Growing up in Houston, Texas, visiting anyone was a bit of a road trip. 3 hours of driving to visit my grandparents in San Antonio, 3 and a half hours to visit my aunt and uncle in Dallas, and 2 and a half hours to visit my brother and sister in Austin. That doesn't account for all of the necessary pit stops, and we haven't even left the state yet. As only a participator and not the driver in all of these road trips, I may not be an expert, but I do know what makes long road trips not only bearable but fun.
The more people you have in a vehicle, the more difficult it will be to please them all at the same time, especially if the passengers are young children. If you have a rather large party it is recommended to drive in two separate cars if possible. Having too many people in one car is not only more difficult to please but also a lot less comfortable for everyone. Of course, be sure that you have enough seatbelts for everyone in your car.
Inevitably, at least one person in the car at all times will be hungry. Do not plan on just using the drive-thrus and gas stations along the way to placate this hunger. Pack food and snacks ahead of time for moments such as these. In order to avoid complaints double check with everyone that the snacks you are packing is something that they will actually be willing to eat.
Do not expect everyone in the car to quietly go to sleep or read a book while they are on this adventure. Sitting in one spot for a long time can be tiresome, and doing one thing for more than a few hours can get tiresome, as well. Prepare a lot of different options for entertainment that can be done during the daylight and not.
For example, books and license plate or billboard games are fun while you have the light for it, while movies and Gameboy games are more fun at night when there isn't enough light for anything else. Make sure they have options of both different movies and different games that everyone could enjoy.
Eventually the whole gang will be too tuckered out to continue on any longer. Rather than sleep in a parking lot in your car, make the extra effort to take a relaxing rest stop in an affordable but luxurious hotel. For example, if you are making a long road trip to New York, it is advised to make your pit stop just before you get there at a hotel in Norwalk, CT.
If you take all of these things into consideration, not only will your trip be much more easy and comfortable, but your kids will be thanking you for all of the effort that you put into planning everything. In all of your future road trips, keep in mind comfort, food, entertainment, and rest. Best of Luck and I'll see you on the road.
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