Road trips are a quintessential summer vacation for many families. 80% of families took a road trip in the summer of 2017, according to a recent AAA survey. Despite their enduring popularity, it can often be a challenge to keep the kids happy, banish boredom, and all-around make the most of the journey. The key to family road trip success? Proper planning. Finding a reliable family car, researching interesting stops and things to do en-route, and preparing delicious snacks will ensure everyone looks forward to — rather than dreads — family road trips for many years to come!
Finding the right car
Any successful family road trip requires the right car. It needs to comfortably fit your family — including any soon-to-be members — and have plenty of legroom. Based on your specific needs, you’ll also need space for pets, luggage, and bulky equipment (for skiing or fishing, for example), as well as a cooler, roof rack, and detachable seats. It’s important to find the right car within budget. More than just the purchase price, you need to consider the cost of gas mileage and service and repairs. Before you decide to buy, look into incentives and rebates to help save money where possible. Ask the dealer if your preferred car comes with cash rebate offers, financing options, or special leases to make it more affordable — you may just be in luck!
Breaking-up the journey
Schedule pit stops beforehand at nearby restaurants, gas stations, viewpoints, roadside attractions, and parks. Your kids will be itching to get out of the car and run around, and consequently tire themselves out enough to sleep during the journey. It’s equally important you don’t get burned out while driving. Take turns with your partner to drive. A road trip is also the perfect opportunity for quality family time! Rather than leaving them to their iPads, start a conversation with your kids. Play some classic car games!
Pack enough snacks to keep everyone satiated and happy en-route. Healthy homemade snack ideas include: granola bars, trail mix, fruit, and popcorn. Not only are homemade snacks cheaper than store-bought, but they’ll also boost your energy levels while keeping blood sugars steady. Both kids and adults will avoid the dreaded sugar crash.
Finally, prepare surprises for your kids for when they’re restless or bored — like their favorite candy or a new toy. With these tips, everyone will enjoy the trip. You’ll arrive at your final destination refreshed and ready to go.