Which type of ROAD TRIP does your family take?


Road trip to Charleston:  Part 1

When my husband had the opportunity again to speak at a conference in Charleston, South Carolina we instantly decided to turn it into a family vacation.  We had taken the family two years ago when he had the opportunity to speak and we had so much fun.  Deciding to go again was an easy decision.  The tough part was getting there.  Flying to Charleston from Pittsburgh is easy as they now have direct, non-stop flights, but we decided to take an adventure.  A road-trip adventure. 

Road Trip Pre-Picture

What comes with a road-trip?  There are two ways to do a road trip.  The first I like to call the “Just Go” road-trip which doesn’t involve much planning at all.  If you don’t like to plan, then this may be the option for you.  The “Just Go” road-trip involves leaving very early in the morning, way before the kids are even awake.  You can leave at 1am or 4am, just anytime before the kids would wake up for the day.  The night before you simply put the kids into their clothes they are going to wear the next day and let them sleep in them for the night.  When it comes time to leave, you move them from their beds into the car and “Just Go!” 

With the “Just Go” road-trip you can plan to stop along the way or you can drive straight through depending on how long it will take you to get to your destination.  Driving straight through is the goal, but as with many kids, the constant asking “are we there yet” can be a big reason to add in a stop or two along the way.  My recommendation for kids six years of age and under is to try to stop every four hours when they are awake.  Four-hours is a good amount of time that allows you to cover a large distance.  This amount of time also helps get the kids out of the car to expend some of that built up energy. 

The other type of road trip I like to call the “Scenic” road trip.  With the “Scenic” road trip you build in more places to stop and see various sites along the way.  This type of road trip takes a lot more advanced planning.  The planning that is involved includes mapping out places to visit along the way with shorter breaks in between, usually 2 to 3 hours in the car before a stop.  Each stop is something fun for the kids to do like a zoo, museum, battlefield, caverns, a farm, an Amish market, or the world’s biggest ball of yarn. 

Picture: Pixabay
Picture: Pixabay

The “Scenic” road trip also involves sleeping at various motels and hotels along the way until you get to your final destination.  Depending on the areas you will be stopping, you want to make sure the accommodations receive good reviews from other families who have stayed there.  You don’t necessarily have to stay in the same area as one of your stops.  If you plan to be in that area late, then it is a good idea to stay there.  If you decide that you want your road trip to be a “Scenic” road trip, you can easily map it out on Google Maps and find local hotels and sights.  You can also contact a travel agent to help you come up with a plan. 

You can also do a combination of “Just Go” and “Scenic” road trips.  There really is no right or wrong when planning a road trip as long as you are planning it to fit your family’s needs.  Just remember, Life is Better Traveling!

Stay tuned next month for more on my road trip adventure to Charleston and my family’s adventure.

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Mary Yohannan lives in the Baldwin-Whitehall area of Pittsburgh. She moved to Pittsburgh over 2 years ago with her husband and 2 beautiful children. Mary owns her own travel agency Life is Better Traveling™, LLC which has helped hundreds of families take amazing vacations to Disney®, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, and all over Europe. She is also the founder of the Travel Agent School Supporting Learning and Education™ or T.A.S.S.L.E, which has the How to Become a SUCCESSFUL Travel Agent program™, a one-stop, all-inclusive program for someone who wants to become a Successful Travel Agent. Mary earned the distinguished honor of the Certified Travel Associate (CTA) through the Travel Institute in 2016, and has several other travel and tourism certifications. Mary has traveled to over 20 countries on 3 continents, but it wasn’t until she had children did she learn that traveling with little ones is a completely different, and sometimes challenging, traveling experience. Mary’s authentic passion for travel and traveling with her children has given her extensive knowledge on the best tips, tricks, and hacks to keep kids calm, entertained, and well-behaved while traveling. She posts a variety of travel tips and tricks on her highly coveted, High Content Life is Better Traveling website, but she has a lot of great advice on traveling with kids that she can’t wait to share with all those amazing Pittsburgh Moms.


  1. Before this last trip I thought I was a “Just Go” road trip person but I LOVED the “Scenic Road Trip” we took. The kids loved all the places we stopped and I felt so much more relaxed.

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