Road trips are probably my favorite kind of family holiday. Too many holiday choices give kids too little an appetite for adventure and exploring. But that’s not to say that a road trip is perfect. If you don’t prepare it right, then you need to prepare for lots of groaning and bemoaning on the way. So here’s how you prepare a road trip the whole family can get into.
Make sure the car is up to scratch
Spontaneity is a crucial ingredient of a great road trip. However, spontaneous car failure is significantly less fun. You might find yourself stranded and waiting on repairs. Or you might have to turn back and miss the opportunity entirely. This is the most crucial bit of prep you have to do to have a smooth road trip. Don’t neglect to give your car a proper check.
Get the kids involved
Kids are explorative by nature, but sitting in a car might not quite scratch that itch for them. They need to feel the adventure, so help them do it in their own mind. Brush up on your history of some of the locations and share the most exciting facts about them. Get them books like the Kids US Road Trip Atlas so they can get psyched up for where you’re going while you’re on your way.
Keep them happy
Long drives with very little see are a mainstay of road trips and one that kids and adults alike aren’t always equipped to deal with. Make the car ride in itself a bit of a treat by making sure it’s stocked with provisions. Snacks are a must, naturally. But entertainment is important too. Think of games that will actually be fun for the whole car to play. Also, make sure that one of your electronic devices is loaded with movies they can watch on the way.
Pick a town worth staying in for a few days
Road trips are all about exploring, yes. But it’s worth taking the time out to switch it up a little. Pick out a town on your way to stay in. For example, if you’re driving through Kentucky, you want to stay in Lexington. Pick a town that has a lot to do, including horse rides and museums to explore. Consider timing your road trip so that you arrive when things like music festivals are taking place, too. It’s nice to spend at least a couple days off the road.
Delegate like a dad
If you’re driving, then you have a bit chunk of the responsibility in making a successful road trip. If you have older kids or you’re driving with your significant other, make sure they’re helping out, too. For instance, one might be in charge of using the navigational apps. One might be in charge of keeping the younger ones busy. One might even in charge of the music.
Making a success out of your road trip is all about making sure that people are kept happy during the drive and invested in where they’re going. It’s also about making sure that everyone who can help is helping. Make it a team effort and a team delight.