School has started again and summer is over for another year. You may already be feeling wanderlust and dreaming up vacations for next summer – but don’t put away your suitcases just yet.
While summer is the most popular vacation time for young families, you can actually get much more bang for your buck in the fall. Prices for hotels and attractions are lower, and you’ll run into less tourism traffic. There are plenty of reasons to take a long week and enjoy a fall road trip with your family.
Unbeatable Scenery and Ambiance
Fall foliage is the pinnacle of natural beauty. The leaves create a stunning kaleidoscope of color which changes and shifts with each breeze. Every bend in the road brings new photo opportunities, so get out of the car and snap a few for the family album.
Most towns in the fall have such a cozy atmosphere. They’re more decorated, and you’ll likely run across several harvest-themed or other fall-themed festivals. Stop by and enjoy a few for homemade seasonal treats and crafts. Your kids will love exploring new places and taking part in the festivities.
Summer might be an easier time to vacation with kids since they’re already off from school, but it’s also much more expensive. Fall is considered an off-season for most locations, so you’ll save money on accommodations and some experiences while on your family road trip.
Even with the price of gas, traveling by car is still generally cheaper for families than traveling by plane. A round-trip ticket for one might be a better deal than driving, but the savings stack up when you factor in tickets for everyone versus driving in one vehicle.
Along with cheaper rates, the off season typically means smaller crowds and fewer people on the road. Summer is the busiest time to set off on a road trip, so you may not fit in everything you want to do. In the fall, you’ll fight with fewer people on the roads, and at every stop, so you can slow down and enjoy yourselves more.
Road trips, at any time of year, are a way to fit more experiences into a single vacation. Travel time is faster when you fly somewhere, but you only see and do things at your final destination. On a road trip, you can make any number of stops along the way and see things tourists often miss.
Your kids will get more control of the adventure when they can ask to see fun attractions along the way. Stop at a welcome center and let your kids pick up several brochures for places that look interesting to them and see how many you can fit into your schedule and budget.
Kids Can Recharge
School can be an incredibly stressful environment for your kids, especially at the beginning of a new year as they adapt to the increased demands of a higher grade level. Children of all ages are just as susceptible as adults to experiencing burnout. Time away from school for a family road trip can give them a much-needed break. They can clear their mind, let loose, and come back better prepared.
Family road trips are a unique form of vacation since the ride is just as important as the destination. The time you spend “stuck” in the car will bring you closer together, literally and in your family bonds.
Possibly the best part about a road trip is you never really know what’s coming. Even if you plan a bunch of activities ahead of time, you can change your mind along the way depending on the weather and other fun-looking stops. So pack the van, pick up a few brochures, and head out on an unforgettable adventure.