Heading out on a family vacation this year with extended family and all? These 7 ways to survive road trips with extended family are sure to keep your sanity in check. Sometimes too much family time can be a bit tough to manage. While you want the fun of sharing memories, you also understand that at times it can be a tough thing to navigate. We are here to help you with some great tips for planning ahead to make the most of your family vacation this year.
Take separate vehicles. At the end of the day this is one of the most important things you can do. Everyone needs privacy and space to just be themselves. Trying to cram 8-10 people in one large SUV can work, but with multiple adults in the mix it can be a case of too many leaders and not enough followers. By taking separate vehicles you give yourself a break and some independence while still being a group.
Take a longer trip with shorter drive time daily. Long days on the road are typically the most frustrating. Instead of driving for 7-8 hours a day on your road trip, map out shorter days with more stops. The breaks will help everyone remain positive and nerves in check. Longer days in a car with kids or teens that are bored can put parents on edge. That results in miscommunication and frustration amongst adults that isn’t necessary.
Don’t share hotel rooms. Sometimes you just need personal space. While staying in a suite or condo that has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms is a great choice, trying to cram multiple families into one small hotel room just isn’t. Get separate rooms and allow your family some much needed privacy at the end of a long day of travel.
Take turns with kids in each vehicles. Work out a kid swap agreement before you hit the road. Have kids right half time in each vehicle so all adults and sets of parents get a break from the questions, noise and common kid factors with travel. This is a great way to spread the responsibility while not taking advantage of someone else. When you swap back and forth, everyone takes a turn and everyone remains happy.
Set a map ahead of time for everyone to agree upon. Instead of randomly choosing directions or highways to take each day, set up an agreed upon map ahead of time. Google Maps gives you the chance to share specific maps with other individuals. That means you can each look at the map and then make suggestions or changes ahead of time. As you take off on the road trip with your extended family, you can already have your daily stops in place.
Plan ahead for restroom and food breaks by looking up locations. Not only can you map out your end destination, you can use Google Maps to find cities between one location to the next. This gives you the ability to look ahead of time to find things like parks, restaurants with play centers and rest areas. You’ll know when you can stop for restroom and food breaks and where you can stop. This helps you to plan and have something for everyone to look forward to along the way.
Plan to eat a bit of humble pie along the way. You have to face the facts that some family members just aren’t going to be easy to get along with. No matter what you do, they may be frustrating at times. Understand this ahead of time and even talk with each other as rational adults about challenges you may face. If you know one person struggles with something that could be a problem, address it ahead of time so you can clear the air and be prepared.
Sometimes simple communication and proper planning is really all you need to survive road trips with extended family. They can and will be some of the most rewarding and wonderful vacations of your life. Let go of past issues and have fun with the ones you call family.