“Are we there yet?” If the prospect of summer travel… WITH CHILDREN has you dreading this refrain, read on. We’ve got some tips to make your family road trip as smooth as possible so you can reach your destination feeling relaxed and ready for fun.
Plan Your Route
Summer is prime road construction season. There are few things more frustrating than sitting in traffic for an hour in the sweltering heat with a car full of antsy kids. When planning to travel, check your route and make arrangements to avoid construction zones if possible. You can do a Google search and see if any alerts come up for your intended route, or you can use apps like Roadtrippers and Waze to spot potential problem areas ahead of time.
If construction stands between you and your destination, don’t despair—you have several options. You can plan an alternate route or time your trip so you’re coming through the work zones in the early morning or late evening, when congestion is less likely and heat is less intense. If you’re coming into Wytheville via I-77 South from West Virginia, you’re likely to run into delays due to a big road project near the Bluefield and Princeton exits. The Virginia Department of Transportation suggests traveling Monday through Thursday or using an alternate route. The Virginia Welcome Center at Rocky Gap is another good resource for travel suggestions throughout this project.
Pack Some Distractions
If your car or van is equipped with a DVD player, you’re probably guaranteed a couple of hours of peace and quiet, but even the coolest electronics can only keep kids occupied for so long. Low-tech activities include:
Load up on Road Snacks
Keeping little tummies (and big tummies!) full of good food can cut down on whining. However, the last thing you want is to be trapped in a car with kids who are hyped up on sugary junk food, so pack a cooler or lunch box accordingly. Some portable yet filling options include:
While it’s important to stay hydrated, you’ll also want to keep pee breaks to a minimum. To strike that balance, offer only water to drink in the car. Avoid caffeinated drinks, like soda or tea, at all costs.
Don’t forget the clean-up supplies: wet wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizer can be on-the-road sanity savers.
Scout out Stopping Points
When it comes to family road trips, the journey can be as meaningful as the destination. Scout out cool stops along your route with family-friendly activities, even if it’s just stretching your legs and taking in a view.
If you’re traveling through (or to!) Wythe County, the area offers a plethora of entertaining diversions for kids just a short hop off the interstates, including:
To find a listing of events that might be happening during your stay, check out our calendar of events, Visit Wytheville, or the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce. If you’ve stayed in Wytheville, be sure to leave us reviews on Facebook or Google—we’d love to hear about your experience!