Set a Realistic Timeline
This isn’t The Amazing Race, so don’t schedule eight-hour driving days, which will tire kids and adults alike. Larsen suggests five to six hours on the road, plus multiple breaks. (AAA recommends stopping every two hours or 100 miles.) In the middle of the day, break for a couple of hours. “Even if a stretch isn’t particularly exciting,” says Larsen, “you can surely find some reason to stop”—a park, a kooky attraction, a diner with a decent ice cream list.
To find out what’s along the way, download the apps Road Ninja and Roadside America. For local restaurant recommendations— including such regional specialties as New Mexico green chili cheeseburgers—go to roadfood.com. Factory tours can also be surprisingly interesting. (At factorytoursusa.com, you’ll find a state-by-state list of places that make everything from potato chips to baseball bats.)