Cheat Sheet For Family Road Trips

Family Road Trips

Family road trips can be awesome – as long as you plan for them properly. If you don’t, a family road trip can easily turn into a time that you remember as dreadful.

Make The Journey Count

The first rule of thumb is to look at the journey as part of the ‘fun time’ you have to spend with the special people you are traveling with. With that in mind, rather than making it a goal to ‘get there as fast as you can’, why not enjoy some points of interest along the way?

For example, you may want to stop at a unique restaurant or visit a museum or other attraction. These stops offer everyone a break from the car and a change of pace. As you map out your trip you should list some of the stops you plan to make.

Tip: Get everyone in on the planning – talk about the route you will be taking and let each family member have a say about which stops they would like to make. Be sure to check on rates and hours and other information related to the attraction. It can be very disappointing for all to arrive at a place only to find that it is not open.

Build In Some Flex Time

No matter how good you are at sticking to a schedule, when you travel with kids you need to build in a little flex time. Road trips can become monotonous if you don’t make plenty of stops. And even though you thought you learned about all the interesting points along the way, there is a chance that you missed something. Take advantage of the opportunities for you and your family to experience the unexpected.

If your GPS says the travel time will be 3 hours – make a mental note that you will be traveling for 5 to 6 hours. This allows time for bathroom breaks, meals, and other stops along the way.

Things You Might Want To Consider

Keeping kids ‘happy’ on a long road trip can be challenging. It is wise to be prepared with snacks and drinks. You should also be ready for any spills that you may have to clean-up. A package of ‘baby-wipes’ can come in handy for various situations.

It’s also wise to keep a change of clothing in a convenient location. This ends some of the stress related to potential accidents when eating and drinking in the car. A quick stop at a Rest Area to refresh and change clothing can make everyone feel better.

When you do stop for meals, be willing to drive into a town. This provides an opportunity to see things you don’t see in your own neighborhood. In addition, you will likely find a restaurant that caters to families and some that specialize in regional foods.

Taking the time to visit state and national parks is a great idea. This gives everyone a chance to get out of the car and really enjoy nature. The fresh air and physical activity will help you feel refreshed. Even just ‘driving through’ a park can be relaxing.

Family road trips should be planned – but some of the trip should be flexible. Plan a relaxed schedule that allows for unexpected stops. Whether you decide to visit an added attraction or you are forced to make a stop so clothes can be changed or the car can be cleaned, if you have factored in ‘extra travel time’ you will be less frustrated. This will make the trip more pleasant for everyone!

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