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How to Plan for a Family Road Trip

Besides baseball, fireworks and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, there is probably nothing more American than taking a classic family road trip over the summer. You probably remember one from when you were a kid or at least went to school with someone who went on one with their folks. You know the drill - Mom and Dad load up the family car with snacks, suitcases and siblings and set off for a distant destination. That was then; this is now. It’s your turn to pack up the car (or minivan), make sure your kids are buckled-up and get on the open road. If this is the first family road trip with you behind the wheel, or you just want some helpful pointers, here are a few things you can do to help plan a safe, fun Family Road Trip!

Load Up on Distractions

Of course you don’t want your children with their heads buried in a video game, cell phones, or with their eyes glued to a DVD for the entire trip, but there are probably going to be a few times when you will want to distract them to avoid hearing the dreaded "Are we there yet?" question. Electronics aren't the only distractions that you can rely on. Also consider books and magazines (if the kids are old enough to read...), books on tape or quiet games or puzzles that they can play solo or with a sibling.

Factor Stops Into The Equation

Of course you want to get there (nothing makes people happier than making “good time”), but make sure you leave plenty of time to stop and smell the roses. Take time to see the sights, tread off the beaten path, eat lunch at a local diner or in a park and do a little research about silly attractions like “The World’s Largest Ball Of Twine” or “Lucy the Margate Elephant” before you go. You’ll get there eventually and the fun you have on the way will make it well-worth the wait.

Handle All The Grown-Up Stuff Before You Leave

Be prepared. Stock up on maps just to be safe. In certain parts of the country, your smartphone - including GPS, weather, web features, and web-based apps - might get very spotty service or it might not work at all. Also, remember to call your bank and your credit card company to tell them you are traveling. There’s nothing worse than being somewhere far from home and getting your card shut off as a security measure. Double-check that you’ve paid all your bills, shut off your mail and done everything else you can to put your home in order before you leave. You want to enjoy your vacation and a phone call informing you that something went wrong at home certainly won’t help with that! There you go, a few tips on how to plan for a family road trip. Enjoy!

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