Welcome to our summer series on Family Vacation Road Trip Planning with the best travel tips from a mom of four! If you missed the last two family vacation articles, you can check them out here:
- Family Vacation Road Trip Planning: Departure Time
- Family Vacation Road Trip Planning: Kids’ Entertainment
Road Trip Breaks & Stops
Road trip bathroom break detours are inevitable, but you can decrease the number of times you need to pull over for food by packing a cooler before you leave. In addition to filling it with juice boxes, water, some sandwiches and the kids favorite snacks, you may want to add in a few specialty snacks that are normally off limits.
My children always follow a healthy diet and have come to appreciate the ‘vacation food’ they are allowed to eat whenever we travel. With that said, be careful not to overdo it. A car full of kids in sugar overload will definitely back fire.
Plan on stopping for one full meal during the road trip. If possible, opt for a nice rest area that offers outdoor space for the kids to run around and stretch their legs. Making a detour from the highway is also a good idea if you are not pressed for time. Once off the main interstate you should be able to find a full service family restaurant where you can all unwind and enjoy a decent meal.
If you will be making an overnight stop during the road trip, try to plan for it in advance. If you know you will be traveling for 30 hours and stopping halfway through, you can go online, map out your route and locate kid-friendly hotels along the way. Check availability the day before you leave and if there are ample rooms left then you can just wing it without a reservation. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to reserve a room in advance.
If possible, stay in a hotel that offers a pool for some midway relaxation and family fun time. If you can coordinate your arrival to be around dinner time, you may all be able to enjoy a nice swim after dinner, a good night’s sleep and a nice breakfast before you hit the road.
Try to take advantage of specialty perks offered by hotels to attract families, such as kids stay free, kids eat free and free continental breakfast. This is a great money saver and if planned correctly, can even serve as a little mini-vacation before the vacation!
What are your best tips for breaks and stops during family vacation road trips? Let us know in the comments below!
Family Friday: Time to Share!
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