breaks. And, of course, you always want to make sure the kiddos are safe and that they know when and where to sit with their seatbelts on.

Once you’re on the road, you can get into the RV-friendly activities for kids:

  • Games – You can have classics like UNO or get themed games like Junior Ranger national park board games.
  • Bullet Journaling – Also known as BuJo, this is a creative way to incorporate both writing and drawing. This helps to keep track of everything from mood and physical activity to trip planning or bucket lists.
  • Activity Books – These can range from coloring books to sudoku.
  • Audiobooks – You can download a book for the whole family to listen to together or you can choose a different book for each child.
  • Newsela – Using stories from mainstream news organizations, Newsela presents topics relating to history, science, civics, current events, art, culture, sports, and much more to kids, appropriately.

Top destinations to visit with your kids before they go back to school

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall Visitors Center, Philadelphia, PA

One of the best cities to visit before your kids go back to school is Philadelphia. It’s a historic city full of national landmarks like Independence Hall. Kids will also enjoy the Please Touch Museum with its many interactive exhibits. There are also more than 15 state parks within easy driving distance. Another bonus of visiting Philadelphia is that it’s one of the most affordable destinations to visit this summer.

5-star Philadelphia RV rental: 2021 Mercedes Winnebago Navion 24D

2. Phoenix, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Phoenix has a lot to offer and families will love the many state parks in the area. But Phoenix also makes a great base for heading off up north to the iconic Grand Canyon National Park. It’s one of the best RV routes across America, with many fun stops along the way. While at the Grand Canyon your family can go rafting or hiking, or you can visit the many scenic overlooks.

5-star Phoenix RV rental: 2021 Dutchmen Coleman Light

3. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Lookout Mountain, TN, USA

Another great destination to visit with your family is Chattanooga. The downtown area offers educational family activities including the Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga Zoo, and Hunter Art Museum. We also recommend the Tennessee Railroad Valley Museum, where fully-operational railroad cars take you through the beautiful Chattanooga countryside. Speaking of beautiful, the landscape around Chattanooga has waterfalls, rivers, and forests just begging to be explored. Make sure to head to the top of Lookout Mountain for some incredible views.

5-star Chattanooga RV rental: 2019 Thor Motor Coach Freedom Elite

4. Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, CO

One of the most family-friendly summer adventures you can have is in Glenwood Springs. Your family can go white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and even spelunking. If you’re traveling with younger kiddos, or are looking for a more relaxing time, visit the waterfalls at Hanging Lake. 

5-star Glenwood Springs RV rental: 2018 Jayco Baja

5. Williamsburg, Virginia

Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, VA

To really immerse your family in American history, visit the town Williamsburg. You’ll feel like you went back in time when you see live demonstrations and locals dressed in period costumes walking the historic streets. To get some fresh air, visit Waller Miller Park. It is over 2,000 acres and has outdoor activities like pedal boating, kayaking, and canoeing.

5-star Williamsburg RV rental: 2019 Jayco Jay Feather

Time for a summer road trip!

Now that summer is here, it’s time to rent an RV (if you don’t already have one) and finalize your road trip plans. Remember to keep the kiddos involved in the decision-making process. This will help get them excited and invested in the trip. And when they go back to school, they won’t be able to stop talking about your epic summer road trip.

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