Few things can bring a family together than an enjoyable holiday, and a road trip is a classic way to enjoy some time off and see the sites all over the country. Depending on the distance of your planned trip, though, family travel can become frustrating. To ensure that your family enjoys as much of the road trip as possible, a little pre-planning is in order. Here are some travel tips on how to have a fun family road trip for your next holiday.
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Travel tips on the open road to save and build experiences
Airfare is expensive, especially if you have a large family. Instead of forking over the bulk of your holiday budget on plane tickets, plan a holiday that is reachable via car. With a road trip-based holiday, you can add some unique sites along the way and help your family experience more of the country while also experience the fun of the open road.
Most people live within a day’s drive to major cities or recreational sites, such as lakes or coastal regions. Do some research on the places that are between 500 and 700km away from your home. Look for exciting and unique destinations that lie between your home and a significant tourist destination and plan a stop or two.
Children often enjoy camping trips, but only in small doses as roughing-it can become boring to young minds that are accustomed to frequent stimulation. Try adding a night or two of camping to give your kids a taste of the wild, while adding some creature comforts to those who prefer a hotel bed to a sleeping bag.
If your kids want to spend some time at the ocean shore, you may even be able to enjoy beach camping, where you pitch your tent on the soft sand rather than the hard forest floor. Camping can help lower costs considerably, as camping fees per night are typically minimal and even less if you open to trying free camping. With your savings, you can upgrade your hotel room for part two of your vacation, or add some fun activities along the way, such as hitting a regional amusement park.
Tips for successful family travel
When you are planning your road trip, think about how your family normally reacts to long car rides, considering their ages and the proposed distance for your trip. If your kids are young, it may be better to try to travel while they are asleep. Some families find that the roads are quieter and traffic can be avoided during off-travel times as well. Be sure to plot out your trip, noting where you would likely be during typical rush hour times. Leaving in the middle of the night might save you time at one leg of your trip, but if you end up driving into a major metropolitan area, you may have just made your trip worse.
No matter when you embark on your trip, plan to keep your kids engaged when they are awake. Kids can get bored quickly, and no parent wants to listen to a chorus of “are we there yet” for hundreds of miles. Recruit the family in finding ways to keep everyone alert and excited for the trip. Have your kids choose the road trip playlist, or download a podcast or audiobook on some topic that you can all enjoy. You can also bring some small toys along. Just make sure you keep these toys clean to avoid any unfamiliar germs.
Keep your family fueled for the trip
Healthy snacks can help make the ride pleasant as well. Highway rest stops are filled with unhealthy choices that will make your family restless and miserable. Instead, pack simple, healthy snacks, such as classic peanut butter sandwiches, hummus with crackers and veggies, or wraps. For a fun twist, have your kids help you make protein boxes with cubes of cheese, deli meat, nuts and sliced fruit.
With planning and consideration of the whole trip, your family will have a road trip to remember, rather than just a blurry memory of an expensive flight.
Thanks to Jenny for her guest blog and sharing tips on how to have a fun family road trip for your next holiday. She is a homeschooling mum to her 4 children. She has a blog with lots of useful educational ideas that you can check out on her website Special Home Educator. Missed Jenny’s last guest post? You can check out here.
Do any of these tips appeal to? Let me know which ones you will be trying on your next holiday.