Summer is in full swing and hopefully that means you’re getting to spend some quality time with your kids.
You might even be in the process of planning a big summer road trip. Of course, before you even start your vacation planning, there are a number of issues you need to get squared away with your ex such as who gets to pick the vacation dates, whether or not you can travel out of state with the kids, and whether or not your trip can coincide with her parenting time.
Working out those details is crucial when planning a trip and will make the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Once you sort all that out, it’s on to the fun part: planning the actual trip.
If you’re newly divorced, this might be the first solo trip with the kids you’ve tackled. This is a great opportunity to bond, but it also presents its own set of challenges.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your summer road trip.
Keep things clean
It’s pretty much unavoidable that you’re going to have a few messes to clean up, especially if you have younger kids. Between the snacks, games and inevitable spills, this is just something you’re going to have to deal with.
At least make sure you start with a clean slate by cleaning out your vehicle before you hit the road. Also make sure to clear out clutter during pit stops to keep things from getting too messy.
You’ll also want to keep plenty of paper towels, tissues and baby wipes on hand for when those messes do come along.
Take plenty of time beforehand to map out your route and schedule. Figure out the major stops along the way and draft an itinerary that you can give your kids so they know what to expect from each day.
Also try to calculate gas costs so you’re not caught off-guard by that expense.
Another important aspect of any road trip is to make sure your car is running smoothly and you have all insurance and licenses up to date. Schedule a tune-up beforehand to hopefully avoid any breakdowns. You’ll also want to keep spare tires and First Aid kits around to ensure road trip safety.
Leave room for spontaneity
While it’s smart to keep a schedule you try to stick to, don’t think of it as set in stone. The beauty of road-tripping are all the unexpected sights you encounter on the way to your destination.
Leave some extra time to check out those quirky attractions and random adventures you didn’t plan for. Because, really, who can turn down the chance to see a Dinosaur Park or the World’s Largest McDonald’s?
Get creative to keep things lively
The downside of a long road trip is they inevitably get a little boring when you’re sitting in a car for hours at a time – especially for younger kids.
Make sure you pack plenty of toys, video games, and books to keep them as entertained as possible. You can also get creative by coming up with some road trip-themed games.
Even little things like taking turns who gets to pick where you eat can go a long ways toward breaking up the monotony of the trip.
More than anything, make sure you enjoy yourself. You’re getting to spend time with your kids and see the country with your kids – what could be better than that? This should be an experience you look back on and cherish for years to come. Have fun!