Ultimate Family Road Trip: Crossing Things Off Your List

Remember back in the planning stages when I told you to plan more things than you could actually do? There was a reason for that. You need to have options because you can never be sure what situations will arise on a road trip. But that’s not a bad thing. Uncertainty is part of the fun of a road trip!

The only thing you need to remember in order for this plan to work is that you have to be willing to cut a few things from your list here and there. Here is a short plan of action on how to know when to cut things, and how you should go about picking which things to cut.

When to cross something off your list.

-One or all of you are exhausted from traveling. Remember that pesky travel syndrome? Well chances are that it will creep on you sometime during your trip.

-You don’t physically have time to do everything on your list.

-You don’t feel like your original good idea is still a good idea and you want to do something else instead.

-Something went a-rye. You got lost. Your ferry was late. Your rental car’s air conditioning stopped working (yes, that happened on our September road trip in Greece, yikes!)

-A hundred other reasons that could come up.


So before I begin the next part let me start with this proverb that is popular at the church we go to back in California.

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.” Chuck Smith

Part of the fun and frustration of traveling is that things change, constantly. This is also compounded when you are in a different culture. Your expectations usually will not match up perfectly with your experience (which is ok!)… and you have to be willing just to roll with whatever.


How to pick which things you cross off.

-Compromise, compromise, compromise. A happy family is one that knows how to come to an agreement. That doesn’t mean as parents that you let your child dictate which activity you will do. Obviously as the parent, you know their limits (and yours!) better than they do. But this really applies to you and your spouse. If I know my husband really wants to do something and is looking forward to it, I’m not going to make a big deal about going to do it. The same is true if he doesn’t really care about seeing something I am ecstatic about seeing. On the other hand if we have to choose between something one of us wants to do, and something all of us want to do… we will go with the second, majority pick.

-Of course you also have to think about what your kids are physically able to do at any point in the trip. Did all of you hike up a cliff the day before? Maybe that 3 mile walk around the lake the next day has to go.

-Budget. Sometimes budget is a factor, plain and simple. There might be some unexpected cost or incident, and then you have to pick which activity has to go because you don’t have enough money to do everything. That’s ok. In a later post we will talk about cheap or free activities you can find in many different destinations.

You are not a super hero (contrary to popular belief) and you cannot be everything to everyone, or do everything. Just take one thing at a time, and go based off the experience you want to have as a family. And remember, a cranky family is no fun to travel with, so slot some time for rest!

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