More families are about to go on the road this year: travel experts say that 2021 is the year of the road trip. In a recent survey, 57 percent of respondents said that they would take their children on road trips, and 61 percent plan to travel over 500 miles with their loved ones. Going on a long car trip with the people who are nearest and dearest to you can be lots of fun, but it also presents a few challenges that can cause stress while you’re on the road. To ensure an enjoyable and hassle-free trip, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure that everything and everyone will be taken care of during your long drive. Here’s how to take the stress out of family road trips.
Start preparing early
Early preparation is a must to ensure that you’ve got everything you need prior to your road trip. If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your trip, factor in your budget, as well as the specs of the car, and make your purchase a month before your trip. For a family with three members, an intermediate or midsize vehicle will comfortably fit all of you, as well as your belongings. Meanwhile, couples with two or more children may find that an SUV or an RV is better suited for the whole family. Once you’ve secured your vehicle, map out your route, research the stops that you want to make, and make a list of the things that you’ll need to bring for your getaway.
Be prepared for emergencies
There are lots of things that you need to be prepared for once you hit the road. One way to ensure that you’ve got everything you need is to make kits that will help you in various types of emergencies. A first aid kit, complete with motion sickness medication, as well as some headache medicine, can help to quell discomfort while on a road trip. Meanwhile, a toolbox filled with car maintenance gear will help you cope with a flat tire or a dead battery, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere. Don’t forget to bring a cooler filled with bottles of water and snacks – it’s essential to keep everyone’s energy up, and it also prevents you from spending too much money on snacks at every stop.
Maximize comfort and provide entertainment
The novelty of a road trip may wear thin after hours and hours of driving along empty highways. To prevent boredom, make sure to have a few things on hand to keep everyone entertained. Kids can watch movies on a tablet, so make sure to download a few titles and charge the device before leaving. You can also make a playlist of your family’s favorite songs that everyone can sing along to, or play road trip games like I Spy or 20 Questions. To encourage kids to take a nap, don’t forget to bring their blankets and pillows so they can stay comfortable while they snooze. Meanwhile, adults can take turns driving to ease fatigue, and plan on stopping every once in a while to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
Consider these tips to take the stress out of family road trips. Make sure to prepare early for your trip, and be in a positive frame of mind so that you can cope with any emergency or situation, and have fun while you’re on the road.