SUNDAY, July 8, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- If you're planning a family road trip vacation this summer, you can take steps to make it easier and more enjoyable, according to children's book author Michael DiLorenzo.
"This is a shared experience, and one that will be talked about during family gatherings for years to come," DiLorenzo, a father of three and writer of the Adventures with Jonny book series, said in a News and Experts release. "For busy parents, this is a time to savor their children's youth. As moms and dads eventually find out, they grow up fast."
One way to reduce stress on your trip is to avoid rush hours in big cities. Careful planning can help you steer clear of peak traffic periods and possibly save you and your family hours of misery in gridlock.
Use websites and apps to find the cheapest gas prices, good food choices, and the best hotel rates and travel routes, DiLorenzo recommends. Speaking of technology, make sure you leave behind all work-related calls, texts and emails. If you want to have a smartphone on your vacation, make sure it's not a work-related device.
To help the miles pass easily, make a music mix that appeals to the entire family. Family activities such as word games are another fun way to keep everyone entertained while in the car.
Be sure to make regular stops and pull over whenever you see potentially interesting or unique attractions, DiLorenzo advises.
Be cautious about dairy drinks and smelly snacks. A spill on a seat can eventually create a terrible stink during a summer road trip. But be sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks so that you don't have to buy junk food during your trip.
The Nemours Foundation offers a number of road-trip boredom busters.