Family road trips can be amazing. They can bring families closer, create lasting memories, and much more. Yes, they can be great, but they can also be a little stressful, especially if you don’t do a lot of planning.
Things will be much easier for you and your family if you plan, which is what the following guide is meant to help you with.
Remember, we’re Aussies so pretty experienced at road trips! A 12hr drive is a walk in the park for us.
One thing people tend to do is make sure they have a wingman helping them out with the trip. This person is there to keep you company and make sure you can stop driving at some point during the day. Driving can be tiring, and the last thing you want to do is drive if you’re exhausted. This puts you and your family in danger. The thing is you don’t need to keep your wingman in the front with you. Having the adult in the back with the kids is much smarter. It means this person entertains while you drive. You get to return the favour when you’re tired of driving.
CHOOSING ThE RIGHT ACCOMMODATION
You know where you want to go with your family, so you’ve probably done your homework. You know all the attractions you’re going to see on your road trip, but one thing people sometimes miss is the details. The details you want to pay attention to are your accommodations. For example, checking if the hotel has a Chevy Volt charger in the parking lot. Folks with electric vehicles make sure they have charging stations along the way but forget that some hotels accommodate their needs. There’s a lot to pay attention to, like how some hotels keep complimentary strollers you can use while you’re visiting.
RETHINK DRIVING HOURS
The next thing you should think about is your driving hours. If you decide to drive when your kids are fully awake, then you’ll deal with fully active kids, and that’s not great. As lovely and beautiful as your kids are, they can also be a handful. The amount of energy kids have is incredible, and it won’t allow them to sit still too long. You know how dangerous distractions can be while driving with kids in an unfamiliar place. What you can do is drive in the wee hours of the morning when your kids are probably sleeping, or drive at night when your kids are falling asleep.
PACKING THE RIGHT SNACKS
You want to focus on travel snacks. If you don’t plan for this part, you end up stopping in random stores or gas stations and feeding your kids all sorts of foods they shouldn’t be eating. Sometimes, you’re even forced to stop at random fast food joints so that your kids aren’t hungry. If you plan things out, you can make stops at restaurants you’ve researched that offer acceptable meals. In addition to that, you’ll have healthy snacks, like meat bars and fruit bars in your vehicle so that your kids don’t get too hungry until you stop at your next restaurant.
PLAN FOR EMERGENCIES
The last thing you want to worry about is emergencies. You need to plan for every possible emergency that could happen during your road trip. The last thing you want is to have your family stranded in the middle of nowhere with no plan at all. You want to make sure you can rent a car if needed. You should probably have car repair insurance if you feel that you might need it, or just have enough cash on hand to fix whatever issue springs up. It’s important that you travel with an emergency fund or at least a credit card to deal with issues you couldn’t anticipate.
Now, you have some things to consider for your family road trip. Give yourself as much time as you can to plan out your trip. This isn’t to say that you can’t leave room for spontaneity, but that shouldn’t be your guiding principle.
Long haul road trips are never easy but with a little planning they can go as smooth as possible.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids.