How To Add Romance To A Family Road Trip

A woman wearing a backpack looks at a man pulling a suitcase in a hotel room on their romantic getaway.

Some parents may be surprised to discover you can always add romance to your family road trip! Even though you’re traveling as a family, it doesn’t mean you can’t share some special moments. In fact, you can have the best of times and include your kids too. Traveling by car makes it even easier to be flexible and spontaneous, planning some surprises along the way. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either! Adults will love these sweet and simple additions to their family vacation. Even if it’s just for a few hours, choosing the right location, packing wisely, and involving your kids in the process can make all the difference. But if you’re unsure where to start, this article can be a huge help. Here’s How To Add Romance To Your Family Road Trip! 

Choose a Romantic Destination

A family of three sits upon a large boulder overlooking a colorful autumn display in New England, a beautiful destination is one of the best ways to add romance on a family road trip.

When planning a road trip with kids, the destination is an important part of the journey. Discuss options as a family so everyone is happy with the choice. Additionally, take time to study the route that you will take during the trip. It’ll give you an idea of fun sights to see and perfect romantic stop-over points, from parks to nature reserves for a romantic picnic.

A river or lake may also be an excellent place to stop where you can paddle or even rent a boat to relax before hitting the road again. Ignore the fastest route and instead opt for the more scenic option that will be romantic and memorable. Where possible, plan a romantic activity when the kids are napping to enjoy some quality time alone, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Locations play an important role in adding romance to a family vacation.

Book your romantic, yet family-friendly, hotel stay using Hotels.comTravelocity, or Expedia. Or book directly with your favorite chains, like Marriott to Hilton, etc. We also suggest renting a home or apartment via Vrbo, to give you extra space for kids and romance.

RELATED ARTICLE: Best Hotels for a Romantic, Kid-Free Getaway in the Northeast

Pack Wisely

A family of four sits on a bed packing a suitcase.

A family road trip can be frustrating if you forget to take the items you need. It’s one of the reasons parents should take time and make sure they bring everything they need for the trip. For example, be sure to pack your first-aid kit just in case of an emergency, as well as any toiletries, towels, and COVID-related items such as masks or hand sanitizer. Chances are your kids will get hungry, so bring some snacks and water. Games, music, or toys can keep them entertained. For clean-up or late nights, garbage bags and flashlights are great too. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Naturally, what you decide to carry will depend on the destination, the number of days the trip will take, and family wants and needs.

For instance, you will pack less when taking a weekend trip with kids than when you will be on the road for an entire week or more. Additionally, when adding romance to a family trip, you can include a few items for a little alone time too. Consider packing favorite games, a secret surprise, or a special item from home. You can always use online resources to help make sure you pack adequately for the trip.

INTERESTING READ: 25 Best Travel Hacks To Plan Your Next Family Vacation

Plan Surprises

Feet stick out from a blanket with a view of a fireplace, wine, and computer, planning special surprises  is one of the best ways to add romance on a family road trip.
Photo Courtesy: Taryn Elliott

Planning surprises is another excellent option to add romance to your family road trip. Secretly packing a bottle of champagne/wine, massage oils, candles, or anything else your partner likes is an option to explore. You can even organize a romantic date night out in the wild. If you’re sleeping at a campsite, sitting next to a bonfire as you chat the night away can be relaxing, romantic, and sweet. At a hotel, you can hire a babysitter, dance the night away, or visit an attraction like a museum. Or, find accommodations that offer a kids’ club or day program. It’ll help if you settle for activities you don’t usually do at home.

Plus, if you keep kids busy during the day, you’ll have some alone time once they’re snoring away! Looking into child care options and planning surprises for one another is a wonderful way to seek romance on a family vacation.

Companies such as Viator or GetYourGuide offer various tours across the world – making them a go-to option for planning surprise tours for your loved ones! With a flexible cancellation policy and a book now, pay later option, you can’t go wrong. These companies offer peace of mind for families if they have to cancel for any reason.

Have a Romantic Dinner

Two sets of hands prepare dinner on the table, featuring spices, ravioli, and other food, a lovely dinner is one of the best ways to add romance on a family road trip.
Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Borba

For a romantic experience during a family trip, parents can also plan a special date night meal. To save on your romantic evening, book your reservations through for great deals. With various coupons of either $5, $10, $15, $25, or $50 value, you can redeem them for a lower cost at select restaurants (for example, a $25 voucher will only cost you $10).

Taking your romantic getaway to Chicago? You’ll love the big portions and wine pairings at Rosebud on Rush. Or, parents visiting Boston can use their coupons to save on a romantic dinner with The Dean’s List. In New York City, you can’t go wrong with a candlelit dinner at 212 Steakhouse. Whatever city you take your romantic getaway to, you’ll likely find an affordable, but romantic, restaurant to suit your tastes. Create an account to keep track of all your discounts and start redeeming! 

Note: Please keep in mind there’s a varying minimum purchase and some restaurants also require other conditions, like dine-in only or for more than four people. 

Also, read: Keeping Kids Entertained on a Family Trip

Include Your Kids in Romantic Moments

A family of four walks across a boardwalk during a beautiful sunset at the ocean.

No rule states you can only enjoy romance when your kids are asleep or playing somewhere far away. Watching sunsets together as a family can be pretty romantic. Adults can unwind with alcoholic drinks as the kids sip on sparkling soft drinks. Most of all, remember that magical moments can happen in the most unexpected places.

Looking deep into your partner’s eyes in an exquisite location can be the romance you need on the trip. Stolen kisses when the kids are not looking can also add romance to the journey. What matters is being together, appreciating each other, and watching your young ones discover new experiences and places. These are moments that will help you bond as a family and enjoy a road trip that you’ll be talking about for years.

Happy Travels!

A black mom holds out her hand with an iPhone to take a selfie of her family.

We hope you liked this article on How To Add Romance To Your Family Road Trip by our contributor Sherry Kimball! Whether you’re planning a short or long trip, you can still have some romantic moments as a couple – even on a family vacation. Use one or two of these tips to sneak in a little romance for your next family trip.

About The Author: Sherry Kimball is a guest blogger and family coach specializing in relationships between couples. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and doing yoga. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.


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