Ready For Summer Vacation? Consider a Family Road Trip
Summer is here, and while it may feel a little different this year, there’s no reason you and your family can’t have fun. Read on to learn more about how you can plan the perfect road trip.
Summer is here, and while it may feel a little different this year, there's no reason you and your family can't have fun. In fact, embarking on a road trip this season can be the perfect way to have an exciting and safe adventure with the entire family!
Road trips are a popular option for travel because of the ease and flexibility of packing up a car and driving wherever you wish. In fact, AAA estimates that more than half of traveling families forego airports and cruises and hit the road for their vacation. Whether you're experienced with highway travel or are considering taking your first family road trip this summer, here's everything you need to know about this popular travel experience.
Perks of hitting the road
Road trips are a great way to explore new places for a number of reasons - namely because of how flexible they are. Here are a few other perks of driving to your dream destination:
Personalize your map: Perhaps you're driving the family to a final destination where you'll spend a week or spreading your time among different locations equally. The beauty of a road trip is that you can truly travel and go where you want without being restricted by flight schedules. Additionally, if you drive to a location and want to spend more time there, you can be much more flexible with your schedule (especially if you're traveling in an RV or camping).
Get the whole family together to brainstorm what sites they would like to see and landmarks to visit to make a personalized itinerary that everyone will love.
Fewer travel restrictions: Speaking of flights, road trips are, arguably, much easier to plan for because of the ease of traveling between states. While it's still important to bring some identification while on the road, you don't have to worry about getting your family's passports together, traveling through security and waiting around at airports. If your family are early risers, start driving at dawn and watch the sunrise. On the flip side, you can travel at night if that's your preference - without being bound to flights, you can truly travel on your own time.
Flexible Budgets: A common misconception is that road trips are the most cost-effective vacation option - but this isn't always the case. While you're not paying for airfare, you must still be conscious of your budget. Budget Travel recommends investing in a gas card or app that directs you to the best places to fill up your tank and to always research lodging and restaurants to ensure you're not overpaying for accommodations. With that being said, your budget for a road trip is much more flexible because no prices are truly set in stone - you can choose to stay in five-star hotels or camp out in the woods depending on what you want to do and how much you want to spend!
Bring plenty of activities and toys to keep your kids busy in the car.
Some family-friendly routes to consider
Of course, one of the first things you'll want to do when planning a road trip is to choose a destination or route. The Road Trip Expert explained that you should not drive more than nine hours a day , and for every 4.5 drives you should take a break. Essentially, this means you can safely drive around 500 miles a day which can help you with planning how long the trip will take and when's a reasonable time to get there.
The best thing about a road trip is that you can essentially drive wherever you desire, but if you still don't have a destination in mind here are a couple things to consider:
The weather: If you want to take a road trip up north, you'll likely want to do so in the summer when the weather is best. Likewise, you may want to save a trip down south for winter when the weather is more temperate.
Activities: What does your family enjoy doing? Would they want to spend time in nature or are they more interested in visiting museums and historical sites?
If you've never taken a road trip, a great destination would be any of the country's National Parks - there are more than 400. These locations are typically family friendly and welcome travelers on four wheels who want to camp or stay in a hotel nearby. National Parks can provide the perfect mix of fun, adventure and history all in one place.
How to plan the perfect family trip
Even though a road trip could be a spontaneous trip, it's always best to plan some things out in advance. Accommodation, rest stops and activities are a few of the factors that Family Vacation Critic says you should always plan in advance of a road trip. Essentially, it's about balancing fun, surprise stops along the way with the security that you know what's coming next and where you'll spend the night.
Additionally, make sure to pack plenty of car activities and snacks for the family. Easy crafts, coloring pages and audiobooks are all car-friendly activities to pass the time. With these tips in mind, your family is ready to embark on a road trip to make lasting memories!