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Summer time brings with it adventure and family bonding. One tradition many families have is a family vacation. Whether you have a large family like ours, or a small one, planning is key for a successful road trip. Check our this tips for how to plan your next family road trip.
Picking the Right Destination
Sounds cliché, but choosing the right destination for your family is the first thing you need to do. Every family has a different dynamic, and you have to take that into account in your planning. For many families with special needs children, there are huge factors that need to be considered.
In order to plan a perfect destination for your family, consider the following: Distance away, accommodations, attractions, and any other need your family may have.
Make sure to have all your documents
One thing you do not want to forget is to have all your documents with you! This means your ID’s, car insurance, AAA card if you have one (I highly recommend!!), and car registration. If you’re traveling with children, it is also good to have their child safety kits with you. You can get that completely free here: www.childsafekit.com
This such an important part of having a successful road trip! I know this one from experience. I once found myself broken down a little over a mile from the Arkansas Missouri border by myself with three little girls. Oh, and there was no cell phone coverage what so ever plus it was around 100 degrees with no shade and no a/c. Thanks to what I can truly say was God’s intervention and some earthly angels, we were blessed to be okay, but it left me with a life long lesson in car maintenance!
Make sure to have check all your fluids, tire pressure, and make sure your vehicle is packed with all the safety tools needed in case of emergency. It also might be wise to go in for a tune up and oil change if you haven’t had one in a while.
- 6 Ways to Ensure Family Fun on Your Vacation
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- Budgeting for Family Friendly Trip
Having Back Up Supplies
We all like to use our phones and technology to get us from point A to B, but technology has a the capability to fail. Batteries can die and cell phone coverage can drop. Make sure to have a paper route printed and a glove box map in your glove box, just in case. Other supplies you may need for the trip would be: Back up charging source (like this solar charged pack), cash on hand (in case you arrive somewhere that doesn’t take a card), and power cords to charge your devices.
Planning your Route & Breaks
If your trip will be longer than a couple of hours, planning places to stop will be a huge help. This not only takes away the anxiety of finding a last second restroom, but also give the kids shorter destinations to get to each time. Planning to stop at specific rest stops, restaurants and even parks to stretch will help you have a successful road trip.
That being said, also remember to be flexible. Things happen and sometimes you need to change your course to work with it. If you are worried about arriving at your destination at a specific time, leave a couple of hours early to accommodate any changes that pop up. No reason to stress when your goal is to relax and have fun!
Beverage and Snacks
Yes, a lot of the places you stop will have food and drinks, but at an expensive price. For the price of one granola bar at the gas station, you can typically purchase an entire pack at the grocery store. Pack a small cooler that will fit inside the car to store favored drinks and snacks. This will also help you avoid the famous “I’m hungry” and “I’m thirsty” additional stops. Just remember where you planned those bathroom breaks at!
Bring Entertainment for the Ride
For most modern families, entertainment for a road trip typically means bringing electronics. While this can help, try having some additional things planned. You can buy travel sized games, plan some favorite road trip games, and coloring books with crayons. You can also encourage your children to read some books to help complete their summer reading logs!
That about Wraps it Up!
With the right tools, you’ll be able plan your next family road trip with ease. Use these great tips to have a successful road trip and enjoy your family vacation!
Alicia Trautwein is an autism parenting coach living in Missouri. She is the creator behind The Mom Kind, a website dedicated to parenting neurodiverse families. She is one of the head creators behind the #WeLoeveMoms campaign and is also featured in the “Amazing Moms” coffee table book by Hogan Hilling & Dr. Elise Ho. She shares her expertise along with her experience in parenting children, both with and without autism.