A road trip is an ideal method of traveling, and the Coronavirus pandemic has only made it better! With a trunk packed with cases and a full tank of gas, you can finally have the vacation that you wanted this year. Sure, it isn’t London or Costa Rica, but the US still has the likes of Texas, California, and Nevada to enjoy!
When you think about a road trip, your mind will be drawn to the stereotypical reasons to pack the family in the car. “There’s nothing like the open road,” or “you’ll be at one with nature and yourself” are all legitimate excuses, yet it’s often the reasons you don’t think of that make road tripping special.
After all, doing the same thing for the same reasons gets old quickly. What you need is something to get the blood flowing and keep the kids entertained. Yes, there are downsides, but the incredible thing about this form of vacation is that you can negate them if you plan ahead.
So, what are the motives that you never thought of? Why should you take the cons with a pinch of salt? You can find the answers to all these questions and more by continuing to read the points underneath.
You Go At Your Pace
Quite literally! Part of the problem with a holiday is that you feel as if you must fit in everything before you leave. It’s not often that you get to experience the capital of England, so you want to hit up Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and so much more before your vacation ends.
While this is fun and entertaining, it’s also exhausting. By the time you get back to the hotel at night, you can’t be bothered to go out for dinner!
Okay, traveling in a car for a couple of hours a day is by no means a walk in the park, yet at least you get to control the speed. If you want to stop off several times to take a rest and see the sights, then you can. However, if you don’t think there’s much in the area and prefer to head straight to the campsite or accommodation, that’s an option too.
Usually, this is ideal for families because kids aren’t great at hiding their frustration, and being cooped up in a vehicle all day long is annoying. Thankfully, organizing numerous stops should ensure that they don’t get grouchy. Whether you explore Iceland by car or the US, you can control the experience.
All-inclusive vacations, while they remove the hassle of holidaying with children, tend to feel faster. This can lead to your getaway being more stressful than anticipated.
It Teaches Your Kids To Love Traveling
There are tons of things that you hope your kids learn as they get older. As a parent, it’s impossible to make sure they soak everything in, which is why Moms and Dads generally focus on the main points.
This can be everything from relationships to how to manage money, depending on what you decide is essential.
Travel may not be at the top of the list. It may not be on the list whatsoever. However, it’s vital that children develop an enjoyment for visiting new places. Firstly, it encourages them to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. As any adult can agree, this is something that can work wonders for relationships and careers (to name two).
Traveling not only opens their eyes, but it also teaches them to learn who they are.
In a society where so many people follow the crowd, adults included, it’s nice to watch children develop into self-aware men and women. Plus, there are the relationships they’ll make along the way. It’s incredible how many people are friends to this day because they share travel experiences.
Your kids may grow up to love traveling regardless of whether you go on road trips. However, it’s an easy and fun way for you as parents to try and instill the values in them. Come on – that’s the sort of parenting method that you can get behind!
The Cons Are Negatable
Nobody will tell you that a road trip is plain sailing from the time you start the ignition to the day you return home. With kids in the car and plenty of open roads, there are bound to be tantrums that make you want to pull the vehicle over and cut the trip short! However, the good news is that you can eliminate most of them via good planning.
To begin with, you must ensure that the vehicle is as safe and secure as possible beforehand. This means downloading or printing off a car accident checklist and ticking off the hazards. Also, you shouldn’t underestimate the side-effects of driving while tired. You may think you’re in control, but a single millisecond will change everything.
Once the vehicle is ready, now it’s time to prepare for the kids’ inevitable bad moods! Packing as many games as possible is a smart move, as is the art of packing itself. Cubes are easy ways to make sure what they need (want) is readily accessible even when you’re driving.
Don’t forget about the lack of facilities, too.
Some places will have rest stops and services every half a mile, whereas others won’t have a gas station or a place to eat for hours. A potty, whether they’re too old or not, should prevent any nasty accidents!
The Costs Aren’t High
When you stop and pay for gas a handful of times, you could begin to wonder how much you’re going to spend on fuel. Then, after you factor in the other expenses, you may recognize that the trip isn’t cheap. To be honest, bargain vacations, whether you stay at home or head abroad, don’t exist. If they do, they’re rare.
What you need to do is compare the prices of a road trip against what you would pay for a regular holiday. Considering that the average cost of gas in the US is $2 a gallon – $2.5 if your vehicle uses diesel – you probably won’t spend more than $150 on fuel during your vacation.
That’s not a lot, not when you compare the States to the rest of the world.
Road trip-wise, the US is one of the cheapest countries to travel via car as the affordability relative to income is high. Plus, the good, ol’ US of A is filled with activities in every state. Whether you’re on the east or west coast or driving through the middle, you’ll love the plethora of attractions.
Go and tally up the price of a family holiday to a foreign country and you’ll soon realize that the expenses aren’t high.
You Can Change Your Mind
There’s no waiting around for flights or trains if you hate the place. You can jump back in the car and head on to the next location, no questions asked. You may not see this is an advantage because you assume that you’ll love every destination.
Sadly, that’s not how it works. There may not be many places to eat that are family-friendly, or you could rattle through the activities in a couple of hours. Sometimes, it can be more expensive than you budgeted for, which is why you need to make a sharp exit.
There is a whole host of reasons why you may require a backup plan. A road trip provides you with one as you have the freedom to decide what’s suitable. As long as the car has enough gas, you can head to another place and see if it’s better.
You’ll Bond Properly
The thing with bonding is that you have to spend quality time together. Vacations are useful for that, yet it doesn’t mean every holiday is full of family fun time. Typically, the kids are so excited that you barely get to see them before they’ve dived in the pool and spent all day soaking wet. In short, there are lots of distractions that don’t exist on a road trip.
Whether you like what you learn or not, you’ll understand your whole family better after one week driving through the US. Yes, there will be periods when you want your space, and you should because being around the same people all the time gets tiresome.
Still, you’ll remember the times when you laughed and smiled more than when you shouted and yelled. Hopefully, your children will do the same as they are the memories that last a lifetime. Some parents see a vacation as a chance to get away from their kids. A road trip is the sort of experience where you become closer.
It’s hard not to when the space is so intimate and compact.
There are hard times during any family holiday, and a road trip is no different. But, by the end of it, you’ll be refreshed, closer as a group, and have left your mark on your kids from a parenting perspective.
Not many vacations can boast these benefits!