Dad the Driver
Family road trips are the stuff of legend. Earlier this year, Alison, Benedict, and I rented a van and made the 12 hour drive to Michigan. It was my first trip driving a minivan since I was in high school and boy was having all of that space nice! In my family, my dad would always drive on our road trips. Now that I'm the dad doing the driving, I know that providing a safe and comfortable trip for my family is a great experience.
The fun and adventure for us dads begins even before the wheels start rolling. We spend hours prepping the car and getting everything just right. Of course, there's the packing and repacking to achieve maximum efficiency but there's also the strategically stored amenities. These amenities may include bottled water in each cup holder, pillows and blankets within arms reach, and toys for the kids. The objective is for everything to be completely perfect for the family to get in the car, relax, and enjoy the journey. In addition to preparing the ride for our passengers, there's also preparation for us, like checking fluids, storing an umbrella by our seat, and getting our navigation system ready to go.
One of the biggest differences in travel with kids is the number of stops that the family has to make. There are stops for gas, but mostly stops for restrooms. While at first these frequent breaks annoyed me, I soon learned to enjoy the rest. I enjoyed the experience of taking a road trip as opposed to the rush to get to our destination as quickly as possible. Those stops translated into better driving, me feeling more rested, and an overall better trip.
Taking care of your family while on the road is just another way of caring. We take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of our family, and through our diligent preparation and safe driving, we do just that. While it's true that road trips as a family take considerably longer when your kids are involved, the whole adventure itself is much more gratifying.