Family of four enjoying driving on a big family road trip | Featured image for Planning a Big Family Road Trip blog for East Coast Car Rentals.

Having a big family requires A LOT of planning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still take fun and relaxing holidays with the whole gang. While there is an assumption that larger families miss out on certain activities due to the added costs and requirements, with the right planning tactics this doesn’t have to be the case. We’ve put together six great tips to use when planning a big family road trip.

East Coast Car Rentals is a leader in the transport rental industry. We offer flexible and efficient services to all our customers to ensure that you’re receiving the best possible quality transport for your individual needs. For a family road trip this means hiring a reliable car to get around easily, without the added stress or worries.

Our Guide to a Family Road Trip

Plan in Advance

An obvious first tip, we know, but never underestimate the power of a solid plan! Booking accommodation and activities early can often lead to cheaper prices and less scrambling to find something decent last minute when all the better options are already booked. Planning is also super important for larger families who may require extra rooms or special family-sized accommodation.

We recommend checking cancellation policies when booking in advance, to ensure that if any issues arise (and they probably will!) you’ll be able to solve them without losing too much money. Planning your transport in advance is also a great idea. Our car hire company allows you to book your preferred vehicle well in advance, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your holiday transport is completely locked in.

Expect Hiccups

As we said before, issues will arise on a family holiday, especially a big family road trip involving a lot more people, so it’s important to plan for these or at least get yourself mentally prepared for them so you can act quickly to fix any situations. This may come in the form of last-minute cancellations, weather incidents, health issues, or accommodation not being up to the advertised standard.

To prepare for this, always have some extra emergency money set aside for last-minute booking changes or emergency taxi rides. Preparing in advance will mean that hiccups will not affect the overall trip, which is ultimately meant to be relaxing and fun!

Allow for Down Time

While it’s important to plan, be careful to not over-plan, especially if you have a larger family with several kids. You can’t predict when family members will be tired or may want some downtime to relax and recharge. If you’re creating a jam-packed schedule with no time for rest, your group will become burnt out quickly and you won’t be able to slow down and enjoy moments as they come. Booking a hire car can come in handy here, as it means that you’re not locked into train or bus schedules, and you can leave a spot earlier or later than you planned or take detours!

Take the Non-traditional Route

While flying is the most traditional way of travel, going on a family road trip can be a more non-traditional, personalised style of holidaying. As we mentioned before, driving on holidays gives you the freedom and flexibility to chop and change activities in the moment, depending on what everyone feels like doing. To make this experience even better for a larger family, ensure you’re booking a vehicle that has enough space for everyone to be comfortable. An 8 Seater Minivan rental or 12 Seater Minibus hire is ideal for larger families as it provides an ample amount of seats for all family members to have their own space, and also allows you to pack more.

Pack Smart

On that note, make sure you’re packing smart. Packing smart may not always mean packing light. We all know that larger families, especially families with young kids, require a lot more stuff. Make sure you’re packing in advance and doing a mental inventory of what it is you’ll need and use. Having a hire car for a big family road trip is an advantage in this situation as it allows you to have some permanent storage for the entirety of the trip. Things like prams, portable cots, and more valuable items you don’t trust to leave in hotels or campsites, can be safely stored in your hire car.

Bring From Home

Lastly, bringing things from home can be a great way to cost down on costs during the holiday. This ties in with smart packing, bringing the essentials from home like a first aid kit or backup clothing for your kids means that you won’t need to make a quick dash to the overpriced souvenir shop for new swimmers, if someone’s get lost. Packing food from home can also be a very smart way to cut down on costs. A simple snack that won’t go bad over a few weeks can replace even more overpriced hot chips and sandwiches from your holiday destination.