7 Epic family road trip ideas

 Family travel bloggers inspire us with their favourite family road trip ideas from around the world.

7 epic family road trip ideas for Summer 2019

I remember a childhood full of road trips. Hours upon hours stuck in a car with loved ones might not appeal to all, but to be honest, so little of that I remember in retrospect. I do recall waking up in different places, the huge transformation from city to country and one town to the next, my dad’s magnificent itinerary planning and let’s be honest probably where my love for travel was first born.

Being an Aussie kid I saw an awful lot of “big things” growing up, and learnt there was pretty much nothing a Ford Falcon couldn’t do! Yes, road trips do bring back many happy memories, something that I really hope I can emulate with my own family.

We’ve again asked our team of family travel bloggers to reveal some of their favourite and most rewarding road trips of all time from around the globe. Some are whole countries, some are just snippets from enormous nations that you simply can’t miss. Yes, it looks like our bucket list just got longer!

This post is part of our Best Family Destinations series – don’t forget to check out 14 Amazing Educational Experiences and 20 Best City Breaks with Kids.


Ting from My Travel Monkey

7 Epic road trips to take with your family | Destination Ideas | OurGlobetrotters.NetAs much as Iceland’s capital Reykjavik had plenty of wonderful attractions to keep visitors occupied, it wasn’t until we hit the road did we like we got a true sense of this breathtaking country.

A self-drive adventure is a great way of seeing more of the countryside without the hassle of sticking to schedules and waiting around for other tourists.  Being on the open road was fantastic. It was my most favourite part of our Iceland trip.

We could travel for hours and just be in awe of the sweeping landscapes surrounding us. It was hard not to constantly gasp – we’d often see snowy-topped mountains, icy rivers, frozen seas and waterfalls when we were least expecting them. We also got to find some hidden gems en route that were empty of tourists – and drive for some time without seeing another soul. This meant that we often felt like the only people on this magical land, perpetuated by the shimmering snow.

Looking to hire a car for your next vacation?  Essential reading on International hire car tips and hacks


LeAnna from the Economical Excursionist

7 Epic road trips to take with your family | Destination Ideas | OurGlobetrotters.NetThe effects of potatoes on history, beer on the color of chocolate, rolling green hills and some of the friendliest people on the planet. I can only be talking about one place; Ireland.

This island is a coveted travel destination for many people and it is clear to see why. There is so much to do and see that it is often hard to narrow down your choices.  You could spend months travelling throughout Ireland and still not see everything – we covered the highlights in a week including the Cliffs of Moher (pictured), Trim Castle (think Braveheart), the Dingle Peninsula, Blarney and of course Dublin.

Bucket list getting too long?  Our top tips here on how to prioritise international trips with kids


Jenny from Travelynn Family

Chefchoeun View with two small children

If you’re looking to travel Morocco with kids, the best way to do it is by hiring a car and self driving. The roads are remarkably good, you’ll find secure parking outside of medinas, and for a family of four we found it cheaper (and significantly easier) than using public transport.

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Morocco offers so much diversity and you can cover a lot in just a couple of weeks.  We hired our car from Marrakech airport and then spent 2.5 weeks road tripping up to the blue city of Chefchaouen in the North via the capital of Rabat, then on to the Sahara Desert to go camel riding and sand boarding, before making our way back to Marrakech with a detour to the Atlas Mountains.

There are regular police checks on the road, but the police were always polite and we had no trouble. The trickiest driving was up to the Atlas Mountains with the hairpin bends and potholes. But we just took it slow. A fantastic adventure!

Romania in the winter

Ruth from Exploramum

Epic Family Raod Trips Romania in the winter with Exploramum | Family Travel Destinations | OurGlobetrotters.Net
© Exploramum

Most people take a road trip when the sun is shining, and the weather is fine. We, however, decided to take a journey through Romania in the heart of winter. And I loved every minute of it! Call me crazy, but you don’t find the average Australian single mother taking her 9-year-old son on an adventure through the heart of Romania. Not when she is driving on the other side of the road, and certainly not when it is snowing!

So why was it so great? Firstly I loved the freedom. The roads were quiet. We could stop whenever we liked with ease – that is a photographers dream. We were able to pull over for bathroom breaks, lunch when we needed, and pop in and out of towns and decided where we wanted to stay for the night. Nothing was full, so prices were low. I loved the serenity. As the snow softly fell, and it was a blanket of white. We loved the people. Friendly and helpful; as though time stood still. 

We enjoyed a white Christmas and loved the town Christmas markets with their local produce. And for New Year, we chose a tiny town with a medieval resort where we shared one of the best banquets I’ve ever encountered. To finish it off, we ventured out for a horse and sleigh ride on New Years Day.

We loved Romania so much we ended up taking two separate winter road trips. Even my son (who is now eleven) declared just this week that he would love to return there again for their winter.

You can learn more about road tripping Transylvania and visiting Romania here.

Margaret River Region, Western Australia

Sally-Ann from Toddlers on Tour

7 Epic road trips to take with your family | Destination Ideas | OurGlobetrotters.NetThe quintessential Australian road trip requires hours and hours and hours on the road.  It can be quite a long slog for anyone, let alone those with kids.  My child struggles with even a 2 ½ hour road trip to the start of the Margaret River Region south of Perth, Western Australia.  However within a couple of days of being on the road visiting tourist sites like Amaze’n Margaret River and Ngilgi Cave the cries of, “how much longer?” and, “what time is it?” begin to dim, which is perfect as we then choose to spend an entire day on the road tasting our way around the Margaret River Region.

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We start with morning tea at The Berry Farm devouring home-made scones with freshly whipped cream and locally made jams.  We move on to taste their full range of jams, sauces and vinegars.  Then we drive onto Temper Temper (a chocolate factory) and Vasse Olive (offering soaps and cleansers made from olives).  The rest of the day we are in and out the car stopping for tastes of candy, venison, cheese, nuts, fresh bread, wine and more chocolate.  Perhaps it is the fact we stop regularly or it is all the great food we find, either way, it makes for an enjoyable full days family road trip with limited calls of “are we there yet?”

Further Reading: How to road trip south-west Western Australia in 9 days

Florida Keys, USA

Tonya from Detail Oriented Traveler

7 Epic road trips to take with your family | Destination Ideas | OurGlobetrotters.NetOne of my favorite road trips took place driving the 90 mile stretch of the Florida Keys. 90 miles may not seem like much of a road trip and if you were on the interstate, it would last less than 90 minutes. However, just like everything else in the islands, driving is a bit slower, forcing you to enjoy the scenery more. I’d say the entire trip takes about 4 hours from Homestead to Key West, but we found plenty of places to stop along the way that makes it a 2-day trip for us – rent an RV in Florida and set off to explore!

The first hidden gem we happened upon was the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary. Located in Tavernier, this is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place. The sanctuary provides a safe and humane place for injured birds to live out their lives. They have a beautiful walking trail through the mangroves and if you time it right, you can feed the pelicans at the end of the trail.

Our other must stop in the Keys is to eat at Lorelai in Islamorada. The large mermaid out front makes it seem like an old roadside attraction, but toes in the sand, eating the freshest seafood ever on the beach later and you’ll know you picked the right spot. Lorelai has a bar and covered seating, as well as patio chairs with umbrellas right on the sand. Our favorite is the giant booth gliders that allow you to feel as if you’re on a porch swing. It’s perfect for enjoying the sunset.

Oregon, USA

Maria from One Tiny Leap

7 Epic road trips to take with your family | Destination Ideas | OurGlobetrotters.Net

After four months on the road, Oregon was pretty much the dreamiest part of our whole trip through the States. We started in quirky Portland, which had long been somewhere I’d wanted to visit – the city was vibrant and we had a memorable walk through Forest Park, which was like something out of a fairy-tale, absolutely gorgeous. From Portland we drove down the coast to Cannon Beach where we spent one of the best days of our trip, including a short though energetic hike on the coastal cliffs- which got me a little freaked out after seeing a sign warning of ‘Mountain Lions’ – complete with an ice cream to reward ourselves for our effort (Charlie) and bravery (me).

Then it was on to a detour to the picture-perfect Cape Lookout for some quality beach time, and Tillamook where we visited the famous local cheese factory. Heading further south, we stopped for a few days in a quaint little coastal community called Yachats, with whales in the sea and fresh fish for dinner every evening – somewhere I could easily see myself living, and spent a couple of hours at the famous Thor’s Well, a huge pit in the rocks that draws the seawater inside then spits it out. The motion of the water is mesmerising. Nearby, we also paid a brief visit to a huge cave full of sea lions that were remarkably unfazed by the waves crashing all around the rocks they were perched upon.

Our final stretch in Oregon took us to the placid and utterly breathtaking Crater Lake, staying in one of our funkiest AirBnb accommodations to date, an A-frame house in the countryside with a couple of friendly deer for our neighbours. During our six months on the road in the US, I can honestly say our time in Oregon was some of the very best, and I would absolutely love to return there one day.

North America – Mother of All Road Trips

Erin from Explore with Erin

Now we couldn’t do a round-up of road trips without including Erin and the Mother of all Road Trips

Mother of all road trips“Our epic #motherofallroadtrips had us road tripping the US and Canada for a year. From New York to Eastern Canada, on to the middle of the US. After that we did a quick flight to Oregon to pick up Big Red for the rest of our journey. From Oregon to Vancouver, Vancouver to New York, New York to Florida to Texas and finishing in Las Vegas. We covered big attractions like Disney World, funny attractions like the Big Can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and historic destinations like Mount Rushmore. The US and Canada are so varied and interesting it’s been an amazing trip through time, food and culture.”

For an incredibly comprehensive look at road tripping North America, do hop over to Erin’s site with links to their planning and guides to the US by region.

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Mother of all road trips with Erin Bender

Thanks as always to all our Best Destinations Family Travel Blogger contributors – do go and check out their blogs as well for a more in-depth look at their adventures.  We’ll be taking a little break from this series over the summer, but watch out for Explore My City – our guest contributor series is returning over July – August and we have some great family-friendly travel ideas from around the world coming your way!

(Travel Bloggers click here for how you can contribute)

Have we missed your favourite?  Where else can you recommend children are bound to be kept entertained for hours despite the drive? 

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7 Epic Road Trip Destinations

Looking for more destination inspiration?  Head on over to our FAMILY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS homepage to pick the type of travel that suits you best

Disclosures: This post is in no way sponsored, all ideas and suggestions are those of the guest contributors. This page does contain affiliate links which may earn us a small commission if a purchase is made at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosures and website terms of use here.

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  • Great inspiration for a family road trip! We’ve been road tripping through Spain and Portugal with our caravan and baby but we love to see some more of the world. Lots of great ideas here 🙂

  • I am a big fan of road trips! We’ve done three already this year. There’s nothing like packing everything into a car, not worrying about being over the baggage limit and getting out onto the open road. I love the sound of these…iceland is high on my bucket list and I really want to explore more of the US! #mondayescapes

    • Oh yes – the bag limit thing! We always seem to do road trips after having flown somewhere and I hate not having all the little luxuries our big family car at home has! And then we always find end of the road trip we have to put those hundreds of little bags somehow back into one giant suitcase!!!

  • I love a good road trip! It’s not quite as appealing with a toddler, but these suggestions are all amazing. I’m off to find an atlas! #MondayEscapes

  • I do love roadtrips! I take two or three every year. All the ones in here sound fantastic. I wouldn’t mind doing a long roadtrip around the US (around the West will work).

    • loads of inspiration, and away from the normal, I was impressed with some of the ideas our bloggers came up with

  • Love these ideas- we did a road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California this summer with my then three-year-old and it was fantastic. Loads to do and a lot of fun plus stunning scenery. We’re converts now and Iceland is definitely on the list. #mondayescapes

    • Yes we’ve done the Pacific Coast highway before (pre kids in a convertible) and it was just amazing – we didn’t allow enough time though and flew past some places we’d love to stop longer, definitely back on the cards again

  • Oh the all sound so great, we did a French Road trip last year and had a wonderful time, I have a few ideas for next year I just cant decide #mondayescapes xx

    • That’s one thing I regret not doing while we lived in the UK, so easy to get there and stunning country side. (I don’t count doing it on a Contiki bus nearly 20 years ago!!)

  • Great inspiration here – very tempted by Oregon.
    We have had two proper road trips: Eastern Canada taking in the main cities and a two-week drive around the whole of Iceland which was, as Ting said, quite breathtaking.
    Sometimes having a mini road trip is perfect too – we’re just back from a week’s trip around a small part of Scotland which was lovely.

    • That’s the great thing about Road Trips, so much flexibility and you can very plans based on the weather. I did do Scotland with my parents (where my mum is from) pre-kids and it was miserable and rained the WHOLE week!!! I must give it another attempt – and I only did a fleeting Iceland trip, Ting has certainly inspired me to go back and cover that off more thoroughly

  • Thanks for all the great road trip suggestions. I live in Ireland and being able to hop into a car and explore the countryside at will is one of our favorite pastimes. I also *really* want to do a road trip around Iceland. Definitely one for the bucket list. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Oh how I’d love to be living somewhere with easy day trips or weekend trips again – there’s only so many drives into the desert I can do here in the UAE!

  • I like the reference to the Ford Falcon. I remember the XF Falcon with a family of 6 including a not impressed grandparent traversing a 4WD only trail in the Grampians, Victoria, Oz. Both car and family survived (just!). Then there was Fitzroy Crossing, WA. The EB Falcon was airborne for a while before the front end collided with the soft sandy ground sending sand throughout the engine and ventilation. The car didn’t work entirely well after that.
    To clarify a Ford Falcon is an average family sedan, not some sort of super vehicle. Just add a family, a poor sense of direction and a strong sense of adventure, and just about any terrain can be conquered.
    Joel (brother/uncle)

    • And moral of the story why one should always use hire cars rather than perhaps a company car for these outback family adventures in Australia… (and why I think rental car companies now have ‘no off roading’ clauses in them, damn!)

  • Being an Oregon Girl – of course I appreciate the Oregon Road trip – one that we know well and love – especially little Yachats – a place close to my heart. But I would have to say that our most epic road trip was from Dallas, Texas through Santa Fe, New Mexico to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings near Durango, CO and on to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. From there we traveled north through Salt Lake City to Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho to the Oregon Trail in Baker City, OR though the painted hills of eastern Oregon and over the mountains near Three Sisters and ending in Eugene, OR. Epic. Huge amazing awe-inspiring landscape. Thanks for the memory jog – cheers from Copenhagen!

  • I loved the Keys trip and really want to do more road trips in the States. This year though we are planning a road trip from Pretoria to Tofo in Mozambique and then just after Christmas Pretoria to the KZN coast. Hopefully next year we will do the Garden route and back up….

    • I am exceptionally jealous of the amount of travelling around SA you’re getting to do.

    • That sounds brilliant – yes indeed you get to know countries so much better on the road then just visiting the big cities. Motorways take a lot of the fun out of it though in many places, we take the B roads when we can sometimes to get the proper feel for a place and all the quirky little stops.

  • Hahaha! We really must be aligned this week Keri, what with palm trees and all – just about ready to post our Family Road Trip To Margaret River… 😉

    Great info shared here, really enjoyed the read (as always) X

    • You’re living so close to me now Shea, we must be starting to sync x

      Love to hear your Margaret River story too, I’m planning to take the kids road tripping around WA a bit more this summer (winter) so keen for ideas on the family-friendly stuff – last did that side of the coast pre-kids. I know a huge number of the wineries/breweries now have family-friendly facilities and there are so many other stops now dotted in with lovely touristy goods and services that really reflect country Australia. Love WA!!!

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