These past few years have had most of us stuck at home, what with the lockdowns and the work-from-home protocols that followed. However, working from home, while definitely beneficial, did have its negative effects, including boredom and quarantine fatigue. It’s no wonder then that around 208 million Americans are thinking about traveling in 2022, with 80% planning to go on a road trip.
After all, road trips can be fun, and they help bring the family closer together. However, going on a road trip with your family can be stressful as well, but the stress that is associated with road trips can be easily avoided as long as you know what to do.
As with any form of travel, planning is an important part of going on a road trip. It may even be argued that this is the most important step in making sure that you have a stress-free trip ahead. Planning entails having a pre-departure checklist, which should include a copy of your reservation for your accommodations, your planned route, your vehicle registration and a copy of your auto insurance card, and your valid IDs.
Make sure, too, that you plan your schedule and route around possible traffic disruptions so that you don’t get stuck on the road during rush periods. This is particularly important if you plan to go on a trip during the holiday season since many people during this time are traveling simultaneously.
As a matter of fact, the number of long-distance trips increases by 54% during the Thanksgiving period. Other things that you must plan are your snacks and entertainment, especially if you are traveling with kids so that they do not get too antsy while sitting in your vehicle for extended periods of time.
Set a Budget
One of the first things that you should consider when planning for a road trip with your family is your budget. You have to set ample funds for your entire trip. This is particularly important since even among cost-conscious travelers, 44% still managed to blow their budget due to surprise fees and small expenses.
As such, when setting your budget, you need to allot enough money for gas, accommodation, food, and even tips. You should also look into possible hidden fees that can be added to your bills, such as the “resort fee” if you are staying at a hotel.
As well, set enough budget for emergencies as these can also cut a significant portion of your budget. For instance, you need to set aside some money to have the right amount for towing fees in case your car breaks down. Setting aside enough money for emergencies ensures that you don’t have to limit your spending on things that you planned for.
Picnics and Physical Activity
Long car rides can take their toll on anyone, especially on the driver and on the kids who are with you on your trip. The environment of driving, with the repetitive sounds and sights on the road, as well as the rhythm of a moving vehicle, can easily lead you to the initial phase of sleep, which is that transitional period between sleep and waking.
As such, when planning your route, it is important to consider break times. These break times are crucial as they allow you and your family to rest and refresh.
Moreover, one of the advantages of road trips is that they allow you to easily stop at lesser-known attractions, so you can take advantage of that as well. You can visit local parks to give your kids some chance to move around, too, ideally for around 30 minutes. This will help them stay calm once you’re back on the road.
Some may think that going on a road trip with your family is a stressful affair. However, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’re prepared for it, road trips are a good way to bond with your family while creating memories that can last you a lifetime.