Who doesn’t love a fun-filled, family road trip? Now that summer is here, and school is out, you can finally take a breather and spend some time exploring the nooks and crannies of the USA with your family. Despite a slight increase in international travel, the good old-fashioned family road trip remains the most popular form of vacation amongst Americans with 79% of holidaymakers choosing to take a road trip with their loved ones in 2017 according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
While a road trip with the family is undoubtedly a great way to spend your summer, it does require some careful planning, especially when smaller children are involved. Luckily a few basic tips and tricks will enable you to plan a hassle-free trip loaded with incredible memories.
Include the whole family in the planning
While babies will be completely oblivious to all the preparation that goes into the road trip, older children may be hesitant to go if they are not included in the planning. While you don’t have to give your children complete freedom in choosing your route, you can involve them by asking for suggestions and making them choose between certain options that you have already placed on the shortlist. Even if you have already plotted out the entire route yourself, you can enlist the help of the children to decide on everything from where to stop to what to pack to eat along the way.
Be smart when packing
Although you may be tempted to pack half your household when going on a family road trip – don’t. If you pack a lot of unnecessary things, your vehicle will be cluttered, making everyone woeful. On the other hand, you also don’t want to leave important things behind which is why it is so important to strike a healthy balance, packing what is needed to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. Make a list of the necessities and then fill up the spaces in your car or truck with some entertainment for the children such as books and travel games. Also packs some snacks for the road but refrain from offering the children too many sugary sweets and drinks as a child on a sugar rush confined to a car could prove to be very trying.
Take your time
A road trip should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and not as if you are in a race. When you plan your route, make sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy all the designated stops fully, and even to make a few that aren’t on the schedule. You need to take into consideration that there may be queues at tourist attractions to contend with, or that the restaurant you plan to have lunch at may be short-staffed and your meal could be slightly delayed. Instead of rushing through your trip, extend the duration of your journey or reduce the number of stops so that you can spend more time at each.
Although it might be slightly overwhelming to plan and execute your first family road trip, it will be well worth the effort. Just keep your cool, make plenty of to-do lists and involve the entire family in the preparation. Even if you do encounter a few hiccups along the way, you are bound to share many special moments during your time on the road. Best of luck!