As a child, my parents and I took many road trips, particularly during summer and winter breaks and over the holidays. While our family is spread out all over the country, I only remember the occasional plane trip. It is the memories we made playing games in the car or camping in a rented motor home on the beach that I cherish and want to replicate with my own family.
While it may be quicker to hop on a plane to begin vacationing, there are a number of benefits to traveling by car.
1. Freedom & Flexibility – If you’ve ever had to travel by plane with small children, you know how restrictive it can feel. If a child wants to get up and run around, they are unable to. If an item is forgotten, there is no stopping until the plane has landed. When traveling by car, parents can stop for food, rest, and potty breaks at their leisure.
2. Cost – While the cost of fuel has risen considerably over the past couple of years, travel by plane can still be very cost prohibitive for families. Add the cost of travel within the destination city and airport transfers and it may make more sense to simply drive. Families can also save on road trips by packing snacks and making smart, affordable, healthy meal choices.
3. Memory-Making – There is something about traveling by car that lends itself well to creating family memories. From playing “I Spy” and the License Plate game, to singing songs and telling stories, road trips encourage families to converse and bond.
It goes without saying that planning any trip with small children requires strategic planning. Here are my best tips for your next family road trip:
1. Make a plan. Map out your route and check for road closures/construction.
2. Travel at night, when possible. As fun as it is to play games and interact, children can get bored and restless when driving long hours. Make the most of their naps and bedtimes by traveling distances at night.
3. Pack plenty of snacks, games, and toys. Since you likely have more space than you would if traveling by air, pack enough items to keep kids entertained and happy. You may even consider picking up a few new items and surprising children once on the trip.
4. Make regular, purposeful stops. If you wait until children are starving or cranky, you may end up stopping in an undesirable location or spending too much time looking for a restroom, restaurant, or other needed venue.
No compensation was received for this post. A gift card was provided by Kia as part of the #kiaroadtrip campaign #kiasocialclub