Before you know it, the kiddos will be out of school and the bonding opportunities that the summer brings forth will be in full swing. And, of course, the summer also includes the chance to have great family vacations. Before you lock in on a cliché vacay destination, think about the reasons why a road trip might be a great option for your family.
1. Make Memories
Being trapped in a car together can make for some great memories! Fun car games, movies, and great conversations often take place when families spend long amounts of time in the car. Get creative and think of the games that will keep your children engaged. Get silly and make each other laugh. The idea of being in a car together for an extended time may sound daunting at first, but you can turn it into quality time and learn a lot about each other and end up with great stories to share for a lifetime. Being in a car together forces families to unplug and depend on each other for entertainment.
2. Save Money
Depending on your end destination, opting to drive can be substantially cheaper than flying. Do the research and map out what the costs for everything will be and weigh the options. Having your own vehicle will also be convenient once you arrive at your destination.
3. Reduce the Stress
Driving relieves parents of having to arrive on time for various flights and alleviates the probability of losing luggage. Entertaining children due to a flight delay or cancellation in an airport can be very stressful in itself. However, driving allows you to be in control. If you need to stretch your legs or take a break—you can! Furthermore, if your family members would like to take a detour before arriving at their final destination—they can!
4. Enjoy Bonus Sightseeing
Having control of the wheel provides you with the opportunity to add great spots to your itinerary. If you fly or travel by a bus or train, you’d miss out on these great tourist attractions. And, you can personalize your vacation even further by allowing your children to vote on which attractions they’d like to visit. There are a ton of great museums and attractions where you can tie in an educational spin on things, too. Road trips allow for spontaneity.
5. Find Learning Opportunities
Speaking of bonus sightseeing, the learning opportunities are absolutely endless when it comes to visiting great historical places. Your child’s history lesson usually equates to what they read in textbooks and maybe a field trip to a local museum. However, a road trip provides more options to further teach your children about their history. Jamestown Settlement, the Nation’s Capital, the North Bridge, and Selma are just a handful of great locations that are family friendly and full of historical gems.
6. Fit in Summer Reading
Road trips provide everyone with the opportunity to get in some additional reading time. If your children aren’t the biggest fans of books, opt for an audiobook that the entire family can enjoy during the trip. After each chapter, the family can participate in a discussion about the setting, characters, and the general story line taking place. If you’re interested in book suggestions, a few great audiobooks from the Penguin Random House Listening Library are Jennifer L. Holm’s quirky tale The Fourteenth Goldfish, Chris Grabenstein’s brain-teasing mystery Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, or perhaps Jack London’s The Call of the Wild.
7. Share Your Roots
If your family didn’t grow up in your current locale, a road trip can provide the opportunity for you to give your children a glimpse down memory lane. It’s one thing to tell your children where you grew up, but it’s another to show them. Your childhood home, the hometown pizza place that you once were obsessed with, the park you played in, and maybe even the school you attended—all of these memories can be revisited and shared with your children.
For additional information on great road trip options and ideas, check out Fodor’s Travel.