Planning a Road Trip

There’s nothing like a road trip to bring your family together and create memories that you will remember forever.   From the time our kids were quite small, we piled them into the car each summer along with all of life’s necessities, and discovered someplace new – from the beaches of Destin, Florida and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to the lakes of Wisconsin, the mountains of Tennessee and the caves of eastern Ohio.

If you ask my kids about those trips, they will regale you with stories about times when things went horribly wrong, like when my youngest went wading in a lake and came out with leeches stuck all over her legs, when the ‘resort’ we booked ended up looking more like the Bates Motel, or when we went to the beach with two other families, and ended up doling out spoonfuls of thick, pink antibiotics in assembly-line fashion when everyone came down with strep throat. But usually when we get into story-telling mode about our vacations past, we end up laughing like crazy as remember the really great times we had together.

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Are you planning a road trip this summer? There are a lot of things you can do in advance to add to the fun and minimize the stress that travelling can create, especially if you’re traveling with younger children:

–       Get to work on your lists – create a list of things you need to do before you leave (cancel mail and newspaper, arrange for pet care), things you need to buy (bug spray, sunscreen, supplies for activity bags), things you need to pack (chargers, medicines, rain gear), and things you plan to do when you arrive (research points of interest at your destination online, have a plan for rainy day activities, make any necessary reservations.)

–       Have a plan for occupying your passengers during the trip – prepare snacks, and plan a few high-tech activities (age-appropriate apps and movies downloaded to your smart phone or tablet) and low-tech activities (car bingo, or a map and some stickers so your route can be tracked as you go.)

–       Enjoy the journey – so your GPS says you can be there in just under 7 hours? Sounds good, but if you’re travelling with kids, accept the fact that you’ll need to add an hour or two to that number.  Build time into your plan for plenty of breaks to go to the bathroom, stretch your legs, or just regain your sanity.

I can’t wait to plan our next road trip. Where will it be – Gatlinburg, or maybe Indianapolis, or Nashville.  We haven’t been to the beach in a while, and we still haven’t been to Colonial Williamsburg.  Or perhaps it’s finally time for that two-week trip out west!

Wherever the road takes you, I wish everyone happy travels!

5 Sites to Visit Before You Hit the Road

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