Over the years we have done many road trips, to visit family, to go camping or simply to see and appreciate this amazing country we live in. It has taken many years of trial and error to hit on a road trip plan that works for our family. Here are our top 5 tips for how to survive the family road trip.
- Pack your own food for meals and snacks. Eating out can take a toll on the pocket book and also on your health. When we can’t pack our own food we like to stop at Safeway, their deli is a great place to find fresh and healthy choices.
- Download some new movies, TV shows, books and music to your mobile devices before hitting the road. Keeping everyone occupied is of utmost importance!!! It is just as important to keep older children and adults busy as it is to keep young children busy!! Don’t forget to bring chargers and charge cords so that you can enjoy your diversions for the entire road trip!
- Stop!!! Make sure to make many stops along the way. Everyone will appreciate the time to stretch their legs, use the washroom and perhaps grab a snack. Incorporating pit stops actually makes the trip seem shorter rather than longer because it breaks up those long monotonous hours. Every road trip has some interesting attractions along the way so plan to stop and enjoy them.
- Bring along some blankets and pillows. It is inevitable that people will fall asleep on a road trip, at least this is the case in our family! Make a nap more enjoyable by planning ahead.
- Engage in conversation. You are all stuck in a vehicle for many hours, this is a perfect time to chat! Our family has come up with some wonderful ideas during long road trips and we have solved some problems as well. A road trip can be the perfect time to engage in quality conversation no matter what age your children are!
A road trip with the family can be enjoyable, but it takes some planning and preparation! Here is a great link with more ideas on how to survive the family road trip. Source: Survive the Family Road Trip With These 13 Tips – Survival Mom
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We have spent a lot of time with our children this summer camping, hanging out in airports, staying in hotels and visiting many attractions. It is, in many ways, much more enjoyable to travel with older children, ours are 16 and 20. However we have also discovered that some things never change. Here are 5 interesting facts about traveling with older children.
- They will still want you to carry their “stuff”. No matter how old they get it seems they need you to hold on to their belongings. Water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses you name it they will want you to carry it! I haven’t carried a diaper bag in many, many years but it almost felt like that was what I was lugging around with me on vacation this year!!
- They still like to play! Apparently you never get too old to play. Our 20 year old son likes to splash around in the pool and chase his sister just as much as he liked to do it when he was 10! Our 16 year old daughter likes to be chased just as much as when she was 6! It is a wonderful thing to see your children play, no matter how old they are!!!
- They will still complain. When they get tired, when they get hungry, when they get hot; you can be sure that you will hear about it! Usually this means that it is time to take a break, whether that means heading back to the hotel, sitting on a bench in the shade or grabbing something to eat.
- They will follow you around like little ducklings. We were certain that given the ages of our children they would want to explore some things on their own. We couldn’t have been more wrong! On a couple of occasions I would turn around and bump right into my son!!
- They still like to hang around with mom and dad! This was the most wonderful revelation to us on our vacation. Our children still want to spend time with us! I guess we must have done something right as parents!
We have been lucky to have this summer with our children and to spend so much family time together. Our son is applying to universities across the country and may only be at home for another year and our daughter is chomping at the bit to get a part time job! It might be the last summer vacation that we have together so we are taking the time to soak in every moment. Traveling with older children is a blessing!
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