If the thought of spending hours stuck in a metal tube high in the sky with your brood terrifies the living daylights out of you, the chances are flying to a destination for your annual vacation isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you might fancy embarking on the perfect family road trip. While you may not be able to explore far flung and more distant or exotic shores, you can get to grips with those locations closest to you that deserve further exploration. It doesn’t matter whether you want to stay relatively close to home, or whether you fancy a longer jaunt to the coast, the mountains or a national park, a road trip is the perfect flexible vacation.
If you have very little human beings in tow, or adolescents that would rather be anywhere but with you, a road trip can help cater for their needs as well as your own. This means you can create happy family memories that can last a lifetime. While all of this sounds sickeningly sweet, it’s important to try and give your offspring experiences that make their eyes light up, their smiles beam and their lives all the more enriched. Take a look at this ultimate guide to the perfect family road trip.
Pick Your Vehicle
Just because you are heading out on the open road doesn’t mean you have to take your decade old saloon. You could decide to make your holiday a little more special by hiring a different vehicle for your road trip. If you love camping or heading out into the wilderness and off grid, you might fancy leasing a camper-van or a recreational vehicle for a couple of weeks or even going a step further and calculating your camper loan to buy one. A true home away from home, you could sleep and eat and drive using your vehicle.
Alternatively, you might want to consider the sorts of cars that your teenage offspring find cool. Hiring a Mustang or Cadillac for your couple of weeks out on the open road could be the ideal way to engage your older kids with their holiday. Even if you have bad credit, you may still be able to take out a small personal loan to cover all eventualities when hiring such an achingly cool vehicle for your family vacation.
If your budget is a little tight, your own vehicle should be more than adequate. Simply ensure that all of the basic maintenance checks are completed, your oil level is topped up, and your tire pressures are at their optimum, ready for a longer than usual journey. If in doubt, take your vehicle to a garage to have a thorough service before heading out on the open road. You can also check yourself for the best car care maintenance tips.
Where Will You Go?
The world really is your oyster when it comes to a road trip. You could choose to plan out your route before you go complete with motel stops, campsite retreats and accommodation booked along the way. Or you might choose to be a little more spontaneous on your travels. With little darlings, at least having a skeleton itinerary can be useful.
You could choose to head a little off grid, into the countryside or mountain landscapes and finding log cabins to hole up in along the way. If the seaside is more your thing, a road trip along the coast could be the ideal way of spending a couple of weeks during the summer. You might find museums, aquariums, zoos and water parks to enthuse your kids with their vacation. You will meet new people, experience new cuisines and enjoy immersing yourself in the towns and villages you come across.
National parks are perfect for family vacations. Whether your kids love wildlife, riverside walks or camping, you can find something for everything in Yosemite or Yellowstone. Some of the greatest American geological wonders are fully contained within national parks. A road trip could be the ideal way to see the Grand Canyon or Crater Lake. Texas is also a great place to visit because they have so many attractions. The family would also have a great time if they ride a party bus to Amarillo.
The only time children become truly unruly is when they become frustrated or bored. It’s up to you to try and mitigate the chances of this happening. Arm yourself with their favorite toys, games, electronic gadgets and gizmos, and some snacks. Being on the road can be fun, to begin with, but for little arms and legs, the novelty can soon wear off.
While you won’t want your kids to have their heads buried in social media feeds all trip, it can take the edge off a particularly long leg of your journey. Never forget the power of a card game, eye spy or another traditional in-car game.
Make sure that you take plenty of rest breaks and don’t spend more than three hours on the road at any one time. Split your journey legs up with exciting activities. For example, you might want to venture to a national park and spend some time outdoors in the fresh, crisp air. Trekking, hiking, kayaking and white water rafting can act as the perfect incentive for your kids to endure a long journey on the road. Make sure you stop off for bites to eat at cafes and restaurants and always stop for toilet breaks when needed otherwise the results could be a disaster.
Your road trip shouldn’t be traveling all day every day. Head out on the open road and then stay somewhere for two or three days at a time. By doing this, your kids can truly immerse themselves into an area. If you’re heading down south, Creole and deep south cuisine can only be properly enjoyed if you linger around the restaurants for longer than an evening. Head into the cities to experience the nightlife of New Orleans or Chicago. You don’t always have to venture off the beaten track if you begin hankering after civilization once again.
A family vacation should be the most fun and joyous part of your year, not the most daunting or traumatic. Forget about flying abroad and spending a small fortune in some far-flung exotic destination, and instead focus on enjoying the great outdoors on a family road trip.