Does the thought of a family road trip strike fear into your heart? It did for me at first when I considered driving to Las Vegas last summer solo with the kids. I honestly thought I was crazy at moments until I actually got over my own fear and just did it! My favorite part of the 1200 mile (one way) road trip? The memories!
It took me a while to get over my own negative thinking that I couldn't do it solo but once I did the planning was a lot of fun. Truthfully when it came right down to it I decided to hop in the loaded vehicle and hit the road. All the thinking, planning and lists came into play and I was determined to make it a success.
So what's on my road trip checklist?
- Travel budget – are you camping or staying in high-end hotels?
- Food for in the car – this saves BIG if you don't have to buy anything at gas stations
- Travel activities and games
- Safety bag – first aid kit, road flares, wet wipes, a few tools and an emergency credit card
- Destination details and directions
- Important phone numbers
- Confirmation/ticket information for stops along the way
- A reliable vehicle
When it comes to making the most of your family road trip you'll find that the special moments are all in the details! A few things I learned along the way:
- A mess in the backseat is a good thing, it means the kids are having fun!
- Sharing your progress on a map so they don't have to ask “are we there yet”
- Expect the unexpected, stopping at a tourist attraction or rest stop because it looks like fun is all part of the adventure
- Be flexible! You can never plan everything perfectly your itinerary shouldn't be set in stone.
If you can get a Thule for the roof of the vehicle, we had a duffle style one, all of our extras we wouldn't need while on the road were in there. In the car we kept our camping equipment, bedding, a change of clothes, toiletries, and food. Keeping less in the car means it will be easier to set up at night and clean up in the morning.
A road trip is a great way to spend long chunks of quality family time together. Those moments are my favorite memories. Just remember to take along your patience and flexibility, that was the biggest learning experience for me!
Where will your next road trip take you?