The annual family road trip. For some, it brings back wonderful childhood memories of visiting tourist sites around the country. To others, it reminds them of endless hours of driving while squished in the car with their siblings and eating peanut butter sandwiches en route to save time.
Traveling by car can be cheap and enjoyable, so don't drop it from this year's vacation plans. Here are five tips to help you have a great family road trip:
- Include The Kids In Planning
There's nothing worse than going to places that are only of interest to the adults when on a family road trip. You remember which ones those were from your road trips as a child. Choose a few places that your financial and time budgets can afford. And then, let the kids have a vote. Most kids would find a trip to Mount Rushmore amazing. But they might not be as enthusiastic about the 8-hour tour that you can take of surrounding area.
- Plan To Have More Pit Stops Than You Think Necessary
On any drive that's more than a couple of hours, add in an extra 15 to 20 minutes for every hundred miles. Getting out of the car for fresh air, some exercise, and a bathroom break will do everyone good. You can take care of minor car issues that come up, thereby reducing your chance of making an auto insurance claim while on vacation. Plus, the kids can wear off their built-up energy.
- Bring Plenty Of Snacks For The Kids
Eating healthy snacks on the road means you won't be buying the overpriced ones in the gas stations. It also means that the child who is always hungry won't be complaining for the next 45 minutes as you drive to the next city where you're meeting old friends for lunch.
- Download Audiobooks To Listen To During "Quiet Time"
Music and chit-chat are great, but quiet time is too. Choose a few family friendly audio books from your library's digital media app. Then, put them on when you want the kids to quiet down. Chances are, they'll become engaged in the story and will be happy to listen longer. Or else, they'll fall asleep.
- Have All Important Documents Handy
Family travel can be stressful and even the most organized adults misplace or lose things. Have copies of your driver's license, ID cards, Passports, car insurance papers, and other documents that you'll need. Store these out of sight but in a place all adults and teens know about in case of emergency.
Use these tips to plan your next family road trip. You're sure to have a great time!