The longer I am a father the more I realize how difficult it is to plan for family vacations. Besides finding the perfect accommodations, just getting to the desired destination can be very taxing and difficult. Road tips longer than twenty minutes can add so much stress for parents and families. Depending on the age of your children trips can cause several headaches for parents and add the need for extra planning. Young children need a lot of attention and older kids will constantly need to be entertained. Below you will find several family vacation tips for the traveling family.
Vacation Road Tips For Younger Children: Travel with kids
- Leaving Time – This might be the most important tip for young children. Planning departure time around children nap times can eat up a lot time.
- Car Games – Simple car games can help occupy kids for several hours. Possible car games include License Plates (finding 50 states), Scavenger Hunts (list of items the kids need to find), I Spy, Mad Libs, or 20 questions.
- Extra Items – Parents, don’t make the same mistake I made the last time we drove to Gatlinburg TN. Pack extra baby wipes, snacks, drinks, bottles, medicine, and pillows.
- TV/DVD Player – While not all parents like the electronic baby sitter, I would totally consider using it for long car rides.
- Proper Toys – Only a few toys are necessary. I would pack your kids most popular toys. Remember, they will only play with the toy for a few minutes before they might want to move on to something else. Keep this in mind as you are picking out the toys.
Vacation Road Tips For Teens
- Portable Electronics – Some teens are completely content listening to music or watching DVD’s. This is a must for teens.
- Extra Items – Surprisingly much like children, teens will love to have blankets, pillows, and snacks.
- Responsibility – Giving your teen some extra responsibilities can really help them enjoy the family car ride. Allow your teen to make decisions about restaurants, routes, and rest stops. You might just be surprised at how they plan the car ride.
Vacation Road Tips For Parents
- Relax, Breath, & Move Forward – All parents need to take note of this tip. Your kids and teens will play off your emotions. If you are stressed out your children are going to follow your lead.
- Mistakes Are Around The Next Turn – Moving forward from tip number one parents need to understand that something is going to go wrong. You would be better off preparing for something to go wrong then believing everything is going to go right.
- GPS – I am speaking mostly to dads on this tip. However, this tip applies to mommies as well. Allow the husband to think he has it all planned out, but the wife might need to make sure she has packed the GPS. A unique route could add some flavor to your trip, but I would make sure to have directions from your management company and a backup option like a GPS system.
- Take The Right Car – While your sedan might seat five, traveling six hours to the beach might be very uncomfortable for your three kids. Renting a van can relieve stress and keep your personal car from extra wear and tear.
- Short Breaks – If you are like me making good time is the most important thing. After a few trips with my son I realized he did not feel the same way. In fact, he wanted to stop every few hours to stretch his legs. I learned to adapt.
Find any best place to travel and go with your family but make sure you take care of all these above things. If going to a new place then you can find local tour guide to explore hidden gems.