How to Plan Family Vacation Routes

How to Plan Family Vacation Routes
Taking the family on a vacation in the great outdoors can be a truly rewarding experience. It creates memories for parents and children alike and teaches the children about the virtues of exercise and nature. However, getting to those outdoors destinations can turn into a serious headache, since few children are ever content to sit in a car for several hours at a time. Proper route planning is essential to keep the trip from becoming a nightmare.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Get good, up-to-date maps. Since highways and interstates rarely change in substantial ways, you can probably make do with a road atlas that is 5 years old. However, if you will be finding your way through the streets of a big, unfamiliar city, get a new, detailed map for that location.
Step 2
Determine your possible interstate and highway routes and then check with a service like AAA about road construction during your trip. Either plan detours around road construction or eliminate that route altogether. Nothing causes family frustration like sitting in a traffic snarl for two hours.
Step 3
Estimate how far you can drive in one day and make that a conservative estimate. For example, if you think you can travel 60 miles every hour, intend to spend 2 1/2 hours on activity stops and lunch and want to drive from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., you should travel 510 miles. However, you should think ahead and realize you probably won't get on the road until 9:30 or 10. If you have young children, they will never make it to 8 p.m., activity stops or no. Ergo, you should revise this scheme to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for 6 1/2 hours of driving and 390 miles covered.
Step 4
Research and plan potential stops to eat up the kids' energy. You know your children, so you know how far they can go in the car before they start to get restless. Decide how much time they can spend in the car, convert that into an estimate of miles driven, and then begin looking for activity stops along the way. Ideas include picnic lunches at rest areas, roadside attractions, scenic overlooks, parks and restaurant playgrounds.

Tips & Warnings

 
Try to include refilling the gas tank after every stop. This will save you the time it takes to make a separate stop for gas. Also, since your kids have just had an activity stop, you won't need to let them out of the car and keep an eye on them. Choose a hotel at the end of the day's travel that has something for the kids, like a playground or swimming pool. If it has something for you as well, like a jacuzzi, all the better.
 
Try to include refilling the gas tank after every stop. This will save you the time it takes to make a separate stop for gas. Also, since your kids have just had an activity stop, you won't need to let them out of the car and keep an eye on them.
 
Choose a hotel at the end of the day's travel that has something for the kids, like a playground or swimming pool. If it has something for you as well, like a jacuzzi, all the better.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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