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5 Ways to Shake Up Your Summer Vacation

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words to live by. With TSA slowdowns and wait times pushing 3 hours at airports across the country, it’s the perfect time to trade in the airways for the highways and plan a summer road trip.

A family road trip doesn’t have to be miles of endless boredom and backseat skirmishes, barreling down a highway to the latest and greatest tourist destination. With a little creativity, you can shake up your summer road trip and make it about the journey. Here are a few suggestions.

Dart Board Method

If you’re having trouble deciding where to go, leave it up to destiny by throwing a dart at a map. Drawing out of a hat works too. The idea is the same – leave it up to chance!

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Do your own version of this classic foodie show and hit out-of-the-way “greasy spoons” along your route. Be sure to expand your horizons beyond the usual burgers and fries and try some of the local fare.

Movie Madness

Pick your favorite road trip movie and recreate the route. “Easy Rider,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Sideways,” and “Thelma and Louise” (minus the last leg, of course!) are a few suggestions.

Parks and Rec

Celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service by building your summer road trip around a few national parks. See the National Park Foundation’s 2016 Bucket List for ideas.

Keep It Local

No time for a long road trip? Rediscover your own back yard by scheduling a few day trips over the course of the summer. Often the focus is on getting out of town and it’s easy to forget about the attractions right there in your own state.

A few extra tips before you head out on the open road…

  • Get your vehicle serviced and detailed before you leave.
  • Prepare for all types of weather. Sunscreen, personal fans, hats, umbrellas, rain gear and sweatshirts for cool nights…you never know what Mother Nature is going to dish up.
  • Pack some healthy snacks and water so you have options beyond the usual gas station fare.
  • Compile a list of games to play in the car. See 14 Road Trip Games Adults Will Actually Enjoy from BuzzFeed. Most can be adapted for kids.
  • And, finally, be sure to pack an Armor All Cargo Liner. In addition to protecting your interior from the food and beverage spills that are an expected part of the road trip experience, this durable, multi-use mat can double as a picnic blanket or tent mat. For more uses, read Top 10 Reasons to Stow an Armor All Mat in Every Vehicle.
A family road trip is a great alternative to the usual destination vacation. It gives you the opportunity to UNPLUG, RECONNECT and SEE SOME GREAT SITES along the way!