Everybody gets special invitations from SpongeBob, promising each the thing they love most in life. For example, SpongeBob says to Mr. Krabs that he will have free money, says to Squidward that he will have a latte sipping contest, and says to Sandy that she will have a science experiment. Everyone goes to his house, only to be surprised and disappointed that they are going to see vacation slides (which they do not care about). They are about to leave (while stepping on Plankton), but SpongeBob persuades them back.
The adventure starts with Patrick squirting Cheese Fizz on the camera. SpongeBob's parents pull up and get him and Patrick in. SpongeBob looks at a brochure and Patrick suggests a game- Hide and Seek. Patrick gets on the windshield of the boat and Harold yells "Egad!!!"' and looses control. They slide and burst into The Outskirts Outlet Mega-Mall, and Basscar Racing Stadium. Then, they fling off the stadium and head straight into space where a floating cow gets hit by them and lands on the moon. Then, they fall back down to the Earth and slide down a rocky cliff onto the road. SpongeBob then suggests they sing a road song.
Everyone sings the road song and at the end of the song, the engine blows up. They move the boat to a local service station. They wait in an outhouse. Margaret sees a playground and offers SpongeBob and Patrick to play on it. They do, but they slide down a sewer pipe and onto a small puddle.
When they get up, they try to get back up, but they cannot. They enter a mysterious red kelp forest with many mushrooms. They hear a hollering noise and run. It turns out it is a small creature. They jump over a cliff and onto an anemone and onto a mushroom. Behind Patrick is a giant fruit fly. They run away and go behind a rock. They hear a noise. It came from a gift shop. SpongeBob wastes his money on useless knick-knacks. They sing the road song wearily. Then, SpongeBob decides to play the road song on a flute he bought at the gift shop. They walk along past Harold and Margret and into the forest again. Animals follow them. The animals suddenly run away because the giant fruit fly is behind them. SpongeBob stops playing. When they turn around, they see the fruit fly wants to give them a lift. They then sing the above the road song. He drops SpongeBob and Patrick off. SpongeBob's parents call them over but SpongeBob and Patrick just fall asleep. Margaret says "Do something Harold!" while Harold says "He's your son, Margaret, he's your son..."
This is the second time Baytona is mentioned. The first was in "The Hot Shot."
The episode was promoted as "Runaway Roadtrip" in Ireland and the UK but the actual episode is still called "A SquarePants Family Vacation."
In the ending, SpongeBob's mother's first name is revealed to be "Margaret."
This is the only double-length vacation episode.
This is the second episode to be a long flashback sequence. The first was "Missing Identity." Unlike that episode, this does not bring one back to the actual setting, making the whole flashback the rest of the episode. This goes the same for the rest of the vacation miniseries.