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Vacations: Getting There is Half the Fun

The day has finally arrived for your big family vacation. You know where you’re going, how long it takes, and other logistics. You’ve got that part down. What you’re not sure about is the notion that getting there is half the fun.

While it’s easier and more affordable to get to your planned destination now that you’ve finally bought your motorhome with a motorhome financing, what you’re not sure about is the human factor. After all, for your restless family sitting in a vehicle together for 8 hours or more — no matter how spacious and comfortable it might be — may not be that much fun.

With that in mind, here are 7 tips to make the entire trip a lot of fun whether you are traveling to Yosemite in California, USA, or heading off to Lamington National Park in Queensland, Australia.

1. Choose your favorite road games ahead of time to get everyone excited.

Usually ad hoc choices during the trip result in a lot of arguing and sulking. However, if everyone knows that they are going to get their chance to play their favorite games, then they will be more willing to play games other family members prefer.

Here are some ideas:

a. Road trip games:

·  I Spy

·  20 Questions

·  Slug a bug (Traditionally, keeping track of Volkswagen Beetles, but you can choose your own favorite type of car).

·  License plates (many variations on this one)

b. Board Games:

·  Battleship

·  Card games

·  Pictionary with a dry erase board

c. Tablet Games:

·  Pocket edition of Minecraft

·  Scribblenauts Remix

·  Fetch-A Boy And His Dog

2. Creativity on wheels

When it comes to art projects on the road, there are many choices from taking art materials to creating crafts. You can download drawing or painting apps to play on a tablet or smartphone. You can also get games like Oriental Trading, where you can use stickers to create Jurassic scenes, beach scenes, or farm scenes. Finally, you can choose more traditional art work like drawing books with pencils, pens and markers or paint-by-numbers sets.

3. Listen to books on CD.

If your kids are little, try stories like Harry Potter. If they are teens, some inspirational stories about their sports heroes work well. In other words, adjust the selection based on the interests of your family. Some families love to learn and to them books on their favorite hobbies or subjects are the most fascinating.

4. Talk to each other.

This is probably a revolutionary idea, but it’s worth a try. However, after a few hours of catching up, you may run out of things to say. This is where it’s time to pull out some ideas from the world of games. Use TableTopics to start fascinating conversations between your family.

5. Choose favorite meals.

Do a survey of what everyone’s favorite meals are and be sure to pack them on your trip. Naturally, you don’t want to go overboard with junk food snacks and need to provide nutritious foods, too. Otherwise, everyone will simply feel out of sorts with too much sugar or salt in all their meals. So it’s about creating a delicate balance between eating healthy to enjoying snacks.

6. Throw in a little education.

There are many ways to make the trip more of an exploration than just a monotonous journey with the same landscape for hours on end.

Here are some suggestions on how to do it:

a.  Plan your trip around education.

Map out the museums, historical sites, or famous geological areas on the way to your destination and make detours. Think like a teacher planning field trips.

b. Collect educational materials.

You appreciate landmarks more if you know a little about them before you go there. Gather books, brochures, and website addresses that will inform you about the places you will stop by on your trip. Naturally, you don’t have to limit yourself to information about historical sites. Add geography, animals, or astronomy to the mix, too.

c. Capture the information.

You can capture the information through journals, pictures, postcards and souvenirs. You can also do it digitally, using apps like Evernote to catalog the things learned.

d. Share the information.

Your kids can share their pictures and their reports with their friends on social media sites like Facebook. This accountability factor will make them more eager to take pictures and report on their discoveries. If they are too young to have their own social media profiles, just post their experiences on your own.

e. Create Q & A sessions.

Create structured time each day when you can ask your kids what they learned. One idea is to make this part of your dinner conversation. Knowing that they have to report their findings will make your kids more likely to pay attention when they walk through museums or visit historic towns.

7. Subscribe to a movie channel.

You can, of course, select your favorite movies to watch during your trip. Sign up for a subscription so that you can easily watch streaming videos.

It’s A Tradition!

The world over, the tradition of traveling for long hours with the windows down and sing along songs playing on the radio has appealed to families on a vacation. While the technology has changed, with motor homes replacing big cars and smartphones replacing crumpled up maps, family road trips can be just as much fun.

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