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Scared of taking a road trip with your kids? Think it is too difficult or time-consuming? Don’t understand why anyone would choose to travel this way? I actually love family road trips. They can be so much fun! Plus, they can actually be easier than flying. Here are my top 10 reasons to take a family road trip on your next vacation.
#10 No lost luggage
Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than discovering than the airline has lost your luggage. Not only does it create a huge problem in terms of not having your clothes and other things, but it also costs you valuable time and money that could otherwise go towards having fun with your family. But, when you take a family road trip, you don’t have to worry about this. You can rest assure that your luggage will make it to your destination safely, unless of course, you forget to pack it! But you won’t because I can teach you how to pack the car like a pro!
#9 No security checkpoints
One of the biggest frustrations of flying is going through security checkpoints at the airport. You have to take off your shoes, take out all your electronics, and may have to be subjected to extra screening. With family road trips, you can avoid these checkpoints all together. Instead of waiting in lines and hoping you won’t miss your flight, you can simply jump in the car and get going.
#8 No baggage restrictions
While I love flying, I hate the baggage restrictions that come with it. I have to limit the number of suitcases we take so we don’t pay a fortune for bag check fees. I also have to worry about how much the bags weigh too. I hate spending time the night before a trip moving things from one suitcase to another to keep them under the weight limits. So, I love taking family road trips because it means I don’t have to worry about baggage restrictions. The only limit on the luggage we take is what we can fit into our car. It’s great!
#7 No traveling with strangers
Flying is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. You could find yourself sandwiched in between two rows of rowdy toddlers or sitting beside a loud snorer. And if you travel with little ones, you always risk getting glares and snarky remarks from other passengers if your child has a meltdown for some reason. But, taking a family road trip eliminates these unknowns. You can plan your trip knowing the only obnoxiousness you will have to put up with during your trip will be from your own family members.
#6 Makes vacation creep easier.
Do you know what “vacation creep” is? We all experience it, even though I didn’t realize it had a name until a couple years ago. It’s that nagging desire to start your vacation earlier or extend it out longer than originally planned. When you fly, it is hard (and sometimes expensive) to give in to the vacation creep because it usually means changing your flights. However, when you are on a road trip, you control when you leave and come back. So, it makes it much easier to add an extra day or two to the beginning or end of your trip. It also makes it easier to change plans midstream too.
#5 Enjoy more comfort.
Let’s face it: unless you are flying first class, airline seats are extremely uncomfortable. And while there are things you can do to minimize the discomfort, you just can’t make it completely enjoyable. Cars, on the other hand, usually have bigger seats, more leg room, and more personal space. Quite frankly, cars are just more comfortable to ride in than airplanes. And if you are planning a long road trip and feel that you don’t have quite enough space in your car for the entire family to be comfortable, you can always rent a bigger vehicle for the trip. You can’t do this with planes.
#4 Be on your own schedule.
Many times, flight times are not really convenient. We typically adjust our schedules to fit flights instead of the other way around. Who really wants to spend three hours in the Atlanta airport on your way to Florida? With road trips, you are on your own schedule. You leave when you want and stop where and when you want. And you are much less likely to encounter delays when you are driving than flying.
#3 It can be faster.
Conventional wisdom says that flying is faster than driving, but this isn’t always true. For example, a two hour flight will actually take you much longer when you figure in the time it takes to get to the airport, plus the two hours in advance of your flight that you need to arrive at the airport, and the time it takes to get your luggage and get out of the airport. Suddenly, that two hour flight has eaten up 5-6 hours of your day. Sometimes, driving can be just as fast if not faster than flying.
#2 See more along the way.
Taking a family road trip allows you to see the sights along the way to your ultimate destination. It also gives you the freedom to stop and explore interesting areas on your route. You may just find that your favorite vacation memories are from these unexpected midpoint stops. Driving is a great way to show your kids all of the wonderful things there are to see in a country. Road trips make your vacation more about the journey than about the destination.
#1 It’s economical.
The number one reason to take a family road trip this year is because it is so economical. Most of the time, driving to your destination will be much cheaper than flying there. This allows you to stretch your vacation dollars further. It allows you to spend that money on a better hotel or more souvenirs or experiences during your trip. And those things are much more fun than flying! And sometimes, driving versus flying can save you enough money to be able to take an extra trip during the year.
Bonus Reason: More family bonding
And my bonus reason for taking family road trips is that it gives you more family bonding time. There is nothing like being in the car together for several hours to bring your family together. Sing, talk, and laugh together. Yes, there will probably be moments where you annoy each other and maybe even fight, but you will be creating memories at the same time. And years from now, you will look back on those moments with fondness and laugh.
Vacation is about taking a break from your busy schedule and spending time with your family reconnecting and recharging. While flying allows you to get to your destination quickly, there are many reasons why taking a family road trip is better than flying. The above are my top reasons. Why do you love road trips? Leave a comment below and let us know. For more on road trips, see tips for successful road trips with kids, essential items for road trips with kids, best snacks for road trips, and screen free activities for road trips. Happy travels!
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