Road trips can define your family’s summer—for better or for worse. Spending hours upon hours in a jam-packed car can lead to temper tantrums and tears of boredom. However, with the right steps, it can lead to an annual tradition the kids look forward to (and eventually pass on to their children).
So, don’t just get from Point A to Point B. Here’s how you can enhance your journey and make positive memories on the way to your next vacation spot.
1. Include the entire family when choosing a destination. Involving your children in the decision-making will make them feel like they’re a part of the vacation planning process and will help them to feel more excited for the travels ahead. Then every year, the kids will look forward to working as a team and deciding on a new location. (Tip for parents: give your children a list of pre-approved destinations to pick from. Otherwise, this plan could backfire).
2. Set your sights on fun pit stops. Every state has some weird or unique highway curiosity that are worth checking out. Search along your route for large sculptures like the Jolly Green Giant in Minnesota, the Clown Motel in Nevada, or the Mystery Hole in West Virginia. Heck, you could swing by the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas—just make sure you go back every year.
3. Make a special snack for the road. Whip up a batch of something sweet, salty, or savory (whatever your kids prefer) and only make it for long car rides. This way, the snack will be a special car treat your family will look forward to—and more munching means less talking! Just be sure not to pack anything that will spoil, need utensils, or could potentially leave a mess of crumbs. Trail mix, puppy chow, beef jerky, and cookies all make great options.
4. Play a screen-free game. Put down the phones and tablets! Many Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers (and hey, even some Millennials) spent hours in the car as kids playing 21 Questions, I Spy, and the Alphabet Game. Buzzfeed compiled a great list of car games that adults will enjoy, too.
5. Pack a paper map. Of course, keep your GPS or Maps app up and running, but buy an actual map. Challenge your kids to map your route with a highlighter and put stickers on desired stops. This activity teaches your kids geography and could be fun to bring out for every road trip, serving as a colorful reminder of all the places you’ve been (and all the places you’ll go!).
Don’t forget to service your car before you hit the road! Stop by Henna Chevrolet to make sure your vehicle is ready for summer travel. Henna also has a great inventory of vehicles to make your summer road trip even more special. Learn more at www.hennachevyaustin.com.