When I first started taking road trips, it was important for me as a single parent to go with another mom or travel buddy. If you are a single parent planning a road trip there are many reasons to travel with another adult and maybe a few more kids. Having a co-pilot in the passenger seat as well as other kids to keep your own busy can make the whole trip more pleasurable for all involved.
Safety should always be your first priority when traveling, and as they say, two heads are better than one. G-d forbid we had an emergency and, for example, I broke my leg (which thankfully has never happened)—who’s going to drive? How could we even get to the hospital? We never strayed too far from civilization, but the thought of having another capable adult along with me put a lot of my fears surrounding safety to rest.
Having another adult with you can also be a huge help when you’re driving between destinations. One adult drives while the other doles out snacks, checks itineraries, and plays DJ keeping everyone in the car humming a happy tune. It’s also great to be able to have adult conversations while the kids are off playing or involved in an activity. Having other kids traveling with us also kept everyone occupied, laughing and having a great time. Good travel partners can make all the difference and the memories you create together will last a lifetime.
Often times your companions can bring a fresh perspective that can make your trip even more fun and informative. I traveled with my friend, Sherry, and her 2 kids when we drove through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming (her husband, and attorney just couldn't take the time off for a summer vacation). Sherry was an eighth grade history teacher who had taught a unit on Lewis and Clark and her kids were classmates of my children. She was able to share so many interesting facts and she was truly excited to see the places she had only read about. Sherry and her kids survived two road trips with us, after which she was so inspired she decided to home school her kids supplementing their learning with road trips like ours around the country.
Of course, I got lucky with Sherry. Sometimes you don’t find out until you’re on the road—and it’s too late—that your travel buddy is less than ideal. Try your best to determine ahead of time that the person you’ll be spending days in close quarters with is on the same page as you. That means someone who is positive, appreciates what you’re trying to accomplish, and can stick to a schedule and be on time. If somebody is dragging you down, that’s not going to make for a good trip. Pick your partner wisely and your road trip experience can be amazing.