Six Tips That Will Maximize Your Road Trips

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We are having such a great time on our tour of Florida. Deciding to fly here and then road trip through the state has been a great choice for us, and I highly recommend road tripping as a family. It is also a fun idea to do in your own home state. We are looking forward to taking a road trip up the coast of California this year too. Today I’m sharing six tips that will maximize your road trips featuring partner Metromile. 

beach play

Our time here in Florida is winding down.

We are driving down to the Florida Keys today where we will stay for two days in Key Largo, and then we will be driving back up to Orlando and flying home this weekend. This has been such a fun road trip for us Californians because the scenery is so different than what we see in our daily lives. I think that is the beauty of road trips. You have such a different view when you drive to and through an area instead of just flying to it. Although I think our hybrid of flying to the area and then driving to it is the perfect solution. You get to start your trip sooner and maximize your time on the ground.

family road trip ideas florida

This got me thinking about other ways to maximize your road trips… especially for those summer road trips everyone will be taking soon around their home towns. 

Here are 6 easy ways to maximize your family road trip:

1. Stay at least one full day in each city your visit. Plan to explore the area for 24 hours (or as close to it as you can) to really get a feel for the city you are in. Eat the local cuisine, go for a walk, and be a tourist. Research ahead of time for each stop so that you are not wasting valuable time doing so once you arrive. 

2. Travel no more than 150 miles a day. One of the most frustrating aspects for kids on road trips is being cooped up in the car for long periods of time. 150 miles is about 2 1/2 – 3 hours of travel time and that is the perfect amount of car time for kids. Anything beyond that and you will start to hear “are we there yet” at least 5,000 times!

3. Bring snacks. Actually, this should say bring a lot of snacks! Kids suddenly become STARVING the second that you close the car door on a road trip. Having a variety of snacks not only keeps their bellies full, but is also a great way to distract them from thinking of the hours ahead in the car.

4. Seven days makes for the perfect road trip. You can break it up with 2 days in each area and make a big circle to get back home, or work back the same way you came. 

5. Let the kids help with the planning. Have them do their own research on the areas, and pick out what they want to see and do. Local tourism websites are a great way to start, as are travel books and visitor material that you can normally request ahead of time from the local tourism office. If you don’t have time to order material, be sure to stop at the visitors center, and let the kids pick out pamphlets of local tourist attractions.  

6. Save on your driving expenses and use that savings for your accommodations and other costs. Be sure to look look directly at the websites for discounts on the luxury resorts you are staying at. I’m always surprised at the offers they post on their own websites to encourage you to book directly. Same goes for attractions, they normally offer a promo code online.  Another great option to explore is Metromile. 

Metromile is revolutionizing the auto insurance world with a pay-per-mile model – allowing drivers to pay for the miles they drive, without judgement of driving style or behavior. Designed for those who drive less than 10,000 miles a year, per-mile insurance saves the typical customer nearly $500 annually. Metromile is a pioneer in pay-per-mile car insurance.

Toyota Highlander

Metromile also makes every car a smart car with the Metromile Pulse.

The Metromile Pulse is a device that Metromile uses to measure mileage, obtains data from the car, and transforms the data into information the driver can utilize to save time and money on the road such as driving stats, engine health, and other smart services. Drivers plug the Metromile Pulse into the OBD-II port of the car – the very same port mechanics use to diagnose issues. The device can then obtain data and wirelessly transmit it to secure servers. Metromile then visualizes this data in the app and online dashboard, enabling consumers to unlock prescriptive advice to make smarter decisions about daily driving.

Metromile’s mission is to empower drivers through a more informed car ownership experience. In addition to offering insurance that allows the driver to pay for the miles they use, they also provide smart technology via the Metromile App to give drivers visibility into their cars’ general health and usage.

It’s pretty cool how the Metromile App makes every car a smart car, by unlocking driving data and showing drivers:

  •  Trips & trends – including miles, MPG, time, and speed
  •  Fuel level and cost estimates
  •  Car location – they have even helped recover stolen cars
  • Street sweeping alerts – currently only in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles & Chicago
  • Diagnoses of car’s health condition
  • Contact a mechanic

With Metromile, drivers only pay a few cents per mile with a low base rate each month for full coverage. Following the same idea as the utilities in your home, like when you turn off your lights, you don’t continue paying for electricity – you pay by consumption. Metromile is applying that same philosophy to car insurance – you only pay for the miles you drive.

Right now Metromile is available in seven states… California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and New Jersey. If you are located in one of these states you can get your free quote at

Are you taking any road trips this year?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • We never leave the house without snacks. My boys get HANGRY and I need to keep them on hand.

  • I haven’t taken a road trip in such a long time, but I remember being packed into the car as a kid. Luckily technology provides much more entertainment these days. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  • Roadtrips are always fun, although it can be a little stressful. Planning ahead and planning stops is important especially when you have kids on board! These are really helpful tips, tried and tested too.

  • I love the tip “Never drive more than 150 miles.” Very important to make the driver rest. Snacks are also essential in road trips. My kids have a huge appetite and it sometimes makes me feel that I need to take the entire fridge with me.

  • I’ve enjoyed staying with you guys for the past few days! That Metromile Pulse feature should be more available out there, the way you describe it makes everything so secure and efficient.

  • Sounds like you all had a great time. My husband and I are thinking about taking our girls on a road trip this Winter. We were actually thinking of going to Florida too. It’s great that I saw all your posts because it makes me want to go even more!

  • Thanks for the tips. They can really come in handy the next time we hit the road.

  • Your trip sounds like so much fun! I love the idea of family vacations. I’ve never been to florida but I hope to some day!

  • I wrote a similar post last year that mirrored a lot of your tips. I am glad to read yours because it reinforces my knowledge and experience. Thanks for sharing!

  • i love the suggestion of letting the kids help plan the trip. and of course snacks are a must. being hungry while driving is the worst but so is stopping often.

  • These are all great tips! We always bring lots of snacks and since I have Amazon Prime, I always have a lot of downloaded playlist for music for the travels. I hate being in a car longer than 5-6 hours, so that’s a great rule to have as well.

  • Snacks are a must when you are traveling with kids. We just flew to Orlando and snacks are what kept my 3 year old from having major meltdowns (except when she had to pee and we were stuck on the runway for over an hour…that was just bad).

  • Planning is key. I also make sure to bring lots of snacks, so the kiddos won’t be “hangry.” These are very helpful tips to maximize your rod trip.

  • I do roadtrip a lot and never heard of Metromile.. I would definitely checking that out. Lovely pictures

  • This is a great post with lots of info. Like I mentioned in some of your other posts, I plan to go to Florida this Winter…so these are some great tips for me.

  • I used to love roadtripping with my son. He never complained about the distance or the time in the car. We would stop every hour and a half for a meal or a walk through a little town or something.

  • These tips are so awesome! I love the idea of only traveling a certain amount of miles a day. So helpful with little ones!

  • Bringing snack is one of my favorite part of road trips! Snacks make you busy and forgot the long drive if there is. Actually, you are correct- bring a lot of snacks for the trip!

  • Travelling is so much fun, Florida looks so beautiful. I go better see our plans for the weekends and looking forward for some travel soon.

  • Great road trip tips! I always make sure that I have plenty of snacks!

  • I can see that your Florida trip is quiet amazing & the pictures & videos you share are treat to watch. Your tips will be so useful for a wonderful family road trip. I am with you when it comes to limiting the amount of travel you do every day.

  • It’s definitely important to spend at least a day in every city you plan on visiting. The last time my husband and I took a longer road trip he didn’t plan on me wanting to spend a lot of time at one of the first stops we made on our way to a surprise destination only he knew about. Because of the lack of planning (and my love of abandoned buildings and picture-taking), we didn’t get as much time as we would have liked at our final stop.

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