My boys and I recently took a road trip with extended family; in this case my father. It was an awesome experience that I’m sure my sons will never forget but along the way, there were a few things that I anticipated happening and a few I didn’t. Here are my tips to make sure that your trip runs a little smoother than mine.
Know who you’re traveling with.
My baby boomer father lives across country and sees my children a few times a year, so traveling with two little boys was an adjustment for him. I gave him fair warning in advance and things worked for the best most of the time. However some point about 1,000 miles in, my father made the comment “If I was with your sister or brother, they would…” I turned to him and said “You’re absolutely right!” I really didn’t take (too much) offense to the comment because my personality is very different than my siblings. My siblings are much more “fly by the seat of your pants” than I am. BUT know who you’re going with. A road trip with extended family is much different than traveling with someone who lives with you every day. My husband and I understand our children and each other, our moods, our temperature settings on the car, favorite radio stations – all of these are very different when you’re on a road trip with extended family.
Map out your route.
This seems obviously but I really mean physically print off the directions. In advance of the trip, I mapped out directions with Google Maps to have a general idea of where we were going. The morning we set out, I entered the address into my car GPS and we were off. Except that there were variances along the route because of road construction and because we were in rural areas, I had a hard time to get signal on my phone.
Outline your plans.
A week in advance of our trip, I sent my father the itinerary including the cities and days but I neglected to share with him my favorite perk of a road trip: stopping at outlet malls along the way! We did have a set agenda but there was a little free time along the way that I could have went shopping in. I should have clearly told him that there’s a mall in Tennessee I wanted to visit because I was on the lookout for a new purse.
Do your research in advance.
We were an hour away from Memphis when I realized that we were going to a city known for its BBQ and I had no idea what we were eating. I called a friend who has family in the area and she gave me a list of recommendations but the last thing we really wanted to do after driving for 10 hours was find a place to eat. It would have been much better if I looked at the area where our hotel was and selected a restaurant in advance.
Remember to relish the experience.
Along the way, we took some great pictures and I had some conversations with my father that I’m sure I wouldn’t have if not stuck in a car for 1,600 miles. We will not be doing it again anytime soon (if ever again) but it was a great experience to share with both he and my boys. I clearly remember my own road trips with my grandparents as a child fondly and am sure that my sons will do the same.
Five states (6 if you count our home of #GA) in two days with two little kids and a cranky grandpa. I deserve something big from my husband because he skipped it! #AL #MS #TN #AR #MO #RoadTrippin #TravelTuesday #momofboys #instakids #travelwithkids #travelgram #wanderlust #countrylife #Memphis #StLouis #Mississippi #lifestyleblogger #momblogger #blackkidstraveltoo #blogginggals #thatbloglifestyle #familytravelblogger #familytravel #instatravel #momlife #darlingmoment #seesomeworld
A photo posted by Kendra Pierson | Blogger (@headbandfortoday) on