It happens to families every day. You’ve just started your family vacation and you’re driving down the highway to your next destination when suddenly you need to pull over.  Unexpected pull-overs are frustrating, and some can even derail your plans completely. Here’s what to do about them, courtesy of

“I don’t feel so good.”

When you hear these words groaned from the backseat, you know it’s time to find an interstate exit. Quickly. As parents, you know that when your child gets sick everything changes. Luckily, there are lots of pharmacies and walk-in clinics nationwide. While it shouldn’t be too hard to find medical care, you’ll probably have to take a break from traveling.


Whether it’s a sibling squabble or an unfortunate accident, an injury on vacation will definitely interrupt your travel itinerary. It’s wise to research local medical emergency phone numbers and locations ahead of time, just in case you need them.

“It’s past your bedtime.”

When driving down the highway with your family, safety is your biggest priority. Getting appropriate rest is part of keeping your family safe. We know how tempting it can be to “drive straight through,” but sometimes you just need to stop and rest.

“Do I need to turn this car around?”

If the kids are acting up, don’t lose progress by backtracking. Instead, pull over and wait it out. Your kids are as excited as you are about vacation, so stopping will convince them to be on their best behavior as much as turning around will.

“Are we there yet?”

Occasionally, the parents are the ones who need to take a break. If the kids are being extra impatient and you’re starting to feel claustrophobic in the car, pull over. There’s nothing more regrettable than losing your temper on a family vacation, so avoid it by taking a much-needed stop.

“I love this place!”

Some family vacations are so special that you and the kids just keep wishing you had a bit more time. When that happens, cherish your time together and consider extending your trip an additional day or two.

Have you had an unexpected pull-over? Share your story in our comments section!

Anne Sandoval is a travel lover and content manager for and Drive the Nation.