Who Will Participate?
Decide in advance whether you want to take the pet and/or all of the kids. Honestly, sometimes kids just donít want to participate in family outings, and itís okay if your child wants to have a choice. Maybe your child has a school function that same day, or maybe he/she would really rather spend time with friends. Itís not necessary, nor is it good idea to give in every time your child would rather not go on a family trip, but it might be best to let an otherwise responsible child have time with friends than have a moody child on a daytrip.
As far as the family pet is concerned, there are some festivals that allow dogs, but if you do bring your pet you itís a good idea to bring your own food (if possible) or make sure that there is an available restaurant that allows pets. During my recent trip, I saw plenty of people walking their dogs at the Fall Festival, and I wished that Iíd brought my little one out.
Always, always plan to leave your home earlier than you need to. Even if you think that you have an easy drive to your destination, you might have to deal with traffic or some other unforeseen set-back. Try your best to get to the area an hour before you need to.
Beware of Roadside Traps
I almost veered from my destination to see a cornfield maze. I saw sign after sign advertising this maze, and I almost got to the point in which I had to see it. I didnít know the cost or exactly where the maze was located, so I stayed on track. Sometimes itís cool to go off track to see a waterfall, buy goodies from a roadside farmerís market, or visit an attraction, but to save yourself and your family from disappointment and an expensive detour, you really should know exactly how to get to the attraction and how much it will cost. For some attractions, youíll want to know if everyone in the car can participate.
Visit Visitorsí Centers
In my case, I stopped at a visitorsí center and found a pamphlet about that corn maze. I learned that although the maze was pretty neat, it cost far more than I wanted to spend. I learned a great deal about some of the attractions in the area. I probably wouldnít have been able to easily find this information in the web. So, if you are planning to spend a couple of days out-of-town, stop by the Visitorís Center for ideas for where you and your family should go.
You probably will get irritated on the road. You might have trouble finding a decent place to park. The kids probably will make a lot of noise. Your spouse might want to stop more than you want to, or might not want to pitch in with the driving. Donít lose your cool, because your attitude can turn a good trip into a nightmare for everyone. Stay upbeat.