The term ‘staycation’ was coined to describe the increasing number of people who spend their vacation time in their own home town, with 53% of Americans stating they’ve staycationed at one point or another. Sure, it’s economic and can help you rediscover your own city, but it doesn’t offer the same benefits of traveling to a new place. Taking a road trip, near or far, is also budget-friendly and can really broaden your family’s horizons. So lock up the house, and hit the road, Jack!
Plans and Pit Stops
The mark of a good road trip is a carefully planned drive and destination. Prepare for your drive by packing snacks and beverages, safety items (extra bottled water and tools for changing a tire, etc), and toys for playing with on the drive, in addition to everything else you usually need for a trip (like clothes and medicine). Plan out how much time your drive will take, and plan accordingly when it comes to overnight stays at hotels, as well as the quantity of supplies you need. Your driving plan should definitely also include some pit stops along the way. No matter how well you’ve packed up your choice of road-tripping vehicle, both you and your family will greatly benefit from taking a few breaks. From stretching your legs and using the restroom, to enriching your trip with additional sites or activities on the way to the main attraction, getting out of the car a bit is not only added fun, but it will also make for happier kiddos.
Enjoy the Ride
Adding fun to your entire trip isn’t limited to activities outside of the car; the time spent on the road is just as good an opportunity to have some fun and bond with your family. Singing songs, telling stories, and playing car-safe games are great options. Branch out from your usual car activities to keep everyone engaged and entertained. If you usually listen to music, try an audio book for a change of pace. If you tend to stick to games like “I Spy”, mix it up with other, different kid-friendly games. Another form of interacting is admiring the scenery and their changes as you pass through from place to place. Ask your kids some questions, like ‘what differences does this town have’ and ‘how does this place make you feel’ to keep them entertained.
Distract with a Snack
After having fun with games and stories, you may still find that your kids get bored, and restless as a result, especially when you’re taking a break from the in-car festivities (a little quiet can be nice, afterall). To help pass the time and keep your kids distracted and content, be sure to pack some easy-to-eat snacks. It’s not necessary to keep unlimited foods or feed your family just for the sake of keeping them entertained; instead, enjoy your quiet time when they’re hungry and actually in need of a snack, versus giving a snack solely because you need some quiet time. If kids are still fussy, it could also be because they’re tired. They may be sitting, but it can still be exhausting. In this case, quiet time can entail them taking a nap.
The staycation may be popular, but a family road trip is a true classic way to enjoy time off from your everyday routine and experience new things. Long live the road trip!