As people shy away from air travel due to the COVID-19 health crisis, more and more families are hitting the road for travel adventure. It is important to be prepared though before you and your family set off. Here are five tips and tricks for a fabulous family road trip.
Make a Music Playlist
Any good road trip is accompanied by an epic soundtrack. Making your road trip playlist in advance of your departure will also build excitement for the trip. You can get your kids involved by letting them choose songs to include on the list. Themed playlists are also a fun way to spend the time in the car. For a break from the tunes, consider finding an age-appropriate audiobook or podcast. With today’s streaming technology, there is no limit to the ways that you can keep entertained in the car.
Ensure Everyone is Comfortable
Nobody will have a good time if they are uncomfortable in the car. While you want to avoid packing too much into the vehicle, it is also important that you bring along the essentials to keep everyone comfortable and happy. A travel pillow is a great idea that does not take up as much room as a standard pillow. Packing a few light blankets will also keep kids content. Make sure that older kids have enough room to spread out with adequate personal space. This will help to avoid unnecessary sibling squabbles.
Plan Fun Pitstops
Part of the fun of a road trip is taking the time to explore different attractions along the way. Before you set off on your trip, be sure to make a loose plan of where you want to stop for fun adventures on the way to your final destination. If you do not have a final destination planned, you will want a list of possible places. Even something as easy as stopping at a park each day will give your kids the opportunity to stretch their legs and burn off energy. If you think this may be part of your travel itinerary, be sure to pack along some games such as a frisbee or a soccer ball.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
Snacks serve as the ultimate distraction when traveling on the road. Having regular snack time in the car will give your kids something to look forward to and serve as the ultimate boredom buster. For the most convenience, be sure to pack snacks that travel well. Good ideas include apples, beef jerky, dried fruit, quest bars, fruit leather, and nuts. Juice boxes also travel well and provide a special treat for when kids get cranky. As a bonus, having your food and drink already in the vehicle will prevent you from having to stop too often to pick up snacks for hungry kids. This will get you to your destination faster while also helping you to avoid the hassle of getting in and out of the car.
Go Old School with a Road Map
If you are going old school with a road trip, you might as well get the complete experience and buy a traditional atlas for your adventure. Kids will delight in checking out the map and charting your progress as you soldier on. These maps also come in handy when looking for rest stops and other points of interest. A paper road map is also useful when traveling in remote areas where you may not have a cell phone signal. You should not always count on technology to get you through a jam. Having a backup navigational tool is helpful when out on the open road exploring.
Having the right attitude and being willing to be flexible will yield a much better travel experience. Although it is prudent to have a loose plan in place, you will also want to build in enough time to allow for spontaneity on your travels. Finding hotels with liberal cancellation and change policies, having a variety of backup plans in place, and leaving your options open are all ideas on how you can support flexibility in your travel plans.
Depending on how you approach this trip, you will either have an amazing time creating unforgettable memories or it will seem like a chore. The right research and execution is key to a good time.