Kia provided a vehicle for our road trip experience.
The key to a successful road trip is preparation. Last summer, I drove with my mother-in-law and nine-year-old daughter from Vermont to Southern New Hampshire. While the pine trees, rolling hills and unique landscape of the North Eastern United States sped by our windows, our girls-only trip was a great opportunity to swap stories, laugh and get to know each other better.
Have you considered taking a road trip? How about a trip that includes a mix of older and younger family members? Here are our tips on how to make the most of intergenerational road tripping!
1) Plan for a vehicle that considers the needs of all passengers in mind. Our Kia Cadenza worked well for our party of three. The roomy backseat gave my daughter the space she needed to spread out her traveling art studio, and the easy-access passenger seat had low door sills allowing for a comfortable step-in height for my mother-in-law. Other vehicle passenger features to consider for your road trip, include separate heating and cooling zones, backseat headphone jacks and individualized reading lights. Make sure to get a tune-up or oil change if needed and check those tires!
2) Consider entertainment that can be celebrated by all. I like to flip between the decade satellite radio stations like a driver/DJ taking all on a music history tour. Sirius XM is perfect for this. A little senior-friendly Du Wop from the 50’s, a sampling of early Madonna from the 80’s for me, and then a station of choice from the youngest member of our road trip. Everyone gets to share their favorite song, and gets to learn something new. Music has a way of making us remember memories and tell stories about our past. Storytelling is my favorite part of road trips. Toss out some thought starters, and see where it leads. What was your favorite toy as a kid? How old were you when you stayed in your house alone for the first time? What was your favorite food/vacation/pet when you were growing up?
3) Road trips were made for snacking! Bring along a bag of assorted car-friendly foods. Do something fun that celebrates nostalgic foods. Find candies that were popular during the childhood of the oldest member in the car to surprise them, and introduce the kiddos with a new treat. I also like to bring lots of chopped fruits and veggies to fill everyone tummies with nutritious options since rest stops always seem to give us those sugary, salty, fried options. Do a google search to find some fun off-the-beaten path diners, or specialty food stops for a memorable meal and photo. I love mom and pop style places that specialize in one type of food, like lobster shacks, burger places, churro stands, etc. TIP: We stopped at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, VT. We filled up on cheese samples at the deli section. They also have an impressive candy section and the donuts were to die for!
4) Take lots of photos. Stop at funny signs or sights, and take full advantage of taking photos that show your silly side. Let everyone in the car take turns as the photographer. My daughter loves to edit the photos they take and add funny speech bubbles for everyone. Make mini online slide shows or videos as road trip keepsakes, and select your favorite road trip music to act as the sound track. Print it up as a photo book to present your everyone as a holiday gift upon your return. Tip: I love covered bridges! Take a picture on the Kissing Bridge next to the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham or find another bridge in the area.