Summer is a season of flexibility, adventure, and fun, and there is nothing more adventurous or fun than a family road trip. From packing to planning to hitting the road, traveling with our kids opens the world to learning and excitement one mile at a time. Make the most of your mileage by planning unique and engaging learning experiences into your vacation. Educational vacations do so much for our families, strengthen our bonds, lighten our hearts, and bring smiles to our faces. But before you get started, take a look at these top 9 resources for educational family trips.
1. Pack Well. Maybe you love to take an educational family trip but just can not imagine fitting everything you need into the car. We get it; you spend your year planning while homeschooling. So planning for the expected and unexpected on your vacation is the last thing you want to do. But, you are not alone! Many people have already done the research for what to pack, so you don’t have to start from scratch! Check these out:
- NEA has put together a great list of how to Pack the Perfect Road Trip Survival Kit with everything you need to get started filling your suitcases.
- Worried about emergencies? Pack this Emergency Road Trip Kit from Simplepreparing.com.
- Don’t want your car to be a total pig sty? Pack this Car Busy Bag filled with things that will keep little ones entertained.
2. Plan Smart. Spontaneity is great until you’re in the middle of nowhere, and someone needs to use the restroom. Or you have gone 30 miles out of your way only to find out the museum your child desperately wants to see is closed that day. Take it from us, failure to plan truly is a plan to fail when it comes to road trips. Make sure you’ve thought through where you want to go and what you want to see. Then use the RTA Map Wizard from Roadtripamerica.com to plan your route and stops.
3. Research Your Route. Once you have decided where you want to go and have it mapped out, it is time to find out what’s fun along the way! Visit your local library and pick up a travel or state guide. If you’re an outdoorsy family, you will want to visit some National Parks and can use pre-planned routes or chart your own on us-parks.com.
4. Be Guided. Not sure what you will want to see? Visittheusa.com has pre-planned guides for foodies, families, and more!
5. Food is Fuel. Running out of gas can spell disaster. So can hungry road trippers. Make sure to pack a lot of snacks. Need ideas? Check out this Pinterest Board dedicated to road trip snacking and food storage! We love the idea of using a tackle box for snacks for each child!
6. Stay Busy While Sitting. The last thing you want your road trip to be is boring. But, let’s face it, spending a ton of time in the car can be. Spice up the drives from point a to point with these 20 fun car games or keep hands busy with these great ideas from kidsactivitiesblog.com. If you are traveling with Teens, here are some great games and busy boxes they can make beforehand to keep them occupied during the trip!
7. For Your Listening Pleasure. If you are a musical family, you’ll want to catch a festival along your route. Use musicfestivalwizard.com to find a jam session on your route!
8. Museum Madness. You are that family, the one who loves all things museums, and for good reason. From natural history to folk music to baseball, there is so much to be learned inside the walls of a museum. Use this listing from museumusa.org to find all the local museums on your road trip.
9. Journal Your Travels, and Heart. Your road trip is going to be epic, unforgettable, a wonderful experience you don’t want to forget. And you don’t have to! Creating a road trip or vacation journal is just one way to remember the exciting adventures you took on your educational family trips. Use this visual list of vacation journaling ideas to inspire you.
Get out and explore the U.S. this summer because educational family trips make memories that last a lifetime. Want to make sure you can use your family vacation for your homeschool year? Check out the first post from this series: Making Your Vacation Count!
Where are you headed this summer? Tell us in a comment below!