Road trips provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy family bonding time, while undergoing new experiences together. They are the perfect time to make memories, and get away from the daily grind as a family unit. You’ll experience each other in a whole new way, especially while on the road. Of course, long stretches in the car can get pretty uncomfortable, not just for wiggly kids either. Making your road trip enjoyable, and fun is up to you and how you plan it. Use these five tips to avoid some of the most common family vacation pitfalls.
Know the Way
With modern GPS technology, many people mistakenly believe that there’s no reason to plan out the logistics of a trip. That will change quickly, though, when your gas light comes on after you’ve passed the only gas station for 50 miles. Look at your route in advance to determine where you’ll be eating and making restroom breaks, and bring a road map just in case your cell service goes out. Be sure to have a general idea of how fast you’ll be driving, and try to stay on schedule. Don’t be afraid to take breaks and slow things down either.
Prepare the Kids
It’s never a good idea to spring a long car ride on a small child. Instead, explain that a road trip has different car rules, and ask them to help you decide where you’ll be eating along the way. A road trip is about family fun, so give the entire family a voice in the activities. Make sure younger kids have activities to keep them busy, whether it be videos, word searches, or other games, and make sure there’s also time to talk and joke together when you see new sites out the window.
When you can feel your children starting to lose their patience with the trip, don’t be afraid to throw in some fun. Stop by a dollar store to pick up some coloring books or other quiet toys that will give them a second wind. Don’t do this to reward a tantrum, of course, but use it when you can tell that your kids are tiring of the car ride. Let them pick out a treat for the family to share, and break up games they tire of, with new ideas and activities.
This Is Your Vacation
A road trip isn’t just fun for children, it’s your vacation time too. If you’ll be a passenger, then bring a way to entertain yourself like a book or a few magazines. You’ll need to entertain your children sometimes, but it’s important to let yourself relax. Make sure there are plenty of spare headphones, or try an audio book everyone in the car can enjoy.
Prepare for the Worst
Accidents can always happen, especially when you’re spending hours on the road. Dealing with insurance and legal issues can ruin the vacation mood, so plan ahead and bring the number of a car accident attorney or a tow truck company you trust. Hopefully you won’t need it, but having someone to handle the boring stuff will give you time to enjoy your family road trip.
This may seem like a lot of planning and prep, but it’ll all be worth it on the trip. By taking these steps, you’ll be able to take a deep breath and relax with the knowledge your road trip will be a blast.