It's so easy to set an itinerary and become wedded to it, especially if there are time elements involved, such as the need to check in at a hotel before 5 p.m. or to reach an attraction before it closes. But if you have to drive for long stretches, it's critical to schedule in some fun. If you're motoring through a small town and the kids spy a cool neighborhood park, stop for a bit so they can play. Or if they see a billboard advertising an intriguing attraction, consider hunting it down. And don't limit stops to things the kids want to do. If Mom wants to check out a boutique shop or Dad wants a picture of himself outside the city's historic ballpark, do it. Unplanned stops make the day's drive much more exciting and rewarding [source: Hatch].