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Summer is almost here, and with it's impending arrival I start to get the itch to get out there and travel. Soon my son will be out from school for the summer, and our usually packed schedule will be wide open. :) I am ready to pack up the car, grab the family, and head off on a road trip... to Virginia wine country, or to Harper's Ferry to hike and visit the historical sites, or to head down south for a sunny and sandy beach getaway. But why should the road trip itself just be a means to an end? Who says that you can't make the road trip become part of the destination?
Resist the urge to just jet it to get where you are going on your next road trip and instead try making the journey there part of the overall getaway. Just like the old adage says- Not all those who wander are lost. ;)
But how can you accomplish this? It's easy! Just follow and put into action my 5 fun tips for making your next road trip part of your destination...
1. Plan to add an extra 2-3 hours to your overall drive time. This will give you plenty of time to make a few stops (planned and unplanned), take in some of the local scenery on your travels and not feel rushed. You could even opt to take the more scenic route for part of your drive. Use sites like myscenicdrives or Trails.com for easy scenic drive planning. ;)
2. Hang out, explore, and eat like a local. What does that mean exactly? For starters, eat like the locals do in the areas that you are traveling through. I know it is so much easier to just stop at a familiar chain fast food restaurant, but what is the fun in that? ;) You are traveling! Don't eat at places you can find in your hometown! Download an app like LocalEats before heading out on your road trip. It can give you a list of local (and only local) restaurants nearby as you are driving. Do a little research online before leaving on your road trip and try to get the locals' recommendations for things to do and see in the area as well.
3. Plan a photo scavenger hunt. Sit down and spend a little time with Google before your trip and scout out local attractions, historical sites, and unique oddities that you may see along your road trip route. Then create a list of those and make a copy for each person who will be in the car traveling with you. Everyone can spend the drive being on the look out for the items and sites on the list. When you see one, just pull over and everyone can jump out and get a quick selfie with it. Bonus- you have photos from the actual drive to include with your trip photos! :)
4. Make at least one-two planned stops. Remember that list you made for the photo scavenger hunt? Pick at least 1-2 of the things from that list and designate them as a must-see/must-do and spend more time there than it takes to snap a selfie. Maybe it is a civil war battle site, a quirky book store, one of those uber touristy spots, or a state park. But make those stops a priority and allocate a certain amount of time to spend there.
5. Go forth and travel, but leave prepared. Meaning pack some essentials to make that road trip more enjoyable and easy. For my family, that means cold bottles of water, easy to open quick snacks, & a few activities to keep our youngest entertained. A couple of years ago, I painted an old baking sheet over with chalkboard paint. Little miss can draw on the sheet with chalk or she can play with her magnets on it. It is the simplest little DIY project, but has provided her with hours of entertainment while we are on the road. Not sure what to have on hand for a fun road trip? Check out these lists of road trip must-haves I found for you all...
In what ways do you make the road trip part of your destination fun?
What is on your family's list of road trip must-haves?
Ready to get on the road? :) Then be sure to check out some of my favorite family friendly travel destinations first...
Stay up to date with all my summer travels!
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