It’s been said that life is a journey, not a destination. The same can absolutely be said of a vacation. Millions of people may flock to a certain vacation spot every year, but they probably represent hundreds of different routes, modes of transport, and side stops.
Making your vacation exciting and meaningful for your family is easier when the path from home to there and back is an event in and of itself. It reduces your travel frustration and can certainly eliminate a lot of “Are we there yet?” from the back seat.
As we noted, there are as many ways to get somewhere as there are people getting there, but some of the basics of making the trip itself more fun are right here.
Changing Your Wheels
Sometimes the best way to make a drive more enjoyable is to watch it through different windows and from a different seat. If you’ve been kicking around the possibility of trading cars but hadn’t planned on doing so before vacation, think again. Long trips are where all the new amenities will be most useful, and it will be a great way to get acquainted with vehicle functions.
Another option is to get a permanent travel vehicle. If you’re frequently on the road, prefer to avoid hotels, or just like to travel without making exact plans, an RV can be just what you need. There are lots of different sizes and types on the market, and financing makes them more affordable. Track down some more information and see if it might be just what you want to do.
Changing Your Route
Familiarity breeds contempt. In other words, doing the same old thing can be excruciating. When you love your destination but get tired of using the same roads to get there each time, plan an alternative path. It’s easier than ever with satellite navigation on your phone and even built right into your car.
As you calculate your route, force the system to accommodate your intentions. Set it to avoid highways, or choose a city that’s somewhat near your route and include it as an intermediate stop. Sure, this will take longer, but does eight and a half hours feel all that much longer than eight?
Another choice can be to use two different routes, one going out and one coming back. You might use the tried-and-true fastest to save time if everyone’s in a hurry to get there, but switch to a scenic option for the other. And of course, taking in some waypoints along your path is a boost to your energy and enjoyment. Watch for those brown highway signs and start following a few.
Changing Your Destination
While we’re considering a major change in plans, let’s just address your destination. Your whole family may enjoy the beach, but you’ve hit the same sand for so long that it feels like a commute rather than a vacation.
There are three bodies of salt water that border the United States, creating thousands of miles of beach. Do you really have to go to the same half-mile stretch every year? Take some measurements. If you’ve faithfully gone to the Gulf for a decade, see if a few more miles would get you to the Atlantic.
Or a compromise: Visit the same city, but try a different hotel, different restaurants, and different recreation, just to shake things up and remind yourself that vacation should always have a healthy dose of exploration. You’ll be surprised at how different the trip will feel with only some minor changes to the routine. And you just might find that you wish you had done things differently before this trip.
Traveling with your family is intended to break up the monotony of work, school, and other commitments. When your vacation has become a routine of its own, it’s time to take a different approach!