Thinking about taking a road trip with your teenager but not quite sure how to sell it? As you well know, pitching any family time to a teen who is starting to assert their independence can be a challenge. But that just means you’ll need to think a bit more creatively, and plan a trip that your teen can’t resist. Many newly minted drivers become enamored with everything to do with the road — cars, racing and driving — which means a racing-themed road trip is a perfect option. Here are four tips for planning a road trip that will having your teen putting the pedal to the metal and speeding toward the open road.
Get Them Involved Early
No matter what kind of trip you’re planning, the key to teen buy-in is to get them involved in the planning. The more input your kid has upfront, the less likely they will be to complain later. Go beyond just asking them for destination ideas and have them help with plotting out mileage, researching lodging, finding the coolest race-related landmarks, etc. Speak your teen’s tech language by downloading the Trail Wallet app to predict and track your trip budget.
Entice Your Teen with the Perfect Ride
A racing themed road trip would seem silly in a mini-van. The perfect car for this kind of adventure is one that could keep up with the muscle cars on the drag track. The Chevy Camaro fits the bill with a powerful turbo four-cylinder as its base engine and world-class sports car performance. Plus, the Camaro comes with a relatively small price tag and is fuel efficient, which will leave you with money to spend on experiences along the way.
See and Do Awesome Stuff
There are so many cool racing-related sites and activities that will make your road trip a vacation to remember. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Go to the races. If you’re going on a racing-themed road trip, you absolutely have to go see a race. Thrillist named California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca America’s #1 best race track, and it should be at the top of your list, too. But no matter what part of the country you are visiting, there is a road-trip worthy track — from Lime Rock Park in Connecticut to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- Enroll in driving school. What’s more exciting than watching cars zoom around the track? Zooming around the track yourself. The Frank Hawley Drag Racing school in Gainesville, Florida will teach you and your teen how to go from 0 to 60 in three seconds. In Ventura, California, at the Cory Kruseman Sprint Car & Midget Driving School, you can learn to drive one the sprint cars around a dirt track. The Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado instructs students how to drive in extreme winter conditions.
- Drive the backroads. Make the driving part of the road trip more than just the way to get between two points by cruising some the best U.S. driving roads. In North Carolina and Virginia, you’ll love the curves of Tail of the Dragon, Devil’s Staircase and the Blue Ridge Parkway. In California, your new driver will be thrilled with the views on State Route 1.
Plan for Down Time
When planning all these cool activities, try to remember that your teenager is, well, a teenager. Unlike younger kids, teens don’t need or want to have their days completely filled with activity. If you spend one day doing a big activity, maybe drive a few hours the next morning, but then leave the rest of the day open for sleeping, alone time or lounging around the pool.