By: Kimberly Davis Guerra
1. BE A LOCAL Try to avoid the tourist traps and the trendy destinations. Pick a place off the beaten path, have a ‘loose’ schedule and see what happens!
2. DON’T OVER PLAN When you have a family, you tend to be a planner to try to insure that everyone is happy & satisfied at all times. It’s summertime. Let go a little and see where the wind blows you! Enjoy the adventure.
3. FIND THE BACKROADS There is not a lot to see when you drive down the freeways these days. Most of the towns look alike with Super Wal Marts, Chik Fil-A and Texaco’s on every corner. Grab your map and take some back Farm to Market roads instead. You will slow down and see a lot more of what the country has to offer.
4. HAVE A THEME Pick your favorite movie, your favorite book, your favorite song, and have the theme of your trip reflect your choice. Get the whole family involved & be creative. Inspiration can come from anywhere! It will make your trip even more memorable.
5. TRIP JOURNAL Speaking of memories, there are more ways to memorialize your trip than just pictures. Grab brochures from local attractions, local newspapers, ticket stubs, wildflowers, receipts, whatever! Bring an envelope to keep everything in. When you get home, the whole family can go through the envelope together. You can glue the items onto hard stock, have everyone add their thoughts, notes, or drawings to the pages and create your own memory book. It will be a way to relive for many years to come.
6. A SOLAR CHARGER IS A GREAT INVESTMENT If technology is going on your trip, then you are going to need chargers, power cords, batteries, etc. Be sure you have ample for everyone in the car. A great investment is a solar charger for those times when there is no power or too many devices and not enough plugs!
7. CASH IS STILL KING When you are on a road trip, things happen that you don’t plan. That’s what makes it fun! However, sometimes that means that the diner you stop in doesn’t take plastic. Be sure to have some cash on hand for those moments.
8. EMERGENCIES HAPPEN Be aware that emergencies happen. Be sure to have a first aid kit supplied with supplies to handle your family’s needs. For instance, if your little one tends to get bit by bugs and have allergic reactions, be sure to have some Benadryl gel on hand. Epi pens, Tylenol, band aids, etc. When you are far from home, it’s good to have the ability to handle those minor emergencies.
9. APPS ARE LIFESAVERS Gas Buddy and Dark Skies are two of my favorites. Gas Buddy will show you the closest gas stations and the gas prices. It’s great when you are getting low on gas and need to know where the nearest station is. Dark Skies will let you know if you’re heading towards bad weather and help you avoid it! Both are really helpful when you are on the road for long distances in unknown territory.
10. BE HEALTHY Road trips are great for new experiences, but too much ‘road food’ is never a good thing. Experience some of the local delicacies, but be wary. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a car with someone who has eaten too many pork rinds or spicy pickles from the local gas station! Have fun, but just be smart!