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Travel Tips – 5 Preparations to Make for a Family Road Trip

A family road trip can be a fun adventure for everyone involved, but it can also be a disaster if people don’t plan for it adequately. With kids in tow, parents need to make some careful considerations to ensure the trip goes smoothly. At least five preparations need to get made for a family vacation to go without a hitch.


Family Road Trip Preparations


Set the Vacation Destination


While it may seem fun and spontaneous to head out on the road without a destination in mind, this is something better left for trips that are adults only. When the entire family goes on the trip, it’s better to have a vacation destination set to know what to expect, whether the place is kid-friendly, and what types of attractions are available in the area. For example, you could visit Carlsbad in California for a fun-filled vacation with the kids. It’s one of the locations out there that offers numerous kid-friendly attractions nearby, including the San Diego Safari Park, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND. The Carlsbad Premium Outlets are right by LEGOLAND if parents want a chance to shop before or after their kids play.


Pack for the Weather


Some people don’t think about the weather at the location they’ll be staying. Instead, they pack up warm clothes and jackets that would be needed in their home state. It’s important to check the extended weather forecast for the place you’ll be visiting and pack the right clothes for that weather. California typically sees warmer weather, so shorts, t-shirts, and sandals should all be included in the luggage. Swimsuits and sunscreen are usually necessary as well.


Don’t Forget the Entertainment


With hours to spend in the car, it’s imperative that parents provide entertainment for their kids. They need to ensure the children will stay occupied and busy so they won’t be asking, “are we there yet” the entire ride (although they still might). Pack some toys, books, word search or crossword puzzles, and plenty of games. There are also numerous road trip games without boards or pieces needed. The whole family can play along searching for the alphabet in road signs or playing the film game where one person says an actor’s name and the others have to come up with some movies they’ve been in. Whatever helps pass the time is a win.


Map Out Gas Station Locations


It isn’t good for a vehicle to use gasoline from all sorts of different gas stations. The quality may differ thanks to the additives certain stations put in. Changing where you go can eventually cause damage to the fuel pump and engine. Instead of searching out the nearest gas station once you run low, it’s best to map out all gas station locations before leaving and choose which ones to stop at along the way. This saves time from searching and allows you to find a popular spot you’re used to. Those who do choose to find a nearby place when they’re close to empty should at least add their own fuel additives to improve the quality and make it more like the gas the car is used to receiving.


Bring Water and Healthy Snacks


Too many people stop at fast food places along the way. They may even eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many of these meals contain high amounts of fat and sugar, making them extremely unhealthy to consume in excess. Grab just one fast food meal on the go, but bring along some pre-made snacks and meals for the rest of the trip. Keep a cooler inside the car or leave it in the trunk and stop periodically to grab a few things out of it. Water is a must to keep everyone properly hydrated on the journey. Stock up on polypropylene bags and pack sandwiches, granola bars, trail mix, carrot sticks, sunflower seeds, and other healthy options so the entire family can get the nutrition they need even while vacationing.


With these preparations handled, families will have a much easier time making the most of their vacation. A road trip with hours spent in the car can be tiresome for all, so making everyone as comfortable and happy as possible is key. Always prepare for a family road trip by making preparations first before heading out.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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