Family Road Trip : San Francisco to Santa Barbara California

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Ah, the family road trip. I have taken my fair share of plenty a family road trip, and I have to admit that although I didn’t always appreciate them at the time; they indeed hold an honorable place among my greatest childhood memories.

My brother and I were always relegated to the back seat where we often drew an imaginary line that resulted in a kick or hit if it were accidently or purposefully crossed. We were recipients of the famous line shouted by mothers and fathers everywhere: “Don’t make me pull this car over.”

Our parents also had to listen to the constant question of “are we there yet?” and “how much further?” It never failed, that once back in the car after making a stop, one of the kids always had to go to the bathroom. When it is time to pull over and call it a day, be sure to check out Choice Hotels.

Family Road Trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara California

The trip is approximately 340 miles or 545 km. The drive should take you about 5.5 hours if you were to drive it straight through or you can stop around the half-way point in Soledad, CA. With kids in the car, it is always a good idea to plan a stop about every two hours. You’ll appreciate keeping them happy!

What To Do Before You Head Out

Get your car tuned up and tires checked. Make sure you have a spare tire that is filled with air and has no damage. You may want to put a can of ‘fix-a-flat’ in your emergency roadside kit.

Pack the suitcases, the DVD player with movies, handheld electronic games, music, and iPads or book readers. Get some travel apps and podcasts to put on your phone or your iPad such as Travelocity, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Expedia, Airbnb, Google Maps, and Waze. To stay organized, print out the family road trip packing list.

Don’t forget the sunscreen, car chargers for devices, headphones, Ziploc bags for cleaning up trash and diapers, wet wipes, a blanket, books, colored pencils, coloring books, and paper.

Assemble or Purchase a Roadside Emergency Kit. It should contain a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, warning lights, hazard triangles or flares, tire gauge, flashlight, jumper cables, and an auto club membership card such as AAA or roadside assistance information.

Buy a collapsible cooler and load it up with healthy treats, bottled water and juice bags with straws. Bite-sized pieces of fresh fruit, snack-size bags of pretzels, animal crackers, and trail mix are easy to store and dispense.

Things To Do In San Francisco

There are so many things to do in San Francisco that you may want to plan on spending at least a few days checking out all the sites. Use the ferries! You can take them to the seaside towns of Sausalito or Tiburon. Take a journey around the San Francisco Bay or visit one of the nearby islands, or over to the East Bay. Riding the cable cars is an absolute must! This city is walker and biker friendly, so be sure to be polite and share the road with whatever mode of transportation you choose. Check out these top attractions.

Things To Do While In The Car

Some cars are equipped with built-in DVD players, but you can also purchase a player with multiple monitors that attach to the back of the headrests. Put some music and games on an iPad, tablet or smartphone. For some quiet time, pack some books, coloring books and crayons, crossword puzzles, and magazines.

There are some games that you can play while in the car. I can remember looking for license plates that contained each letter of the alphabet from A to Z. Click here for more road trip games.

Things To Do In Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara has something for everyone. You can choose from outdoor parks, water activities, museums, guided tours, zoos, and aquariums, and famous sights and landmarks. Click here to see some of the top attractions in Santa Barbara. Whatever you decide to do; have fun and stay flexible!