Hi, my name is Emma and I am a mother of two boys. The older one is ten and since I remember, he's been the best-behaved boy in the world. The younger one is four and, well, he has been the complete opposite. You know how it goes.
I grew up just outside Sydney, Australia and a huge part of my childhood were family road trips that we used to take; my parents, my two brothers and me. And really, it was probably during my childhood that I told myself that my children will one day get to enjoy road trips with me at the co-helm.
My Childhood Memories
I feel so old writing this, but I really did grow up in a different time. More precisely, a time without the web. It may seem like not such a big deal, but it is. My boys still cannot believe certain stories from my childhood simply because they cannot imagine a world where the internet did not exist. It is as if someone told me about a time without electricity.
As part of that different and simpler time, families used to do more things together and one of those things were road trips. My father (and secretly my mother, although she would never admit it) was a big fan of road tripping and, to this day, I am incredibly grateful to him for it.
Every year, we would take at least one familyroad trip through a part of Australia (and New Zealand on one occasion) and even though some of those road trips were objectively total disasters, I really only remember the good times. The best times.
And trust me, plenty of those were total disasters where we spent at least ninety percent of time fighting with each other, family-style.
Still, all of my memories are great ones and this is the main reason why I instituted the practice of at least a yearly family road trip as early as my boys could spend more than 20 minutes in the car before throwing up violently.
When I started writing this article in my mind, I went the usual way and started thinking about coming up with four or five reasons why I love family road trips. You know, the usual way. After a while, I realized that it all boils down to one very specific thing – family time.
The road trip is the epitome of family time, even today with tablets, smartphones, headphones and teen-grade lack of enthusiasm that you see in six-year old's these days.
One might consider it cheating, cramming four people in a tiny tin box and forcing them to spend time together, but, trust me, it isn't. Even though you might deal with a few yawns and eye-rolls in the first few hours of the trip, after a while, children become true children and they turn into these little things that still have that ever-important sense of awe.
When your children wake up under the watchful eye of the Uluru, they do not care you woke them up at 5:30 am. They don't care that they might be cramped spending the night in a tent. You see their little jaws drop to the floor and you know they have a memory that will last them a lifetime. Also, if you are ever in Australia, make sure to visit Uluru.
A Few Tips
Before I wrap things up, I feel like I should share a few tips with (hopefully) some of you before you go out on a road trip unprepared and end up broken down in the middle of nowhere cursing my name.
The first tip is never to head out without a plan. It does not matter where you live, how long your planned road trip is and how big your family is. A road trip without a plan is the worst thing you can do to yourself and your children. Know what you will visit and where you will stay (and eat).
My second tip would be to get your car prepared. You may think that your triple-A coverage will keep you safe, but when you break down in the middle of the night and in the middle of nowhere, having some spare car parts around and actually knowing how to use them will come in handy. These last few years, my family has been using SparesBox for car parts (this is a purely friendly plug).
Finally, prepare for disaster and try to stay as Zen as humanly possible. If there is one thing that every road trip will share with the rest, it's the fact that something will go wrong. A motel will mess up your reservation, a theme park will be closed without announcement, one of your children will eat a bad sandwich.
It happens. Accept it. Be like the water. Be Zen.
Instead of a Closing Word
Road trips can be the best thing you will do with your family.
Give it a try!
About The Author
Emma is an author at High Style Life. She is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life.
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