Summer is the time of year when many families are planning their vacations. And the great American road trip seems to top the list. More than 100 million families were expected to pack up the car and hit the road for vacation – representing more than half of all traveling families.
And it’s not just cars that families are packing; families with members who have disabilities are taking their mobility van conversions on the road as well. To maximize the fun on road trips, AAA recommends doing advanced research and planning as far in advance as possible.
But before packing up the vehicle, it’s a good idea to have a destination in mind. So where are most families planning to go this summer? Let’s take a quick peek at some of the most popular destinations this year.
According to an article in USA Today, the most popular drivable destinations include Kissimmee and Miami, Florida, New Orleans, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle. There may be some alternatives close to these popular destinations that may be less expensive, so do some research.
The beauty of Alaska’s great frontier is best appreciated at the impressive Denali National Park. At an elevation of 20,318 feet, it is the highest point in North America. You’ll also find breathtaking views of endless natural beauty and abundant wildlife in their original habitat.
There are beautiful beaches on the east coast. Just about one hour’s drive south-east of Boston is Cape Cod where you can enjoy some of the freshest clam chowder and lobster in the world. There are also 30 miles of sandy beaches that are ideal for water fun.
Another popular destination happens to be one of the country’s greatest treasures – Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona. There you’ll see a 277-mile-long canyon that is jaw-dropping. Be sure to grab a copy of the Accessibility Guide when you arrive. The park offers free handicap accessible shuttles making it easy for the entire family to explore the beautiful sights. A Scenic Drive Accessibility Permit is also available for visitors with mobility issues that will provide access to some of the non-public roadways around the park.
If outdoor activities are on your agenda, head over to the Black Hills of South Dakota where outdoor adventure is non-stop. Be sure to drive along the scenic Wildlife Loop Road. And you won’t want to miss the fantastic sights of Mount Rushmore.
Awe-inspiring lakes and jagged cliffs abound in Glacier National Park in Montana, with incredible natural wonders at every turn. It’s located in the northwestern area of Montana adjacent to Alberta and British Columbia.
The average family is budgeting around two to three-weeks pay for their summer vacation. For some, this comes out to around $2,700, while for others it amounts to $1,979. It’s a good idea to create a budget and try to stick to it as you plan your travel. You should also research your destination in advance to find top-rated hotels, restaurants, and planned rest stops along your route. You can also research gas prices along your journey. There are various apps and information on the Internet to help with research and budgeting.
Have plenty of books, music, and games on board for kids, along with favorite snacks to keep them entertained between stops. Most importantly, make sure your vehicle is road-ready and that there are handicap facilities en route and at your destination. Have your mobility van adequately serviced and make sure your tires have an appropriate tread before you leave.
Be patient while driving. Traffic can get heavy at times with other vacationers on the road, so take breaks often. Also, leaving earlier in the morning can help you avoid tie-ups along your route. While summer is nearly over. It’s never too late for a family vacation. Take your time, enjoy the beautiful sights and most of all – have fun!