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Make Use of Libraries on Family Road Trips

by Erich Martin

Jan 27, 2020

Kzlkurt80 | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Planning a family road trip can be daunting. Depending on the age of your kids, it’s important to pack snacks, some kind of entertainment, enough clothes, meals when there’s no time to stop and more. As far as entertainment is concerned, libraries can help cover the gap for road trip necessities.


Taking a trip to your local library can feel like going on a shopping spree. Thousands of books, movies, magazines, video games, board games and more line the walls — all free for the taking as long as they are returned on time and in the same condition. Make sure your kids can take proper care of the borrowed materials for the duration of the trip to avoid hefty fees upon return.


Libraries typically have pretty liberal borrowing policies. All libraries have different restrictions, but some allow guests to check out up to 50 physical items at a time.


Libraries are packed with content of all kinds. From picture books to young adult and teen novels, there’s bound to be something for kids of all ages and preferences. You can also pick a book or two for downtime when you aren’t driving or for unwinding before bed.


Make sure to make use of the library’s electronic media offerings. Lots of travelers, be they little kids or adults, have game systems that work while traveling. One of these, the Nintendo Switch, offers tons of family-friendly options, perfect for entertaining one or more kids on a road trip. Libraries often have pretty good stock of these games, making sure kids can get something fun for their long road trip.


Make use of local libraries during your journey. Maybe you will need to print tickets or documents for school or work — libraries can definitely help out in these situations.


Keep due dates straight. Make sure you will be returning to your town before the borrowed items are due back. Most libraries are lenient, and many have even begun to abolish due dates, but returning books on time and in good condition is respectful and considerate to the institution that provided entertainment for the entire family on your trip.


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