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Parents Reveal the Best and Worst Things About Traveling With Kids

A recent survey examined some of the struggles and joys of traveling with kids.


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Kids asking, “Are we there yet?” is the least of most parents’ problems once they’re on the road. A recent survey of 2,000 parents of kids 10 and under examined some of the struggles and joys they encounter while traveling with their little ones.

It found that parents start getting overwhelmed five hours into road trips with their children. Still, a quarter (24 percent) prefer traveling via car instead of flying to their destination, perhaps because 72 percent of parents pack at least one bag or suitcase for their children while on the road.

Overall, 39 percent said traveling by car or plane can be equally difficult, and 12 percent have no preference. Sixty-five percent of parents noted they have an easier time keeping their kids comfortable when traveling by car.

And although there are plenty of moving parts, 69 percent said traveling wouldn’t be the same without their little ones because they keep the vacation fun.

Seven in 10 said they take their kids on every trip they go on (71 percent), and a similar percentage look forward to bonding with their kids on vacations without any distractions (72 percent).

Parents shared some of their favorite memories of traveling with their children, such as singing in the car together, going on cross-country road trips, and witnessing their excitement at seeing somewhere new. Two in three parents also feel they can bond with their child through meaningful conversations on road trips.

According to the survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Diono, a manufacturer of car seats, for its Lifetime Journey Care launch, two-thirds of parents agree that the most difficult part of traveling with their kids is keeping up with the messes, especially for those with more than one child (70 percent vs. 50 percent).

Parents shared some of their go-to travel hacks, like traveling at night so their kids are asleep, having travel trays and seatbelt pillows on hand, or making frequent pit stops so the trip feels shorter to their kids. And toys (38 percent), snacks (38 percent), and electronic devices (35 percent) are helpful to ensure smoother road trips.

But despite being prepared, 71 percent of parents still need to purchase extra necessities, such as diapers or snacks, at their destination after almost running out of supplies during the trip.

Says Tim Maule, CEO of Diono, “Whether it’s singing car karaoke or spending some quality time with a tablet, kids and parents are finding the joy of the journey together,”


1.         Toys – 38 percent

2.         Snacks – 38 percent

3.         Electronic devices – 35 percent

4.         Video games – 35 percent

5.         Playing car games – 35 percent

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.