Who doesn’t dream of hitting the open road the very first thing in the morning on the very first day of your holiday, happy family all content and buckled into their seats, bags and car packed the night before, faces freshly washed as the sun rises. Everyone singing a travelling song in unison and in tune.
Wait a minute! Stop the car! If you have ever been on a FAMILY road trip, you know that things like that don’t actually happen in real life.
In real life someone will be crying in the back seat, or at the very least pouting loudly. Someone else will be cranking music loud enough through their headphones to annoy anyone within a three-foot range (meaning everyone in the car) and someone else will be sighing heavily thinking they should have just stayed home (I’m looking at you Dad).
Don’t despair! With a little bit of thought and planning about the best time to take a road trip, you can actually have a huge amount of fun and experience a great bonding time with your family. Even the teenagers. Really. The key is to never leave on a road trip right after you finish work, and not to leave the first morning after work.
Timing Is Everything
The reality of a good road trip, and by good road trip what I mean is the kind where nobody cries (and that includes Mom, not just the kids), nobody throws up, and nobody gets lost. Now in order to do that, I highly suggest taking that first day of your holiday and using it as a prep day, even if it means you will be on the road one less day than you originally planned, and leave bright and early the second morning of your holiday.
Sleep Well And Take Your Time
Taking a full day to get ready, pack, prepare food for the initial leg of the trip, and just slow down, is probably one of the biggest ways to ensure that your road trip will be successful. Giving everyone time to sleep in for a morning and decompress, helps to gently build the buzz of travelling and gives the older tweens and teens time to acclimatize themselves to the idea of being stuck in a car with you for hours.
Build Destination Consensus
Another big tip is to have a unanimous agreement on the ultimate destination of the trip. When all (or most) of the trip goers are excited to get to where you’re going, the groundswell of excitement becomes a natural thing that will have you all singing as one big out-of-tune family. If there are any naysayers, then a short side trip to something of importance might be a great trade-off for their cooperation.