Five Tips to Plan the Ultimate Family Road Trip

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This post originally appeared on Best Western’s’s blog, where I regularly contribute stories. I was compensated for this post but the opinions are mine.

Over the course of the past five years, I’ve logged more than 30,000 miles on family road trips of one kind or another. In fact, for my wife and four kids, it just doesn’t feel like summer if we’re not doing a big road trip because traveling together is one of the ways we’ve built the most memories together. In order to spread the love to implement with your own family, here are five tips on how to create your own family road trip the smart way:

Bring plenty of electronics on board your vehicle: In the old days, it was difficult for parents because they had to endure trips with kids who didn’t have much to do in the car. Today, smart phones, tablets and handheld games make it possible for parents to entertain their children in so many endless ways, leaving the biggest challenge as making children share devices and get along. Before you leave home, be sure you have power adapters and batteries ready, but even if you forget, all those devices are within reach at a nearby Target store.

Practice road safety: When you’re traveling long distances with your family, it’s especially vital to practice extra road safety. For example, if you’re tired, don’t push yourself to drive with exhaustion. Try to limit the amount of time you have to drive at night, and don’t pit-stop for photos in places that are dangerous.

Manage your fuel wisely: Running out of fuel is no fun, and even less fun when you have a carload of kids to remind you how hot it will get if that happens. In some western, remote parts of the country, you need to be extra vigilant of your fuel because gas stations are as many as 60 to 80 miles apart. A general rule of thumb for me is to fuel up no later than the quarter tank mark.

Use social media and digital technology: Social media has made it possible to document your road trips in more intimate, smart ways than ever before. Whenever we travel, my wife and I love to use Instagram, Foursquare and Facebook to record details of what we did, where we visited and what we saw. Social media is also useful for finding interesting places to see or eat. Yelp, Urban Spoon and Around Me are all excellent apps we rely on heavily.

Remember that the journey is what matters most: The longer the journey to your destination, the more likely you will enjoy the memories you make to your destination. I always remind my family of this because those things you do while driving together are as precious as landing in Disneyland. Cherish those moments. Document those moments. When the children are all grown, those are the moments you will see most in your videos.

I could go on and on about family road tripping, but the bottom line is to treat them as sacred times that strengthen your family’s bond. If you’ve never had the opportunity to take a family road trip, what are you waiting for?! It’s never been easier to plan one and road trips are truly one of the most wholesome family memories you can ever create. You will treasure them forever – guaranteed.

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