If you are traveling by car this summer and headed to somewhere special, having some good family road trip movies for the kids to watch is the perfect entertainment for the trip.
Family road trip movies make great entertainment because they make time go by faster, and they can be watched on tablets, phones, and portable DVDs. The most common ways to watch movies when traveling are probably the tablets and phones, and it works perfectly because they are portable and can be used anywhere.
So, get the movies ready to go before you get in the car! Here are some of the best family road trip movies that can be enjoyed while traveling.
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Best Road Trip Movies to Watch BEFORE you Hit the Road
This collection of road trip movies have us dreaming (or dreading!) hitting the road with our loved ones. You may want to watch these before you hit the road. How many of these can you relate to?
National Lampoon’s Vacation
You knew this was going to be number one on the list! An oldies but a Goldie, this 1983 classic film follows the Griswald family on an epic American road trip to visit Wally World, that’s nothing but a disaster but packed full of laughs.
Fans of the National Lampoon series may also want to try the next-generation sequel set in 2015, Vacation.
A Goofy Movie
Diary of A Wimpy Kids: The Long Haul
Based on the smash-hit book series by Jeff Kinney, Greg is up to his usual scheming trying to get to a gaming convention on the Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday. Things inevitably go embarrassingly wrong for Greg.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Furry trio Shadow, the wise golden retriever, Chance the fun-loving American bulldog pup, and Sassy the Himalayan cat head off across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to find their family in San Fransisco.
They are “sent to the farm” after their family needs to relocate and believe their family is in trouble. Another one you might want to pack your Kleenex for if you’re following along on this cross-country adventure.
Who needs Hawaii when you can spend some quality time together on a cross-country road trip?! Bob Munro takes the family on a hilarious trip through the Rocky Mountains but he really has an ulterior motive, in order to save his job he must attend a meeting.
A classic tale of a dysfunctional family who find themselves and what’s important while on the road.
College Road Trip
Independent high school student Melaine can’t wait to hit the road with her girlfriends on a college visit trip, but the tables are turned when over-protective Dad James decides he’s joining the adventure.
Throw in a stowaway brother and his pet pig in the trunk, you can only guess what craziness will ensue. A great story about growing up and letting go, your older teens will no doubt find very relatable!
Life is indeed a highway! You’ll all be singing along to Tom Cochrane in this animated classic.
Hotshot rookie racing car Lightning McQueen is headed to his tie-breaker Piston Cup championship race in California. However, driver Mack falls asleep and McQueen finds himself lost on old Route 66 but finding himself and what makes a champion racer.
If this doesn’t want to make you pop in a car and head for the glory of the open road, nothing will! (see our favorite spots in Arizona to relive moments from the movie!)
Classic Family Road Trip Movies
Whether you’re looking to plug the kids into their portable DVD players and tablets, or something to snuggle in together and watch at night during your family trip, here are some classic adventure movies you simply can’t go wrong with having loaded ready on a device.
Finding Nemo is a family favorite movie for many of us and children tend to get so involved in the movie and Nemo’s adventure that time just flies by. That’s a good thing when it comes to road trips! Equally lovable adventures ensue in the sequel Finding Dory – no doubt the motivation many of us dream of a California coastal road trip to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Annie: A Royal Adventure
Cheaper By The Dozen 2
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
The Muppet Movie
The Parent Trap
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
A funny musical that’s been a classic for years, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a fun movie that kids of all ages can enjoy.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the name of the magical car that’s found in the scrapyard that the kids convince their father to rebuild. Once rebuilt, everyone goes on a magical adventure as their dad tells the story of how the car got its powers.
Mr Bean’s Holiday
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Holiday misadventures abound, Kevin’s already been left at home when his family flew off to Paris, could they possibly forget Kevin AGAIN? From mistaken flights to fancy hotels and catching crooks, Home Alone 2 is largely set in New York, definitely a great one for getting you in the mood for a festive season vacation.
No, we don’t talk about Bruno! But if you haven’t been swept away yet by this Disney classic released last year, it’s time to get it downloaded as you’re in for a real treat.
The Madrigals are an extraordinary family living in Columbia and Mirabel, well, she’s just ordinary. But can she save the magic that surrounds their home?
Hotel Transylvania 3
Roar Trip Movies For Older Kids
These ones are recommended for mature audiences but should be added to your repertoire of classic vacation movies.
Not specifically set on the road but screams everything about summer vacation in America in the 1960s. Ready to fly the coup, Baby is on her last family vacation at an affluent camp in the Catskills with her family where she strikes up a romantic interest in her dance instructor, Johnny.
Admit it, we’ve all tried “that dance move” in the water at some point in our lives, right?
Around the World in 80 Days
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
I think we all know the pain of holiday travel; When a snowstorm hits Wichita, uptight exec Neal finds himself inadvertently paired with the annoyingly upbeat Del Griffith, the shower curtain salesman to get home to Chicago. Worst of travel companions or an unlikely friendship found on the way home to Thanksgiving?
(NB Rated R! Save this for your much older kids!)
Little Miss Sunshine
Abigail is a 7-year-old that gets the opportunity to compete in a California beauty pageant. From Alburquerque to Redondo Beach follow the dysfunctional Hoover family dealing with crushed dreams, heartbreaks, and a broken-down VW bus. Laugh and cry along with this heartwarming family road trip movie.
(Another one that is surprisingly rated R, due to frequent profanity, but your mature teens should definitely enjoy it)
How to Watch Your Family Road Trip Movies
Whilst many modern family SUVs particularly do come fitted with in-built screens for the back seat, inevitably not everyone can see the screens, nor has the luxury of such a car. So how do you watch your favorite family road trip movies?
- A tablet is, of course, the number one choice for most families for video watching on the move.
- A portable DVD player; yup they still exist! Ideal if you only want to play movies and don’t need all the other functionality of a tablet
- A travel tray to help hold your tablet. We like the Lusso Gear Kids Travel Tray with a tablet holder and still allows play room.
- We’d also suggest a good set of wireless headphones for the car, or older kids can try Bluetooth earbuds.
- Never forget an important family road trip item again with our road trip essentials checklist.
© Family Road Trip