Five Tips for Awesome Family Road Trips

September 23, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Family Vacation

Taking a road trip with your family can be a lot of fun, as it allows you to spend time together exploring a specific route. This form of vacation can also be less expensive than flying in some cases. Road trips aren’t always fun, though. Some families have actually found them to be quite stressful. Don’t end up having a bad time on your next family road trip. Here are five tips to make sure everyone has an awesome time:

  • ·         Avoid pressuring yourself to stay on schedule.

Yes, you want to get to the hotel by nightfall or make sure you reach a destination before the gift shop closes, but the point of any family vacation is to have a good time. Make sure that the schedule you plan is super flexible so that you have time to just enjoy little things along the way, like stopping at a park for a picnic lunch or taking the scenic route to avoid an accident.

  • ·         Let all members of the family help plan.

What you want to do and what your spouse and children want to do might not be the same. To avoid fights and boredom, let every member of the family plan one leg of the trip. For example, on Wednesday, your teen daughter chooses where to stop for dinner and whether to go to the zoo or the water park. The next day, you stop at the train museum that interests your husband and on the way home, you appease your toddler with stop at the beach. When everyone is involved with the planning, there is less bickering.

  • ·         Purchase some special treats for the trip.

Old toys and movies can get boring in about three minutes. Instead, surprise your family with some special treats especially for the vacation. Don’t unveil them all at once. For example, an hour into the road trip, hand over a new DVD you got for the trip and later that night, pull out brand new coloring books.

  • ·         Stick to a normal routine as much as possible.

You want your schedule to be relaxed, but at the same time, you also want to stick to your normal routine when it comes to two things: sleep and food. If your kids are used to an afternoon nap, don’t plan an activity during that time – spend it driving so they can sleep in the car. If you typically have dinner on the table by 6 PM, don’t be surprised if everyone is grumpy when you finally get food at 9 PM.

  • ·         Spend some time apart.

When you’re coped up in a car, tempers can flair. Make sure you schedule some alone time. Take the kids to see a movie while your spouse relaxes with a nice shower. Allow your teen to go to the hotel pool alone (though keep a watchful eye from the balcony of your room). Take you 10-year-old to the amusement park while your spouse takes your 15-year-old shopping to give the kids some time apart. You don’t have to spend every minute together as a family.

When you leave on a road trip, don’t start off with the mindset that everything is going to be perfect. In fact, most of the time, there will be problems – bumps on the road, so to say! That doesn’t mean your trip has to be ruined. Try to have a go-with-the-flow attitude. Remember, your kids take their attitude cues from you.

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