In my last article, 9 Travel Tips for Your Team, we covered the topic of traveling with your team during the tournament season. In this article I'd like to talk specifically about traveling with your own kids.
I'm still talking about baseball and softball travel during tournament time, but this is more about making travel time with the family a little more interesting and fun.
More: Parent's Guide to Little League All-Stars
Once Upon a Time...
When I was a kid (a very long time ago), we didn't have laptop computers, cell phones, GPS units, portable DVD or CD players or any of the other technologies available today. Today, traveling with the family can be fun not just for the kids, but for the parents too. One fun thing to do is to include the kids in the actual travel/vacation planning; letting today's technology help with the fun.
Fun Team Travel Tip No. 1: Plot Your Course
Assuming you at least know your destination, sit down with the kids in front of the computer and surf on over to Google Maps to start your planning.
By entering the address of your destination--or just the city and state--you can create your own trip itinerary, including turn-by-turn maps and driving instructions.
If you really want to make it fun, download Google Earth. Using the same information you used with Google Maps, you can put a whole new perspective to your travels. It is really cool and the kids will love it.
More: Swing Techniques for Young Hitters
Fun Team Travel Tip No. 2: Fill Up for Less
This tip has nothing to do with having fun but just might help reduce some headaches. With gas prices on the rise, you might also want to know where the cheapest place to buy gas during your trip.
After you've created your vacation map, look up zip codes from the US Post Office for the areas you will be traveling through. Then you can visit gasbuddy.com and find updated gas prices along your route. You can even find gas prices using your cell phone too.
Fun Team Travel Tip No. 3: Share Your Experience
Another thing we used to do was keep a written diary of a trip: how many miles we traveled, where we stopped to eat, interesting places we visited (my favorite was the Grand Canyon), etc.
Today we have digital cameras and camcorders that take great pictures and movies that can be uploaded to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and personal websites. All you need is an internet connection and a computer and you're good to go.
More: Off-the-Field Tips for Coaches