I love taking vacations with my wife and daughters and, including very recently, that has normally involved taking a long road trip with them to a particular destination (this year, it was Florida and North Carolina). However, we have decided our last family road trip was the last one we will be taking.
There are some exceptions to this, such as when we are just visiting a neighboring state. If our vacation plans take us beyond that point, however, we will be looking for alternative forms of transportation, including flying. And, there are five main reasons for that.
First, there’s just not enough time to do everything. We normally get about a week for vacation and, at least on the longer trips, there’s usually four days of that spent on the road. And, even though I would love to think we could make up for some of that by stopping at various road-side attractions, the reality is we just never seem to have enough time to do that, at least not if we want to get to where we are going.
You also can’t plan enough for unexpected delays. We ended up getting to our motel in Florida three hours later than expected because of a bad storm. On the way home, we sat through three traffic jams. As I mentioned before, time is typically cramped enough. These things just make it even more difficult.
We also realized car trips just aren’t as exciting as they used to be. When I was a kid, there were plenty of sites to keep me entertained. On this last trip, the only thing to look at most of the time was trees. And, despite our best efforts to keep the kids entertained with various games and other activities, they got bored really quick. Heck, I was bored too.
Another reason is it is very hard to find decent motels while in transit. The motels we stayed at in Florida and North Carolina were decent. In fact, the one in Florida was actually pretty awesome. The motels we stayed at driving to and from those areas weren’t so great and, mostly because we couldn’t get a good night’s sleep, were even more worn out from driving than we should have been.
Last, the stress from the drive can quickly outweigh the positive effects of going on vacation. I did my best not to let road construction, lack of sleep and other obstacles get to me but there were times when I was admittedly stressed and, as a result, was getting short-tempered. This was especially true when the kids were fighting in the backseat primarily because they were bored. In fact, we were all so mentally drained by the time we got home, I actually wondered if it was even worth going on vacation in the first place.
I do still plan on taking regular vacations with my wife and daughters. However, as a result of these things, you can be sure we won’t be planning anything that involves us being in the car for more than a few hours. It might cost us more money and will force me to get over my fear of flying. But, overall, I do think it will be worth it.