when son and friends live up in the Bay Area. When the kids were little, we lived in Berlin and we would drive to Italy once a year for summer vacation and always had fun on the way. Vacation started the moment we got in the car - the journey is half the fun. Of course there were the usual "are we there yet" moments, but all in all we always had pleasant trips.
- pack enough provisions (water, snacks, sandwiches, thermos with tea or coffee) to keep everyone happy
- make regular pit stops to stretch legs and back
- stop when you see something interesting
- open the windows and yell when driving through a tunnel (there were plenty on our way to Italy)
- reading anything was out of the question for all of us, as we all get carsick, but we always have our roadmaps with us to follow our route and check on our progress (no GPS in our cars)
- speaking of carsickness, have enough bags and papertowels handy, just in case. Lots of winding roads through the alps and Highway 1 along the Pacific coast is a doozy.
- today with no kids in the back and the internet as my resource, I check out the route and anything interesting on the way (there is a Dateland in Arizona, famous for its date shakes) and try to stop there to enjoy what other travelers have written about
- bring music to sing along - I tried a book on tape once, but that was distracting me from driving or driving was distracting me from listening, maybe it was not the right book, I prefer music
- enjoy the scenery along the way and take pictures (thunderstorm in the desert - interesting road signs).
- a good time to have a nice conversation (please do not have arguments on road trips).