Posted: Feb 01, 2013 12:00 AM
When you take a road trip, the destination is only half of the fun. The real party is getting there!

Is a road trip in your future? Use these tips to make sure your family is having a blast, not just going along for the ride.

Allow more time

We know you want to get where you’re going, but don’t rush it. Leave plenty of time in the schedule for stops and sightseeing to stretch your legs and break up the time you’re stuck in the car. If you’re not pressed for time, you’ll be more likely to stop and visit interesting places you see on the way.

Get off the freeway

The freeway will get you there faster, but that’s about it. You’re in for a boring ride with so-so views if you stick just to highways, so take the back roads every now and then. If you do take the freeway, pay attention to signs for upcoming tourist stops, and pick a few to visit.

Plan fun side trips

It was so fun do all those different things in one trip, and it didn’t feel like we were in the car that long because we kept stopping.

Don't plan on driving straight from Point A to Point B. Take a look at the map before you leave and find some fun spots to detour on the way. You end up with lots of little vacations, all folded into one.

“When I was in high school, my family drove from Ohio to Texas to visit family,” said Courtney Wilcox of Columbus, Ohio. “We spent a day at Graceland, in Tennessee, on the way there, and spent three days in New Orleans on the way back home. It was so fun do all those different things in one trip, and it didn’t feel like we were in the car that long because we kept stopping.”

Get the whole family involved

Make the whole crew feel like they’ve had a part in the planning. Let everyone look at the map and pick a place along the way to stop, or be extra spontaneous and let them save their stops for something awesome you come across as you’re driving.

“When we go on long trips, my kids each pick a town along the way for us to drive through,” said Marcie Hupp of West Virginia. “It’s nice to get off the highway for a bit. Plus, they always pick the places with the coolest names, and it’s fun to see which cities live up to what they’re called.”

Make room

The worst part of a road trip is being cramped in tight quarters with the family for long periods of time. Make the trip more bearable by traveling in style with a roomy vehicle. Choose a family-friendly, luxury vehicle, like the Buick Enclave. It sits up to eight people, so there's room for the whole family - and all of your stuff!

Bonus Tip^

Don't eat at the drive-thru! Find a locally-run restaurant to get a taste of the town!

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