As we continue our series of Spring Break Family Travel Tips, we are going to focus on planning road trips today. (Surviving the trip itself will be the subject of another post, never fear.) But as one friend told me today, planning a road trip vacation is a nightmare. Well, I hope these tips help to make the planning process less stressful for you, so you can enjoy this adventure more.
Tip: Plan the route ahead of time.
By taking a little time up front to plan the route including places to stop for bathroom breaks or energy stops, you might feel a little more in control before you ever set foot in the car.
Stop in the Name of Adventure
You’ll need some help planning your route and where to stop to reenergize the bored family. Check out RoadsideAmerica.com, a site dedicated to helping you find those amusing road side attractions. You know, like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine or Flipper’s Grave. I’m not making that one up, you can stop in and see Flipper, the beloved dolphin’s grave in Grassy Key, FL, outside of the Florida Keys.
Timing is Everything
You can also check out RoadtripAmerica.com to plan which cities you might hit within a specific period of drive time. So if you want to stop every 4 hours to give the kids a break, type in your zip code, your desired drive time, and which direction you are headed. The handy trip tool will tell you which cities you can stop in. Then pick a restaurant, hotel or head back to roadsideattractions.com and see if you can find a fun place to stop.
Brake for Potty Breaks
Looking to find the cleanest bathrooms en route for a potty break? (Sorry, that’s a silly question. Like someone is on the hunt for a dirty, stinky restroom.) Gas stations don’t have to be your first choice. While it’s convenient to get gas and take care of those natural needs at the same time, sometimes the best bathrooms are at fast food restaurants or even stores. Especially if you are stopping for a diaper change, you want a restroom that is clean and spacious. Stop at the fast food restaurants or if there is a strip mall off of the highway, don’t forget that some of the larger stores have nice bathrooms. We like Target’s restrooms. Buy some snacks while you are there and you’re good to go. You can also check out for the top restrooms in a variety of cities. Voted on by fellow travelers, enter your city and see where you should stop. Did you know that the best bathrooms in Orlando, FL are at Old Navy? Now you do.
If none of this helps you out, watch the National Lampoon’s Vacation movie and laugh away your stress.
If anyone knows where to go to find the World’s Largest Cheese Curd, let me know.