Road Trip: How to Stay Sane While Traveling With a Teen

Over the years my boys and I have taken several road trips. We’ve learned we prefer road trips over flying because of costs, ability to stretch our legs and explore along the way to our destination.

Yet, it comes along with a caveat, long, long hours stuck in the car. To help with that, my sons and I drew up a list of “Road Trip: How NOT To Go Crazy When Traveling With Teens”.


A hungry teen is a hangry teen! Avoid this at all costs by traveling with snacks. Its harder to bicker when your tummy is happy (and your mouth is full!). Below are a few of our favorite traveling snacks. We create individual travel size snack bags for each passenger using the below traveling snacks.

  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Carrots and dip
  • Almonds
  • Popcorn


This is a big one. I love headsets but during road trips I like to limit their use. I mean the whole purpose of a road trip is to create memories and spend time together right?

Music is very personal. The contrast between your music and your teen’s music can be different as night and day but that’s actually a great thing! During your road trip take turns playing your music. Ask questions. Some of the questions we came up with are below.

  • Who’s the artist? Any back story?
  • What does your teen like about the artist or songs? Beat? Lyrics?
  • Is the artist involved in anything else, i.e., advocacy work?
  • What’s your teen’s favorite artist/song?
  • Where was he when he first heard the artist/ song?

Listen to your teen’s responses and don’t judge. You may learn something about your teen you didn’t know before. Just make sure you don’t turn it into an police interrogation.

Remember, music, like smells, have powerful memory associations! Before returning home, find a song that represented your road trip. Who knows? When they go to college, you may find your teen putting that song on repeat as a reminder of the time you spent together.


Just like food, sleep is a necessity. But a hotel room is more than just a bed. The right hotel, for your family and teen, has to have the amenities that will work for your family.

Things to consider:

  • Does the room offer cable? Pay per View? And I’m talking kid-friendly here!
  • Are the rooms spacious? You need some space after traveling together for extended periods of time in a car.
  • Do rooms come with a fridge? Remember hangry is an ugly look.
  • Is a gym available? This is great for releasing energy after a long road trip!

After riding in a car all day, it’s important to have a place to call a “home away from home” so be selective and consider your teens perspective!  Spacious suites to spread out with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, complimentary hot breakfast with healthy options, free grocery delivery, pools and fitness centers should be standards for any road trip.

Let’s chat! Did I miss anything? Let us know in a comment below!

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

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  • Alecia May 20, 2016, 11:23 am

    Great post! I missed the Twitter party, and will hopefully be able to join the next one.

    I have a teen & a pre-teen and learned a thing or two about traveling with snacks after attempting a couple road trips as the person responsible for handing them out. This resulted in a lot of unnecessary stress after hearing, “Mom, can I have some/some more _______(insert snack here)” a million times. I purchased inexpensive (translated ‘I don’t care if you lose this’) rectangular plastic containers and packed them full of goodies. Each child wrote their names on their container, eliminating “he/she ate my ______(insert snack here)”. I enjoyed our last road trip and was free to relax and play DJ. :-)
    I wholeheartedly agree with the need for a suite after everyone has been confined to a vehicle for most of the day. I used hotel loyalty points on our last road trip and got a suite. We all had the space we needed to be comfortable and relax. It made a difference when we loaded up the next morning (feeling refreshed) for the remainder of our journey.

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