It’s that time again….time to pack up the car, jump in and take off on a summer road trip. Millions of Americans hit the roadways every summer for trip that will create a lifetime of memories. Louisville is within a day’s drive from two-thirds of the U.S. population and it offers both interesting family attractions and value. A little time spent planning can go a long way to making your road trip a smooth time for the whole family.
Get your car trip-ready. Get the oil changed, tires rotated and check the brakes. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the highway. Of course, there’s always a chance that could happen, so make sure you have some sort of roadside assistance. Whether you choose AAA or go with your insurance company (most offer roadside for a minimal price), the peace of mind goes a long way even if you never use the service. It also wouldn’t hurt to start the trip out with a clean car, and clear out any trash at each stop.
Pack plenty of kid’s activities. From coloring books to travel games, to DVDs and books, you’ll want to make sure your children have something to do. You might even want to pack a jump rope or ball to use at a rest stop so they can burn off some energy. Be ready to play car games. Remember the classics like the license plate game, 20 questions and “I Spy.”
Don’t forget the adults. It’s not all about the kids. Take some time before your trip to download a mix of songs so that you and your co-pilot can rock out. Maybe it’s something that will take you both back in time. Think about all those mixed tapes and CDs you made in middle and high school. You’ll also want to grab a few magazines and a good book. This might be your chance to catch up on all the celebrity gossip or check out some killer new recipes in a foodie magazine. And don’t be afraid to take a nap. Bring a travel pillow or regular pillow so that you can be rested enough to switch off driving. This is especially important on a long trip.
Have car-friendly snacks on hand. Sure, it’s easy to run through the drive-thru at each stop, but you’ll probably end up feeling bloated and tired if that’s all you eat on your trip. You’ll want to pack healthy snacks like fruits and veggies, trail mix, nuts, granola and water. Go for cookies with oatmeal, fruit or nuts in them. That extra fiber will keep you fuller for longer. Other ideas: fruit rollups, fruit snacks, goldfish, or anything that’s either individually packaged, or that you can divide up yourself. Juice boxes and string cheese are also good ideas.
Pack light. Try to keep to one bag per person. Keep one tote bag handy with your kid’s games, snacks, sunglasses, a first aid kit, baby wipes,
Don’t be afraid to stop. There’s no award for getting there the fastest. Take your time with your family and stop to see some of the sights along the way. These could be the moments you remember most about your trip. Not to mention, bathroom breaks are a must. Pack a blanket for a picnic at a rest area. It’s a chance to get out and stretch and let the kids run around a little.
Don’t overdo it. Pick some key activities and attractions for your family to enjoy. No one wants to be rushed on a trip or feel like they’re on a schedule. You could visit the Kentucky Derby Museum in the morning and check out the polar bear cubs at the Louisville Zoo later that afternoon. Or head to Downtown Louisville to check out the Louisville Science Center and the Samurai Exhibit at the Frazier History Museum. Have some little sluggers in your family? Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, then head a few blocks over to take in a Louisville Bats Baseball game at Slugger Field. For an updated calendar of events in Louisville, click here.