Road trip meltdown busters

Savings Angel

Road trips can cause meltdowns and the resulting whining and downright crabbiness can ruin your otherwise wonderful family memories. But never fear, Josh Elledge from has seven meltdown busters to save your next family road trip.

# 1 – Wrap and sneak “riding surprises” onto the trip. A little surprise to unwrap is an instant attitude booster and cures boredom.

#2 – Stick to water and banish sugar and salt. To minimize pit stops, skip drinks that cause them and don’t allow sugary and salty snacks.

#3 – Schedule a special stop. Any trip that’s six hours or more likely needs one. Plan to stop about midway to your destination and get out for a while or even stay in a hotel overnight.

#4 – Invest in a (good) vehicle power inverter. This is one device I'll actually encourage you not to go too cheap on. An inverter turns your vehicle's cigarette lighter into a regular electrical outlet. If the one you buy won’t run a laptop and maybe even a gaming system, don't waste your money. You'll wish you'd bought a different one. Expect to spend in the neighborhood of $45 for this sanity-saver.

#5 – Give kids the opportunity to earn spending money. Self-policing to earn their spending money is key to this one working.

#6 – Leave at night instead of in the morning. This gives multiple benefits, including lighter traffic, quieter road conditions, little to no construction or traffic slowdowns, and fewer stops for food and the restroom. Plus kids are likely to fall asleep for a good portion of the trip.

#7 – Plan family interaction time. During this special break, banish electronics and play road games, discuss upcoming activities, tell stories… whatever your family enjoys. This provides family bonding time - which is the whole reason you’re on the trip in the first place.