Simple Ideas To Make Holiday Travel Fun For The Family
If this winter season, you are thinking of picking up your things and heading out of town, you should first do your research.
Travel is huge during the holiday season.
It is a fun excuse to get together with family.
Traveling with the family can be a bit overwhelming. There are many things to think about.
From maintenance on your car to purchasing the best cheap car insurance you can.
Bills add up around the holidays so your wallet may be tight.
Budgeting for your holiday trip is easier than you might think.
Whether you are taking your car or RV out on the road, or maybe riding the train, you will need to plan!
Getting things in order before you leave will help you to have a more relaxing and successful trip.
The winter can be a great time to plan a trip. Travel can be an amazing family experience for all!
Check and Double Check
The first things to plan for when heading out on a winter adventure, are the basics at home.
When you leave your house, you will want to make sure that it is protected. Are your locks secure?
Do you need a house sitter? Do you have automatic lights in the front of your home?
You leave the coziness of your home and head out in your car.
Do you have the proper cheap car insurance? Full coverage?
You may want to consider roadside assistance as well.
Make sure that your neighbors know you will be gone and to keep an eye on things.
Depending on how long you will be gone, some people even open a safety deposit box for their jewelry and extra valuables just in case.
You can never be too careful.
What Insurance Do I Need?
When traveling, you should pick up some extra travel insurance. It is a good idea to feel secure when traveling.
As far as your car goes, you may only have minimum car insurance coverage.
In most states that look like this:
- The required liability limits for Auto Insurance are $15,000 per person / $30,000 per occurrence
- Bodily Injury liability and $5000 for Property Damage Liability
For full coverage, you will be wanting more than the minimum.
- Collision coverage which makes sure you and your own car are covered in case of an accident. Even if you are at fault, you can have your vehicles covered.
- Comprehensive coverage will cover theft to your car or anything inside of it. It also covers other types of damages such as dents from shopping carts.
- Medical coverage for you and your passengers- Medical coverage can make a huge difference for your security and safety.
- Towing and roadside assistance- You may not only need this for a crash, but if you break down. Roadside assistance can save you time and money.
- Uninsured Motorist coverage- this will make sure that you are still covered even if someone without insurance hits you.
- Full glass coverage- this is additional coverage for your car to cover glass windows and doors.
- Loan/lease coverage- when you have a loan or a lease out on a vehicle, your coverage needs to be different. Most of the time a full policy is required.
The best part about purchasing the cheap car insurance that you want, is the security of knowing you are safe while traveling with your family. You may have to pay a little extra for the full coverage. But there are a ton of discounts you could qualify for as well.
When you leave your home, make sure that your homeowners insurance and renters insurance is current.
Make sure that it covers everything you will need. Such as liability and theft protection.
You can bundle your car insurance and your home insurance to save money as well.
They only way to know that your home is protected when you leave for weeks on end, is to have insurance.
You could install alarms and security for your house. But this may not deter everyone from entering.
Renters insurance will cover your belongings inside the home, but your landlord will most likely have insurance on the home as well.
The difference between having insurance and not having insurance is huge!
You will not be able to get money for fire damage or water damage without it.
Traveling tips for a safer and more relaxed vacation are always essential.
Travel Plans Make It All Better
The best way to start off the holiday travel season, is with a really great plan.
To start this plan, sit down with your family. Whoever will be joining in on this journey should be present.
Talk about everyones expectations.
If you have picked a road trip, maybe talk about some of the things to expect when traveling long distances with people (even if you love them).
Once everyone has talked about what is going to happen and where you are headed, make a list of things to prepare for.
The best part about taking a holiday vacation is the anticipation of what could happen.
New places? Very exciting! Time off of work and school? Also, a exciting!
So make the most of it all by talking about what everyone is excited about.
Make a list of the most important parts of your trip and how they will be handled.
This is what could be on your list:
- Talk about being in a car for long periods of time. Tell everyone they can each take 5 (and only 5) items inside the car while on this journey. Maybe give them fun examples. Mad Libs are very fun to play with the family. A small gaming unit such as a portable Nentendo will be a hit. Suggest a pillow to lay you head against while in route. Maybe even let the children choose their own soft drink for the ride as a special treat.
- Talk about expectations. Remind everyone in the car that there will be some time for talking and then there will also be “quiet time” where people can rest. Talk about how many stops you might have along the way and what is expected of everyone at these stops. In very crowded and dangerous areas of the United States, you might want to remind the kids not to talk to strangers. Or that you must have a buddy system when out and about. If it is just you and your spouse, remind each other that a trip can be relaxing. Being on schedule is a great but being spontaneous is also fun.
More on the list…
- Make sure that you remind everyone about the weather wherever you are traveling. Try making a short list of descriptions of clothing as examples for them to pack. Suggest everyone bring a book or two.
- If you have animals, talk about how they will be cared for when you are gone. This can be one of the biggest burdens to families. They miss their pets and they also think of them as family. Will you hire a pet sitter? Will a friend come check on them once a day? Is your fence line secure? Will you keep them at a kennel? Do you need to get them their shots?
- Figure out your drive time for each day and prepare your family. If it is four hours a day, that isn’t so bad. You may only need one or two stops for restrooms breaks and snacks. If you plan to drive 8 hours a day. Reward the passengers with frequent stops, even if it’s just to stretch. Make sure you remind everyone what 8 hours a day may look like. Not so perfect.
Something Great, Something Grand
When planning for your amazing adventure, pull out all of the stops.
- Pull out a large map of the United States and show everyone where you will be heading. Giving a visual is really important. If you have small children, you can do this with candy. Set out candy in the order of where you will be stopping. Let’s say you are heading from Los Angeles, California to Denver, Colorado. Put a candy out for every stop you plan to make along the way. Maybe there are two hotel stops and three more gas stations/eatery stops. Put out M&Ms to show where these stops are. Once you show the children, eat your M&M’s. Then it is the child’s job to try and remember where these stops are. They get to lay out there M&M’s. If they get a correct spot, they can eat their candy. If they get one wrong, ask them to try again. This is fun and interactive.
- Pull out your suitcase (whatever size you want everyone to bring), and show them how everything that they want to bring must fit inside. You can then have a competition! Bring out clothes, pillows, books, toys. Time each family member (for 30 seconds) as they try to fit as much as they can inside the suitcase. When the timer is up they have to be done. That means suitcase shut as well. This is a fun way to show how not much fits inside a suitcase, so everyone must be picky about what they bring.
Weather And Traffic
- Weather is a huge factor when traveling. Thankfully, nowadays we have APPs that show us an extended forecast. Use these! Figure out what your weather looks like not only for your destination but for your drive.
- Don’t worry about starting your drive first thing in the morning. Everyone has the same idea: to get out on the road early. But that is just the problem. Everyone will be driving from 8 am to 5pm. Try something different. Take everyone out to a late breakfast. Get out on the road about noon and drive until 8pm. You will still get the same amount of driving, but won’r have to drag everyone out of bed super early. Plus you will get your fill of food and coffee for the long journey.
- Share the responsibility of driving. Even if you are a control freak and want to drive the whole way. Take at least one hour where you can rest your eyes or listen to some music in the back seat while someone else takes the wheel.
- Download travel APPs. They can help prepare you for your journey. Also, everyone in the car can check the travel APP as they are driving. You can see where you are headed, what traffic can be expected and how far you have to still go.
Games In The Car
One of the best and most memorable part about a family road trip are the games. Especially during the holidays where everyone is jovial.
Here area few fun games:
- I Spy. I spy with my little eye… this is a fun game because all age groups can play. It is interactive and makes everyone look outside the car and get a sense of their surroundings.
- The animal guessing game. This game is great for the whole family and teaches kids about species and genres of species. It also gives thea sense of the world. One person picks an animal but keeps it to themselves. Then the other people in the car have to guess that animal only using yes or no questions. For example: “is it a mammal?”, “does it live in North America?” “Is it bigger than a dog?”.
- Pop-Culture guessing game. One person names an actor, and everyone tries to think of the list of movies they have been in. Or you pick a band or singer, and people have to try and rally off a list of songs they have composed. This rattles the brain a little.
- The License Plate Game- in this game, you try to find license plates from other places besides the state that you live in. The person who finds the most wins!
- The Alphabet Game is where you try to find different signs on the side of the road that come in the form of the alphabet. So you start with the letter A and go to Z in alphabetical order.
- Mad Libs is a fun game. Go to your local Walmart or Target stores and find the Mad Lib note books. This is a fill-in-the-blanks game where only the reader knows how crazy the stories turn out. You can also help kids learn what nouns, verbs and adjectives are.
Make The Most Of Your Memories
The most important thing to remember on your holiday road trip is to make memories.
Take a lot of pictures. Take a moment to let it all sink in.
Stop for coffee and hot chocolate.
Get extra whipped cream on top! Know that family is important and the holiday season is the best time to remind them.
If you are heading to a family members for the Christmas holiday or maybe trekking out for New Years, give a tiny gift or card to those you love most.
The ones on this road trip with you.
Make a scrap book of your journey when you return.
This time of year, you can never have too much joy or cheer.