How to plan a successful family road trip
The idea of road-tripping with the family can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. With a little pre-trip planning, you'll soon find yourself cruising down those open highways with your brood in tow and ready for adventure. Here are some tips that will make your next family road trip more enjoyable for everyone:
Plan your route.
Familiarize yourself with the area you're planning to visit. Using a map or GPS, plot a route that will take in all your must-see stops and keep everyone happy. If there are any places along the way that are particularly special for someone in your family (for example, if someone has relatives nearby), make sure you include them in your plans so that everyone gets their fill of sightseeing and family time.
Planning is key when it comes to road trips--you want to be sure that everything goes smoothly once you hit the road!
Choose destinations wisely.
Your family will have a better time if the destination is a good fit for everyone's interests and personalities, especially if you plan to spend most of your time sightseeing. If your kids are young, choose somewhere that has plenty of activities they can enjoy together. And if your kids are older, consider places where they can explore independently while still feeling safe and secure in this unfamiliar place.
When you're planning a road trip, it's tempting to bring everything but the kitchen sink--and then some. But that approach is far from ideal; if you pack too much stuff, your car will be weighed down and uncomfortable to drive (not to mention difficult to park). The best way around this problem is just not to bring anything that won't be used on your trip--which means no extra clothes or shoes unless they are absolutely necessary (you know who needs them).
Pack light! If you can manage it, try packing only what would fit into one small suitcase for each member of your family; otherwise, aim for two medium-sized suitcases per person plus one large backpack with all their toys/games/books inside it so they don't have access until after bedtime when they're supposed to sleep anyway :)
Make the most of your time on the road.
The time you spend on the road can be used to relax and enjoy each other's company, or it can be a source of stress. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your family road trip:
Listen to audiobooks or podcasts together. If you're driving through an area with no cell service, this is an excellent way for everyone in the car to pass the time while still being able to hear each other talk about what they've learned from their book or podcast selection. Plus, listening together means that everyone gets some exposure to topics that might otherwise be new!
Play games like I Spy (or its many variations) or 20 Questions--they're easy enough for kids yet still offer enough complexity and challenge that adults will enjoy them too!
Make a playlist full of songs from different genres so everyone has something they like listening to during long stretches between stops at places where there's WiFi available--and if there aren't any WiFi spots along your route then don't worry about it! Just listen anyway because music makes everything better!
Take advantage of social media and technology.
As you're planning your trip, take advantage of all the modern technology at your disposal. If you're driving a car and have an Android phone or iPhone, there are great apps that can help guide you on your journey. The Google Maps app allows users to download maps of their routes so they don't need internet access while traveling through remote areas. It also provides real-time traffic updates and alternate routes around accidents or other road closures.
The Waze app is another useful tool for drivers; it uses crowdsourced data from other drivers to provide accurate information about where traffic jams occur along with suggestions for alternate routes around those areas. You can also use this application as a GPS tracker if someone else is driving the vehicle so that everyone knows exactly where everyone else is at any given time during their trip (which may come in handy if one member wants to stop for lunch while another still wants to continue).
Social media has become an important part of our daily lives, especially our family vacations! It's important that we make sure we share pictures from our trips with friends and family members who weren't able to join us on this adventure because social media allows them to feel like they were right there beside us during every momentous occasion throughout our journey together
Don't overschedule yourself.
There's a fine line between planning too much and not enough. If you're like me, then your first instinct is probably to overschedule every minute of the trip--but that's a mistake.
When I went on my first family road trip we planned out all of our meals ahead of time (including where we would eat them), had multiple stops planned throughout each day, and made sure that we hit as many places as possible before heading home at night. This might sound like fun in theory but it actually turned out to be exhausting because 1) if we missed something or didn't get around to doing something that day then we felt guilty about wasting time; 2) everything was so rushed that no one could fully enjoy themselves; 3) there were never any surprises which meant that everyone got bored quickly!
The key to a successful road trip is a balance between pre-trip planning and making room for spontaneity while you're traveling.
The key to a successful family road trip is a balance between pre-trip planning and making room for spontaneity while you're traveling. If you over plan, your trip will be more stressful than fun; if you don't plan at all, it's almost guaranteed that something will go wrong!
I hope I've given you some useful tips for planning a family road trip. If you follow these guidelines, we think it's likely that your trip will be one that everyone remembers fondly for years to come!