Travel Plans: Planning Stress-Free Car Trips

Tips on making a car trip more enjoyable and less stressful. Ideas for navigation and accomadations.

With careful planning, flexibility and a sense of adventure a family or group road trip can be a lot of fun. A bit of advanced planning will reduce much of the pressure. When choosing your destination keep in mind your financial situation, allotted time and each family member's interest. With a little compromising, you can include these interests in your plans. For instance, one member likes to collect seashells and another likes snorkeling. Time spent at the seashore would cover both of these interests.

Once you chose a final destination, examine maps and estimate the time it will take between various points of interest. You may wish to choose an alternative route, as well. Going back, a different route will take the monotony out of driving and may even stretch your vacation out. Always give yourself extra time allowing for unexpected adventures and unforeseen circumstances that may slow you down.

Gather information about points of interest along your chosen routes. If there is a history buff among your family a few stops at historical markers would be welcome. It is always a good idea to make advanced reservations for lodging whenever possible. If you are traveling to another state, stop in at the welcome centers. They have a plethora of brochures on lodging as well as site of interest. Many of these brochures contain discount coupons as well.

Pack according to the climate of your destination and pack as lightly as possible. Allow each family member a small carry on bag in which items such as toothbrushes, combs and brushes are readily available. In addition, pack books, hand held video games and portable CD players in the carry on bags. If you have small children pack a few new small toys treating them to one at regular intervals. This will help occupy them and peak their interest. Show them pictures, books and brochures about your destinations that you collected. Many times your automobile insurance company will furnish children with a coloring book type atlas.

You can save quit a bit of money, get exercise and fresh air by picnicking at rest areas and roadside parks. Nutritious foods such as boiled eggs, cold chicken, sandwich material and fruits will stay fresh in a well-iced cooler. Snack crackers, fruit snacks granola bars and even cereal are easy to carry along as well. If you are traveling with small children, it is not advisable to feed them many sugary snacks.

The benefit of keeping a travel expense log is two fold. First, it will help keep you on your budget. It will also assist with the planning of your next trip's budget. It is valuable and enjoyable to keep a journal of your trip. Each evening encourage everyone to write something they found memorable about that day. Once your excursion is over, I am certain you will find that your journal is more valuable than any souvenir you may have picked up along the way.

Plan ahead for your next road trip and while you're packing remember to leave stress behind.

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