The great road trip has fast become a quintessentially American tradition, accounting for nearly 39% of all vacations taken. From the Pacific Coast Highway to Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia (where I grew up traveling to), there are a plethora of gorgeous natural areas to drive through and stop for a few days. Road trips appeal to America’s love of independence and freedom. It can be extremely liberating to let your wishes be your guide, and to take every day as it comes, sleeping in your very own RV or booking local hotels with charm. If you are keen to take your very first road trip and you need some advice for traveling with children, keep these considerations in mind and enjoy a fun-filled bonding experience with those you love.
Choosing a Destination that Appeals to Everyone
Because a road trip enables you to visit more than one site, ask everyone in your family to come up with their own ‘bucket list’ that covers the general area you are visiting. If everyone feels like they have chosen at least one top destination, the trip can be a little more satisfying for everyone involved. There is one proviso when it comes to lists, of course. Some places are particularly magical and may entice you to stay for longer than envisioned. For this reason, you should keep your bucket lists fairly ‘loose’ and agree to slightly alter your route if you become enamored by a new spot.
Selecting and Preparing Your Vehicle
If you are traveling with children (and let me tell you: you haven’t travelled with children until you’ve traveled with 3-year-old twins!) or simply taking a road trip spanning more than a long weekend, a spacious RV-style vehicle will certainly make travel easier and more convenient. On the one hand, items like strollers, toys, and other essentials can be easily stored, as can sports equipment and sportswear – including items like boots, thick coats, and the like – without worrying about space. Check your vehicle maintenance book and ensure that your oil and filter are clean/new, change your spark plugs if need be, ensure spare tires are in good working order, and obtain extra items such as car belts and other essentials. If a maintenance check is due in the next few months, pull up the date slightly to ensure you don’t go over the stipulated mile count.