Family Vacation Road Trip Planning: Departure Time

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Welcome to our new series, Family Vacation Road Trip Planning!  Over the next few weeks, you’ll get tried and true tips for planning the best family vacation road trip from a mom of 4.

Road trips are the preferred way to travel for most families. The average family takes one or more road trips every year. Some parents welcome a road trip as quality family time, while others view it as a necessary evil to travel from one place to another!

If you take the latter position, there is a good chance that you may find your road trip more enjoyable if you follow some of the travel tips  in our family vacation road trip planning series.

Departure Time

Regardless of how far away the destination is, the goal in planning a successful road trip is to limit the amount of ‘restless’ time in the car. Children have short attention spans and get fidgety rather quickly. Activities and movies are great, but kids anxiously awaiting the arrival of their vacation will grow weary of novelties rather quickly.

For long distance road trips, it is best to leave at a time that allows for maximum sleep time for the children. Some parents like to get up before dawn and be on the highway when the sun comes up.

My personal preference on long distance road trips is to go to bed early the night before and set the alarm for 2 a.m. Packing the car full of comatose children is easier than it sounds. My children can be carried directly from bed to car without a hitch.

In the event that they do start to come to, they will be groggy and once you hit the road, the car ride should send them back to their zombie-like state. While you may be tired for the first day of your tip, it may be worth the trade off to be to make it halfway to your destination before having to stop for breakfast. Don’t forget to pack their own pillows and blankets too. 

What are your best road trip tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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