Last updated 2 years ago
Road trips are among our favorite choices for summer fun. If you're planning a trip as a last fling before school starts, make it a great reading opportunity, too.
Find out how others have done it
Whether you're an old hand at road trips or planning your first, you'll be inspired by adventures others have had.
Books about road trips are so popular that you'll find lists for all ages. For example, the International Reading Association has a list of summer reading books for kindergarteners through high school. Goodreads.com lists 199 road trip novels for young adults.
Read about your route
Getting to a place by car - the grandparents' house or Disneyland - isn't just a road trip. A road trip can be an adventure and a way to make really good memories!
Visit the library and look online to find information about the towns, beaches, forests, famous residents, museums, and sights along the way. Let each member of the family choose something as his or her special interest.
Listen while you drive
Listening to an audiobook can be a wonderful family experience. Audiobooks have special advantages on road trips. They encourage imagination and build reading skills but don't make you carsick.
Librarian Rachel Smalter Hall's audiobook recommendations range "from literary fiction to humor, memoir, travel, mystery, food writing, historical fiction, and YA."
Choose audiobooks that the whole family will enjoy. Many "children's" or "young adult" books entertain adults beautifully!
Let the games begin
You can find many suggestions for road trip activities online and in books, or you can make up your own.
Here's one of our favorite road trip games: Tell an ongoing story. Set up a situation like this: Imagine you have to spend three months on an island and you can take only 3 pieces of clothing. What will you choose? Let everyone take turns telling their choices and explaining them. Repeat with additional categories: 3 items to read, ingredients for 3 meals, 3 famous people, etc.
Before your trip, write several categories on slips of paper and put them into an envelope to use as needed. Once you get this game going, you'll be amazed at how fascinating it becomes and how much you learn about yourselves and each other.
At the end of a road trip, you'll have more than memories to keep. You may find that the person you were when you left home is not quite the same one who returns. Make this year's road trip one worth remembering.
We'd love to hear about your trip next time you visit us at The Literacy & Language Center.