Now that we are in the midst of the summer season, it’s time for families to get together and take the vacations that they’ve been craving all year, whether that’s to Disneyland or the National Parks.
While many of these families might opt to take the easy way out and fly to their destination, there are still those true, red-blooded American heroes who are going to load up the car and traverse the great American landscape to get where they’re going. However, road trips can also come with their fair share of stresses, if you’re doing it wrong. Here are some tips to help you put together a great family road trip…
Don’t rush it
First of all, it’s important to recognize that a critical aspect of road trips is that they aren’t just a tool to get where you’re going. They’re a part of the entire vacation process. If all you were trying to do was get from point A to point B, then you might as well hop on an airplane. Road trips are about the journey, itself. Because of this fact, don’t feel like you should rush it. When you are scheduling your vacation, give yourself time to explore and see places along the way. This makes the road trip much more fulfilling, and gives you a look at places that you would have never seen before.
Don’t skimp on snacks
Road trips can require long stretches of road between buildings or establishments. As such, it’s an important part of the road trip experience to stock up on snacks and goodies to eat and keep everyone from crashing (no pun intended). To prevent sugar rushes and anyone from feeling sick, it’s a good idea to make sure that most of these snacks are fairly healthy. For the most part, having fruit and vegetables to snack on, along with nuts and trail mix, should give you and your family the energy to enjoy the road trip. However, also make sure to stock away some of the guilty snacks for people to enjoy periodically throughout the journey.
Do vehicle maintenance before the season begins
Most people do their road trips during the summer season, when the days are longer and there is more time to see the beautiful landscapes around America. However, nothing can kill the joys of a road trip faster than having your vehicle break down. As such, it’s important to get your vehicle maintenance conducted before you plan on driving anywhere. Ideally, you’ll get all of the routine maintenance that you need done in the spring, along with any additional repairs your vehicle requires.
Have activities for everyone
While there is a lot to do and see on a road trip, there is also bound to be a great deal of down time. This can be especially hard on kids. For this reason, be sure to pack things to do in the car that can appeal to everyone, whether that be particular games or a cd that the whole family loves to listen to. Ideally, we’re not really fans of watching movies in the car (which increases the chances of car sickness), but it really works for some people!
Have an emergency road bag
Road trips often take you to isolated and unpopulated parts of the country. Should the worst happen and you and your family get stuck in a desolate location for a bit, while waiting for another vehicle to pass by and help you, then it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for the occasion. Before starting a road trip, pack up an emergency road bag that contains drinking water, a first aid kit, and things that might help start your vehicle again while out in the middle of nowhere (like jumper cables with an emergency charge).
Cut unnecessary costs
One benefit of road trips is that they are often pretty cost effective, as opposed to buying an airline ticket for everyone in the family. This can set a tone for an entire trip, which means that you can travel cheaper (and more often, if you so desire). As such, keep up the wallet-smart travel attitude (as long as it doesn’t cut into the fun you’re having on the trip), and it will remove the guilt of overspending from your vacation!