Friday, April 15, 2011

Tips for making family road trips enjoyable

Sometimes traveling with another family can
add to the fun and spread out responsibilities.
If your family is planning a summer journey, whether you’re visiting relatives or taking a vacation, disaster may be just one exit away when everyone piles into the car for a long road trip.  Stress from the flurry of activity before leaving, bodies trapped immobile for hours in a moving vehicle, and uncertainty about what you’ll find on arriving at your destination can all add tension to the trip.

Here are tips for staying sane, embracing the excursion, and keeping it fun for all. 

Before you go
  • Choose destinations with something for everyone: Include educational opportunities, shopping, outdoor activities, and sports.
  • Budget extra time, so you can enjoy the journey without feeling rushed.
  • Be open to spur-of-the moment stops if you see something interesting along the way.
  • Use the planning process as a way to bond with family members.
  • Let older children scope out things to see and do along the way and at your destination by using the Internet. 
  • Provide everyone who is old enough with their own camera, even if it’s a disposable model.
    Taking turns at the wheel can
    give drivers a break.
Disconnect

  • Leave work at the office—clear your calendar and your mind. 
  • Turn off electronic devices that demand attention.
  • Stay in the moment so distractions won’t zap family time.
  • Ditch your watch and slow down; go with the flow.
Reconnect

  • Stash the DVDs and talk to each other in the car.
  • Share thoughts about the day’s activities during meal times.
  • Approach activities and see things from a child’s point of view.
Space City Houston is a great
family destination.
At your destination

  • Stay in a bed and breakfast or family-friendly hotel to lessen the stress of imposing on friends and relatives.
  • Build in time for young travelers to adapt to new surroundings.
  • Stick to familiar sleep and eating routines.
  • Avoid cramming too much activity into each day (schedule in naps, if necessary).
  • Savor quiet moments, and treasure private time with children or spouse.
  • Get a fresh outlook on your life and family while away from normal activities.
  • Chill.  Time passes too quickly to get uptight about anything
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier and free sources

1 comment:

PPP said...

Great tips!
We solved this issue by investing in very old caravan car. Even though we kind of move to those few squaremeters for weekends, everyone is happy:
Kids love the space they have during kilometres and we can play games etc. while getting forward.

The atmosphere is nice, food is all the time near in fridgerator (three guys aged 10,8,4) :-) and we can always park on the nice lake view.

It is also exciting: with this old car you never know when the trip is over...