Ah, road trips. They're a time honored family tradition for millions of Americans. This holiday season, there will be plenty of folks on the roads, headed to visit beloved family and friends, or to take their families on fabulous trips as their family Christmas gift. Before you hit the road with your brood, take some time to do a little research and planning to ensure that everyone has a wonderful time together.
For a stress-free road trip, make sure your vehicle is ready for the long haul. You'll want to see that your car is clean, organized, and everything is in proper working order. Check all of the car's fluids, and if necessary, take it in to the dealership for a winter tune up. You can choose to winterize your car, if you plan on driving in an area that has a lot of winter weather. Check the tire tread to make sure it's safe for driving long distances, and in snow and ice. You'll also probably want to go ahead and get an oil change before doing any major traveling.
Plan to make some stops. Part of the fun of taking a road trip, is stopping at cool little places along the way to your destination. It can be easy to want to cut this out of your trip, but it's part of the road trip experience, and one worth exploring- especially if you're traveling with kids. Gauge the ages of your kids and what kind of stops they might be able to handle. Research some fun places to stop along the way, cool dives and restaurants to eat at, and cool spots to take some family photos. Your family will undoubtedly remember these impromptu stops as one of the best parts of your trips together.
Take it easy on the luggage. It's so hard to not pack up your entire house to bring along with you on a car trip, especially when you have young children. Keep the Car in mind, however, since you'll be spending a lot of time in it. Give older kids a limit as to how many items they can bring along, or give each child the same size bag, and tell them they can bring whatever they can fit into the bag. Going light on the luggage and the back seat toys and game will save room, and keep everyone more comfortable during travel time.
Plan games for the car trip. It may seem cheesy, but car games are a great way to pass the time. There are tons of car trips games and activity ideas on Pinterest. Grab a few of those, or just look them up from the car on your phone. Ask everyone to put their electronic devices away for 30 minutes, and partake in the family fun!
Save money by packing snacks and non-perishables for the ride. Have snacks at your disposal to keep tummies satisfied and little ones happy. No one likes cranky travelers. No matter where your travels take you this holiday season, you're in for a fun trip!