Road Tripping with Little Explorers: Making Memories in the Great Outdoors

How to make memories in the great outdoors? Road tripping with little explorers.

girl in black and white striped long sleeve shirt standing on brown grass field during daytime

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Most little ones love the great outdoors. Campgrounds and nature parks offer a veritable cornucopia of new experiences and sensory stimuli, and children relish the opportunity to run as far as their little legs will take them. 

As a mother, you can help your young children make memories that last a lifetime by taking a road trip together. A road trip is the perfect opportunity to deepen your bond and can help you teach your child the value of sustainability and environmental protection. 

However, those long hours spent behind the wheel can quickly become a nightmare if you fail to prepare. So, before you take off into the great outdoors, be sure to create a detailed plan to guide your time in nature. 

Planning an RV trip

Renting a recreational vehicle (RV) and hitting the open road may sound like a straightforward way to make memories in the great outdoors. However, before you fire up the ignition and start driving, you’ll need to lay out some extensive plans, first. 

Carefully plan your RV trip by identifying a few locations that align with your goals as a parent. Once you’ve identified some destinations, book up the campgrounds as soon as possible, as spaces will go quickly during peak season. Be sure to hire an RV that can handle the terrain you want to drive in, as some RVs will get stuck on dirt roads and can’t handle steep inclines. 

When planning your RV trip, take stock of your fuel limits and plan gas station stops for your journey. The needle will quickly drop from a quarter full to empty, and there’s nothing worse than being stranded with a young one. Additionally, you should research your route to identify potential issues like low-clearance passages, sharp switchbacks, and bridges or tunnels with propane limitations. 

If you’re unsure of how to plan your RV trip, speak to friends or family members who have adventured in an RV themselves and get some expert insights. Alternatively, you can use apps like: 

These apps won’t guarantee you a safe journey, but they can save you some serious headaches on the road. 

Outdoor activities

Kids love running through tall grass and wading through slow-running streams. Being outside can sharpen their senses and help them get used to their bodies, too. Playing outside can build self-esteem, improve social bonds, and strengthen your kid’s immune system. 

However, getting your child excited about the outdoors can be difficult — particularly if they’re a proverbial indoor child. Help your kids get outside by planning fun activities like: 

  • Age-Appropriate Hiking: Shoulder the brunt of the load for your kid while hiking so they can enjoy the majesty of the great outdoors. They may be hesitant to start hiking, but will quickly become curious when exploring the trail you’ve chosen. 
  • Camping: No childhood is complete without roasting s’mores and putting up a tent. Follow leave no trace principles while camping and give your kids a chance to set up the tent themselves. 
  • Outdoor Crafts: Camping and backpacking can be a little boring for little ones. Keep them engaged by planning activities like leaf rubbing, rock painting, nature collages, and leaf weaving. 

Eventually, your kids will feel at home in the great outdoors. This will create a life-long sense of stewardship and help them appreciate the simple pleasure that nature brings. Just be sure to plan for some tantrums and boredom, as all kids have their moments. 

Travel tips

Traveling with a child can be a testing experience. However, planning ahead and preparing sensibly will give you the best chance of road-tripping in peace. Abide by common-sense travel tips and create an itinerary that minimizes boredom and gives everyone a chance to contribute. 

Build excitement about the trip by proactively planning together. Letting your kid make some decisions will increase their engagement and take some of the pressure off of you. Be sure to help them pack plenty of nutritional snacks, too, as a well-timed treat can head off a tantrum before it becomes an issue. 

When on the road, adopt a more flexible mindset to making unplanned stops. Time passes slowly for children and they’re much more likely to get bored when stuck inside the RV for hours at a time. Instead, give them a road trip guide and let them choose a few potential stops on the way. This will keep their spirits high and will give you a break from being stuck behind the wheel. 


Road-tripping is the ideal way to spend the summer holidays with your child. They’ll get to make lasting memories in the great outdoors and you’ll get to visit some destinations that are truly worth seeing. Make the most of the adventure by planning your trip together. This will engage your child and will ensure that you don’t risk running low on fuel. 

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