Benefits of road tripping with kids
By Josephine Levin
Family road trips has many perks! (Flickr: Zach Dischner)
Road trips, especially during the summertime when the kids are out of school and it seems we have all the time in the world, are more than just a fun way of traveling with family and friends. It has its family-friendly benefits too, which is why it is many families favorite mode of travel.
Here are some reasons why we think being on the road with the kids is nothing short of awesome!
1. Road trips are a great family-friendly way to spend time together and bond with the kids. Here is a wonderful opportunity to show the kids all the exciting things along the way, have sing-a-longs that make the time go faster and play interactive games. If your trip is in the spring, this will be a great way to point out various fruit trees in blossom as well as wildflowers.
2. Road trips can be cheaper than flying, depending on the destination and if you have a gas-saving car and know the tips and proper driving techniques for saving money on gas. It might be worthwhile to rent a gas-saving car than to drive your own, which save your own car from the wear and tear of a long road trip.
3. You don’t have the added stress of having to get yourself and the kids to the departing flight or train on time. With small kids, countless things can occur at the last minute just when you have to leave for the airport! When driving, you can leave at your leisure. You also will not have the bother of lining up at the airport to go through security with the kids, not to mention having to run after them in a crowded airport while waiting to board a flight.
4. You are your own boss and can go at your own pace! Stop whenever or wherever you want to stretch your legs, unlike when sitting in a cramped position for a long time on a plane or bus. Choose lovely picnic sites, preferably with children’s playgrounds where the kids can run around and burn off energy. Be sure to pack a few small or inflatable balls! You might even find a place to do some fishing and enjoy fresh grilled fish.
5. You and the kids will see and explore all kinds of beautiful countryside and sites that you miss when flying or traveling by bus or train. Maybe you can even stop at a farm so the kids can learn where their food comes from before it arrives at the supermarket.
(MORE: Check out more than 40 useful tips for planning a family-friendly road trip with Tip Sheet: Road Trips – The long and whining road.)
6. Save money on food and drinks by carrying a big water and food cooler and a thermos for hot beverages. Buy fresh bread, cheeses, vegetables, deli items, salad veggies and fruit at local groceries, and picnic to your heart’s content at scenic rest stops.
7. You will find cheaper hotels and resorts in rural areas than in the cities and also in spectacular locations that you would not be able to get to without a car. Check out MiniTime for family-friendly accommodations along your route. Also, you won’t have the added expense of parking lot costs like you might have at some urban hotels.
Camp for a night or two during your trip to save money on accommodations. (Flickr: Zach Dischner)
8. Camp out along the way to save money and have the fun-filled family experience of sleeping in a tent. Check out what campgrounds are available along your route.
9. You can bring along a lot of kid and infant gear that you would not have room for when on a plane.
10. You can change the itinerary if necessary due to weather changes or if you find something along the way that is more exciting to do without the added hassle! Make sure to have a backup plan and budget in case of stormy weather. This may mean checking into a hotel along the way to ride out the storm. If you did your homework in advance with a site like Minitime, you will have a list of family-friendly accommodations, ideally with kids’ clubs along your route.
Josephine Levin contributed this to MiniTime.