Sometimes you have to plan vacations far in advance because of work or school schedules, but a spontaneous road trip can be both fun and enlightening for everyone in the family.

“Pack your bags—we’re hitting the road!” Choose a direction and go. You can stop at a roadside diner, a quirky road attraction, or a motel with a perfect waterslide without worrying about “getting there”— because where ever you are is your destination.

Here are a few of the lessons a spontaneous road trip can teach.

Travel Light 

Often we overpack our suitcases and bring a ton of activities to entertain the kids. It can take hours just to get out of the house.  Instead, practice the art of packing minimally. All you need is cash, a toothbrush, and a change of clothes—not half your home and every toy your kids own.

Learn the Art of Letting Go

The escape from schedules and routines can be both freeing and relaxing. Sit back and enjoy the ride with no specific plans in mind.

Adventure Around Every Corner

Often we are in such a rush to get to the hotel, theme park, or a relative’s house  that we miss out on everything along the way. A spontaneous trip is a great way to discover new sites and new towns—with a simple turn off the main road. It could be a museum or a secret spot where you dive off rocks into a pristine cool waterfall. It could be a roadside deli with the best sandwich you ever had, or a small country store where they have goats and chickens out back. Every stop offers something new and fun to try.

There’s no time schedule.

Drive and stop at your leisure. Enjoy the ride. This teaches kids that they can  explore this beautiful world without rushing through life or planning it down to the minute.

Have you ever taken a spur of the moment road trip? What lessons did you learn?