by Ashley Pugh -

Roadtripping with Teenagers: Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Journey

a hand studying a map and travel details
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Embarking on a road trip with teenagers can be an exciting and memorable adventure for the whole family. However, it's no secret that keeping teenagers engaged and entertained during long hours on the road can sometimes be a challenge. But fear not! With a little bit of planning and some clever strategies, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for everyone involved. Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep those teenage traveler's engaged and entertained.

Involve Them in the Planning Process: 

Involving teenagers in the planning process is a fantastic way to not only empower them but also make the entire road trip experience more enjoyable. Teenagers thrive on autonomy and independence, and giving them a say in decision-making can go a long way in fostering their enthusiasm and engagement right from the start.

One of the first areas where you can involve teenagers is in planning the route. Sit down together as a family and discuss the various options available. Encourage them to research different routes, taking into consideration factors such as scenic beauty, interesting landmarks, or historical sites along the way. By involving them in this process, you are not only providing them with a sense of responsibility but also allowing them to contribute their ideas and interests.

Ask them to look for interesting rest areas, local attractions, or quirky roadside spots that might be worth a visit. Let them share their findings and discuss the pros and cons of each stop. By doing so, you are not only engaging them but also helping them develop research skills, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities.

a couple look at a map

Elisaveta Ivanova, 

Have them create a bucket list of places they would like to visit or experiences they want to have. It could be anything from exploring a national park, visiting a museum, or even trying out local cuisine. Encourage them to research and gather information about these attractions, such as opening hours, entry fees, or special events happening during your travel dates. 

Additionally, consider giving each teenager a specific responsibility related to the trip planning. For example, one could be in charge of finding suitable accommodations. Imagine you’re planning on going through Scarborough for example, a top trick is to use a website like the Rentola Company, that not only is easy to use as you can filter rentals per location, but is interactive to keep them interested. This not only spreads the workload but also encourages teamwork and collaboration among the teenagers. They can discuss their findings, share recommendations, and make collective decisions as a group.

map and travel info


Create a Shared Playlist: 

Creating a shared playlist for your road trip is not only a fantastic way to enhance the overall experience but also provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute their musical tastes and preferences. Music has the power to set the mood, evoke emotions, and keep everyone entertained throughout the journey. By collaboratively curating a road trip playlist, you can create a diverse and engaging musical journey that resonates with each family member. And you may even discover some great new artists!

Start by gathering everyone together and discussing their favorite genres, artists, or songs. Encourage each teenager to share their top picks and reasons why those songs hold significance for them. This sharing session can spark interesting conversations and deepen the connection between family members as you learn more about each other's musical preferences and the stories behind them.

Once you have a list of suggested songs, create a collaborative playlist that can be easily accessed by everyone. Online music streaming platforms or music sharing apps can be great tools for this purpose. Set some guidelines, such as the maximum number of songs each person can contribute or any specific themes you want to incorporate. This will ensure that everyone's musical choices are included while keeping the playlist balanced and diverse.

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Fun and Games: 

Engaging teenagers with interactive games and activities during your road trip is a surefire way to keep them entertained, strengthen family bonds, and create lasting memories. There is a plethora of classic and innovative games that can be enjoyed together as a family, making the journey more enjoyable and exciting for everyone involved.

Trivia quizzes are another engaging option that can test your teenagers' knowledge and spark friendly competition. Prepare a list of trivia questions covering a wide range of topics, such as history, pop culture, sports, or science. Take turns being the quizmaster and award points for correct answers. This activity not only stimulates the mind but also creates opportunities for interesting discussions and learning moments.

a man studies a map


For a more immersive experience, consider creating a road trip scavenger hunt. Before the trip, prepare a list of specific landmarks, unique items, or interesting sights that can be found along your route. Provide each teenager with a checklist and a camera or smartphone to document their discoveries. This activity adds an element of adventure and exploration to the journey, encouraging teenagers to pay closer attention to their surroundings and fostering a sense of curiosity.

a teenager plans to travel with equipment


Be Flexible and Patient. 

Maintaining flexibility and patience is crucial when embarking on a road trip with teenagers. While you may have meticulously planned every aspect of your journey, it's essential to remember that things don't always go according to plan—and that's perfectly okay! Embracing a flexible mindset and gracefully adapting to unforeseen circumstances or unexpected delays will help you navigate any roadblocks that may arise.

When traveling with teenagers, it's important to acknowledge that they may experience mood swings or need some personal space during the journey. Teenagers are at an age where emotions can fluctuate, and it's crucial to be understanding and patient during these moments. Allow them the freedom to express their feelings and provide them with the space they need to process their emotions. Remember, a road trip is a shared experience, but it's also an opportunity for personal growth and self-reflection.

So, embarking on a road trip with teenagers can be an incredible bonding experience for the entire family. By involving them in the planning process, providing entertainment options, and fostering open communication, you can create a smooth and enjoyable journey. 

Ashley Pugh Written by
Ashley Pugh

Ashley Pugh is one of the Co-Founders of and has been committed to writing family related content since 2008. There isn't much about family attractions that Ashley doesn't know, after visiting hundreds of them worldwide over the last 20 years.

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