How Often Should You Stop on a Road Trip [Answered]

How Often Should You Stop on a Road Trip [Answered]
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Answer: All sources recommend to stop every 2 hours or 100 miles (160KM) for at least 15 minutes. If that's not the answer you're looking for, read on!

Road trips can be fun, but can also hurt your back from driving long hours if you don't plan your stops well!

This gets more important if you have children or pets onboard. If you're wondering how often should you stop on a road trip, here's what I did recently when I had a long road trip from Fredericton, New Brunswick to Mississauga in Ontario (around 15 hours if you don't stop) recently with my husband, three kids and 2 cats!

My husband have had multiple 8 hours road trips in the past and he would've preferred to only stop once during those 8 hours, but my plan was different.

First, before you start your road trip, make sure:

Starting a road trip checklist

  • Check your data plan and internet. Make sure your GPS is working!
  • Everyone pays a visit to the toilet.
  • Everyone had a meal or a snack.
  • Cats/pets are fed. While this maybe tricky, I found offering cats would love to eat those squeezable treats anytime of the day. This is a big bonus as you are sure they are fed before the road trip starts, and if you pack some of them during the trip, they'll make you life easier as you can stop and feed them anytime without making a mess. I'm sure there is something similar for dogs too.
  • You have some healthy snacks and water for the road. If not, drop by any supermarket and pickup what you need.
  • You may also want to stop by and pickup a cup of coffee to get that extra caffeine boost and start your trip strong!

If you have all of those items checked. Then you can stop every 4 to 6 hours to stretch, take toilet breaks, feed your cats. Official advice does states that you should "stop for at least 15 minutes every 2 hours". That would make sense if your road trip is super long, but the shorter your road trip, the less stops you need to have. Our road trip was 15 hours, we had it on 2 days as follows:

We drove from Fredericton, NB to Montreal in Quebec in 10 hours as we stopped twice for 45min each time. This is usually an 8 hour drive, but because we stopped for toilet, stretching, feeding the cats, buying lunch and simply to take photos, we took more time!

How we divided our road trip from Fredericton to Mississauga

  • Once we reached Montreal, we stayed in the Meridien for the night. In the morning we had breakfast, and started our drive to Mississauga, Ontario.
  • Once we got back into the car, going over the above checklist once again, we drove to Mississauga. And although this was a shorter trip, we still stopped twice for food and toilet. It took us around 7hr vs the 5 and half hours on Google Maps.

Generally it was a pleasant trip because we decided to enjoy it! Hope you enjoy yours too!

Road Trips > Beginner Guide > How Often to Stop on a Road Trip

About the Author

Sara T. is a traveler that has been traveling around the world for over 7 years! She's lived in 3 continents and traveled to 6 different countries and road trips have always been part of her stories!