Road Trip Tips
Tips and Tricks:
1. When booking hotels for the night, try to do it in advance and make sure that the rooms are refundable or can be cancelled if anything should come up.
2. To help save money try to book hotels that offer a free continental breakfast in the morning. Breakfast can run a family of four $25.00 and up at McDonald's and sit down can be even more expensive. So if you have to spend an extra $20.00 on a hotel that offers a free breakfast, then it is well worth it.
3. If you are on a budget try to take your kids to historical sites or national parks. Most are free and others only require a small fee. Mt. Rushmore, for example, is only $11.00 to park. We had six people when we went and took only one car, so it only cost about $1.83 per person.
4. Take snacks with you. It is always a good idea to have some form of snacks with you while traveling... especially when you have children.
5. Always take an ice chest. Water is extremely important while traveling and you should carry lots of it (and other liquids as well). Plus, if you are on a budget you can make things to take with you so don't have to eat out as often, if at all. And if you do plan on eating out (say fast food) you can pack things like healthy dressing to put on a salad if you don't want to eat too much unhealthy food.
6. Try to plan your route and activities in advance, but try not to plan too many things for one day. If you are constantly rushing to try and make the events of the day you will have cranky parents and children. Everyone will be exhausted and no one will have fun.
7. Take time to enjoy your surroundings and site-see a little. If you stop every few hours just to get out and stretch or look around you will find that everyone has more fun. Kids don't like to be cooped up in a car all day long. We stopped at random historical markers and sites, just so the kids could expel some of their energy. Places like Custer, South Dakota have painted bull statues everywhere, we got out and took pictures with as many as we could find. Cheyenne, Wyoming has large boot statues and map to help find them all.
8. If something comes up while on your trip that puts a damper on things, try your best to make it seem like it is nothing and make the best of the moment. We broke down and had to change our water pump, before we could go anywhere. While my husband worked on the car the kids spent time seeing who skip rocks the farthest or see how far they could hop on one leg. We made, as my kids said, an adventure out of it.
9. Make sure you take things with you that will entertain your children when you are on the road. We went to a quite a few places, but I made Lapbooks to coordinate with our trips to Mt. Rushmore, Bear Country USA and the Mammoth Site. You can also take things like coloring books, Nooks or Kindles, music for kids (with songs like "Going on a Bear Hunt" and other songs they can move and sing too, but still stay seated) and games they can play while on the road. We bought portable DVD players a few years back and it only ran us $75.00 for a two screen system that straps to the back of the head rests. Great investment if you like to travel with your kids.
Remember that children tend to get bored easily and they also get loud when they are bored. Try to encourage your children to play and have fun, but not be so loud. And if for some reason you just can't get them to lower their voices try blasting some music they like for awhile and even singing along with them. You could have a singing contest or take turns singing different parts. Make it fun for the kids and you will have a great time as well. I really hope you guys enjoy your next road trip.