It’s All In The Anticipation: Make Planning A Fun Part Of Your Next Family Road Trip
The biggest boost to vacation happiness comes in the anticipation and planning. Researchers in the Netherlands found that happiness was boosted for eight weeks in subjects planning their vacation. So while planning might not sound like the most interesting part of your holiday, making the most of it and planning the best trip you can result in the whole family getting the most out of your vacation – even before you leave the house.
For your next great road trip adventure, create a plan that you can easily apply to any road trip destination: the anticipation will boost your enjoyment of your break, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that everything will run smoothly once you hit the road.
Plan Your Route
The key to a good road trip is in the perfect route. No matter where you plan to take your trip, start your planning with deciding the route: you’ll get the most out of the anticipation effect, and knowing where you’ll be going will make other parts of the planning process easier.
Sit down with the whole family, and plan your route together: taking into account everyone’s ideas and involving everyone in the planning process will make sure the whole party’s included and that everyone will feel the looming excitement of the trip.
Even young children can be incorporated in route planning: ask them what sorts of things they’d like to see, and get them to help draw the route on a map. You can plan your stops at this stage too. Using an app like Roadtrippers can help you by laying places of interest over your intended route on Google Maps. Using a service like this will help you plan overnight stops, as well as help you decide what attractions you want to see along the way.
Take note of the costs of activities as you’re planning to avoid any unexpected surprises once your adventure begins, and make sure everyone gets to pick some spots so that you all have something to be excited about.
Organize Your Vehicle
The ultimate road trip requires the right vehicle, and once you know your route and the length of your trip, you’ll be set up to know what this is. A common mistake is to think that your everyday car is all you’ll need: this may be true, but it’s also possible that your route would be better suited to an SUV, or that your family would be more comfortable in a larger vehicle.
Decide what car will be best for the job, and if you need to look into hiring a vehicle, or if you decide the time is right to buy a new one, talk the options through with the whole family. Again, even young children can get excited about the idea of a new car, so involve them in the process: what color car would they most like? Even if you end up with something different, being involved in the planning process will make what could be a mundane task an exciting part of the vacation.
Compare all your financing options through AutoPay auto refinance to keep the stress out of the less exciting parts of the process: this will allow you to compare all your options with just one application, so you can focus your energies on choosing the car and keep the administration side of things to a minimum.
Plan Your Provisions
Half of the fun of a road trip vacation is in the destination; the other half is in the ride. To really make the most of this – and to ensure it’s something the whole family’s looking forward to – you should pay as much attention to planning for the journey as you do to planning the route. Talk about what car snacks you’ll be taking. You’ll want to make sure the whole family stays well-fed and healthy throughout the trip, but make sure to include treats too.
Consider putting together a treat tin containing everyone’s favorite candies: you can ration these out on the trip, but stocking up and choosing the treats will keep everyone excited. Don’t forget to plan your entertainment provisions too: fill up a USB with everyone’s favorite tunes, podcasts and stories, and make sure the whole family has their tastes catered to.
Small children can also decide what toys and books they’d like to take in the car. Set a limit on what they can bring, though, to avoid disappointment when you have to rein them in on the day.
A family road trip could be a stressful event if it isn’t thoroughly planned in advance, but by making the plan an integral part of the vacation experience, you can enjoy the anticipation of the adventure as much as the ride, and guarantee a stress-free and memorable road trip for everyone.