When my husband had the opportunity again to speak at a conference in Charleston, South Carolina we instantly decided to turn it into a family vacation. We had taken the family two years ago when he had the opportunity to speak and we had so much fun. Deciding to go again was an easy decision. The tough part was getting there. Flying to Charleston from Pittsburgh is easy as they now have direct, non-stop flights, but we decided to take an adventure. A road-trip adventure.
What comes with a road-trip? There are two ways to do a road trip. The first I like to call the “Just Go” road-trip which doesn’t involve much planning at all. If you don’t like to plan, then this may be the option for you. The “Just Go” road-trip involves leaving very early in the morning, way before the kids are even awake. You can leave at 1am or 4am, just anytime before the kids would wake up for the day. The night before you simply put the kids into their clothes they are going to wear the next day and let them sleep in them for the night. When it comes time to leave, you move them from their beds into the car and “Just Go!”
With the “Just Go” road-trip you can plan to stop along the way or you can drive straight through depending on how long it will take you to get to your destination. Driving straight through is the goal, but as with many kids, the constant asking “are we there yet” can be a big reason to add in a stop or two along the way. My recommendation for kids six years of age and under is to try to stop every four hours when they are awake. Four-hours is a good amount of time that allows you to cover a large distance. This amount of time also helps get the kids out of the car to expend some of that built up energy.
The other type of road trip I like to call the “Scenic” road trip. With the “Scenic” road trip you build in more places to stop and see various sites along the way. This type of road trip takes a lot more advanced planning. The planning that is involved includes mapping out places to visit along the way with shorter breaks in between, usually 2 to 3 hours in the car before a stop. Each stop is something fun for the kids to do like a zoo, museum, battlefield, caverns, a farm, an Amish market, or the world’s biggest ball of yarn.
The “Scenic” road trip also involves sleeping at various motels and hotels along the way until you get to your final destination. Depending on the areas you will be stopping, you want to make sure the accommodations receive good reviews from other families who have stayed there. You don’t necessarily have to stay in the same area as one of your stops. If you plan to be in that area late, then it is a good idea to stay there. If you decide that you want your road trip to be a “Scenic” road trip, you can easily map it out on Google Maps and find local hotels and sights. You can also contact a travel agent to help you come up with a plan.
You can also do a combination of “Just Go” and “Scenic” road trips. There really is no right or wrong when planning a road trip as long as you are planning it to fit your family’s needs. Just remember, Life is Better Traveling!
Stay tuned next month for more on my road trip adventure to Charleston and my family’s adventure.
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