For some, the idea of a road trip brings back fond memories of childhood; camped out in the backseat of the family car, seeing new things and having adventures with loved ones. For others, the slightest hint at the phrase “let’s go for a drive” brings overwhelming dread and vivid visualizations of the usual Griswold excursion. But road trips — with proper preparation — don’t need to be stressful at all. In fact, a road trip can be an excellent opportunity to share new experiences with friends and family, see landmarks and historical sites you may not have seen otherwise, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
To make sure your trip is set to succeed, we’ve created a list of road trip printables to help you plan your journey from start to finish, stay safe on the road, and keep the family entertained during the drive.
Travel Planning Printables
Before leaving the house, it’s important to be prepared for every aspect of the trip. The following printable checklists can help you plan your journey, keep track of important information, and pack everything you need.
Safety First Checklist – Use this checklist to ensure you have all the emergency supplies you need while on the road. From first aid kit supplies to snacks, this list will help you prepare for anything on your trip.
Emergency Contact Sheet – One of the best ways to be safe on a road trip is to let people know where you’re going, when you’ll get there, and when you’ll be back. Use this sheet to keep track of contacts to use in emergencies, like friends, family, and emergency services. If possible, provide contacts in the locations to which you'll be traveling.
Accommodations Information Sheet – This fill-out sheet is handy for keeping important accommodations information at your fingertips. Jot down names, phone numbers, and locations for each hotel on your journey before setting out and you’ll never need to worry about where to spend the night.
Car Preparation Checklist – Getting your car ready for a big trip is one of the most important pre-drive steps. Make sure your car is outfitted with all the essential supplies and that it’s in good working condition before you set out.
Road Trip Packing Checklist – From sunglasses and flip-flops to hand sanitizer and extra toilet paper, this packing checklist has everything you need for your next road trip. You’ll never forget anything again!
Printable Travel Games for Kids
Keeping the kids entertained on road trips is often a challenge, so we’ve put together a list of printable games and activities to keep them busy for hours on end!
License Plate Game – Spot a license plate for all 50 states (bonus points for hawaii)! Color in each state as you find its plate and see who can get the most! This game is great for school-aged children: it will keep them off their electronic devices, engaged in the drive, and learning geography at the same time!
Picture Clue I Spy – Here’s a fun twist on a classic game, perfect for toddlers and young children. Print out the picture sheets before your trip and have your child color in the picture as they see it on the drive! For example, when you pass a farm, they can color in the cow!
“My Cows!” – Driving through the countryside? Chances are, you drive by fields and fields of cattle. Every time you see a group of cows, yell out “my cows!” Keep track of how many herds of cattle you have and see who can get the most! But watch out – if you drive over a bridge, the first one to say “no more cows” can keep theirs, but everyone else loses all their cows!
Road Trip Word Search – For your avid young reader, word searches are a great way to pass the time. See how many of these 15 words your child can find!
Road Trip Fill-In-The-Blank – Everyone loves a good game of Mad-Libs! This fun fill-in-the-blank is vacation-themed and will help your child practice the parts of speech and be silly at the same time. How crazy can your story get?
Need more games to keep your kiddos (and other rowdy passengers) busy? Check out this list of extra games and activities to keep the family busy for hours!
- Road Sign Scavenger Hunt – How many of these signs can you spot along your route?
- Hangman – Everybody knows this classic!
- Tic-Tac-Toe – Three in a row! This simple game is easy for kids of all ages.
- Connect the Dots – Take turns connecting the dots. Try to make as many complete squares as possible and claim them with your initial!
- Memory Game – Let your kids look at the pictures for two minutes, then have them draw as many as they can from memory!
- Maze Coloring Page – Watch out for the road signs and try to get home!
- Airplane Coloring Sheet – For aspiring pilots, this coloring sheet will keep younger children busy scribbling!
- Restaurant I Spy – Feeling hungry? This game is a great way to pick out a lunch spot!
- Road Trip Bingo – Who can get the Bingo first?
- Crayola Coloring Sheets – With so many to choose from, your child will never get tired of coloring these scenes!
- Preschool Games – Keep your little one learning with these easy activity sheets!
- Animal Mazes – Have an animal lover in the back seat? They’re sure to love these mazes filled with animals of all shapes and sizes!
- Connect the Dots – Connect numbers 1 to 15 to teach younger children to count.
- Spot the Car – For auto enthusiasts of all ages, this is a great game to stay entertained during a long drive!
- Road Trip Crossword – How well do you know these road-trip-themed clues?
- US Geography Game – Label as many states on the map as you can. To make it more challenging, try timing it!
- Spot the Differences – What's changed in these pictures? Circle everything that’s different!
- Camping Word Search – This is a great way to get the kids excited for a camping trip!
- State Capital Word Search – This one is for the geography buff!
- Pictogram Puzzle – Trick your brain with these puzzling pictures!
Now that you’re fully prepared, packed, and ready for your road trip, there are just a few more things you should know before you leave.
Tips for Your Road Trip
Keep these tips in mind during your road trip. They’ll help you and your family stay safe, happy and stress-free during the drive.
Don’t plan too strictly
Often, the best road trips are the ones where spontaneity abounds. Part of the fun is in all the adventures along the way, so don’t be afraid to stop and do some exploring if you see something interesting!
Wherever you go, you’re bound to find souvenirs and treasures along the way. Keep some extra space in one of your bags just for this!
Always carry cash
You never know when you’ll need it! If you stumble across a famous landmark or yummy restaurant, but the parking lot only takes cash payments, you’ll regret not having it!
Try something new at every stop
Not that there’s anything wrong with chain restaurants, but don’t make a habit of visiting them frequently on your trip! Try a new cuisine and don’t be afraid to ask the locals what’s best!
Bring important paperwork
Always have your driver’s license, car registration and an updated copy of your car insurance with you. In many states, you’ll be required to show proof of insurance if pulled over by authorities while driving. Print out updated copies of these and any other documents (passport, VISA, etc.) you’ll need before you leave and keep them in the glove compartment.
You're Ready to Go!
Road trips are a guaranteed way to make memories with your family that will last a lifetime. If you’re prepared, your road trip will go smoothly and keep your kids talking about it for weeks after!
Most importantly, make sure you and your family are safe on your next road trip. Keep a first-aid kit nearby, let others know where you’re going and prepare your car for the drive by having it serviced and insured.