Road Trip Vacation

Family Vacations Unplug and Move Outdoors

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas is estimated to average $2.60 a gallon this summer. That’s good news for families considering reviving the tradition of a road trip vacation.

Michael DiLorenzo, author of “Adventures with Jonny: Road Trip to the Parks!” believes a road trip is one of the best experiences a family can share. “This is a shared experience, and one that will be talked about during family gatherings for years to come,” says DiLorenzo, a father of three. “For busy parents, this is a time to savor their children’s youth. As moms and dads eventually find out, they grow up fast.”

It’s also a chance to get children outside and away from their computers, says DiLorenzo. Children today already have a deep-rooted interest in technology, which is why a road trip to a natural, outdoor destination is an opportunity to “give your child the gift of the outdoors, which is a gift for life,” he explains.

DiLorenzo offers these helpful tips for the road:

Games, games, games: Yes, there is ample entertainment for both drivers and riders in cars these days. But the goal is to bond with the family, so consider a fun game.

Beware of dairy drinks (and other smelly snacks): A spill in the backseat can eventually create quite a stink during a summer road trip. But do pack plenty of healthy snacks to save on pricey pit stops and avoid all the sugar and salt in junk food.

Avoid big-city rush hours: When traveling through metropolitan areas, consider the busiest traffic periods. Whether you plan to stop and check out the city or simply zip through it, bumper-to-bumper traffic is something to avoid. A bit of consideration can save your family hours of grid-locked misery.

Tech help: Various apps and websites can help drivers find the cheapest gas prices, food options, hotel rates and travel routes. Also, don’t forget a music mix that appeals to the entire family on one of these devices.

Schedule pit stops: Being in a hurry should be left for the morning commute; vacation should be different. When traveling across states and provinces, consider local culture. For example, barbecue in South Carolina is very different from Missouri’s version. Enjoy diners and unique attractions, and don’t be afraid to take notes.