According to a recent AAA Travel survey, nearly 100 million Americans are planning to take a family vacation in 2019.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says 68 percent of family travelers will embark on a summer getaway and 45 percent are making travel plans as a family this spring.

Regardless of the season, the Great American Road Trip remains a major draw, with about 53 percent of families planning to pack up their cars and hit the roads this year.

While gas prices are creeping up, that won't deter people from taking a road trip, Noble said Noble. In fact, despite the increase, gas prices are still cheaper than they were a year ago.

When it comes to taking road trips, Noble said New Jerseyans like to visit neighboring states and attractions. The Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania is a good day trip because it's not far from the Garden State. Other popular road trip spots include Gettysburg, Hershey, Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Connecticut, Litchfield Hills and the Catskills region in New York.

For folks coming into New Jersey, the majority will be hitting the Jersey Shore region, said Noble.

To make the most of a vacation, AAA recommends families plan and research as far ahead as possible. Other tips for the perfect family road trip include:

  • Safety is key. Noble said make sure there is enough room in the vehicle so everyone can be buckled up properly, whether that means a regular seat belt or the proper child restraint system.
  • Planning is half the battle. If a family is traveling with young children, make sure to have enough things to keep them busy such as games, videos, electronic devices. Also, be sure every electronic device has a full battery.
  • Have kids pack their own bags with things which they feel are their necessities. Pack snacks for the car and have them choose where to stop and have lunch so they feel involved in the vacation planning.
  • Make sure the driver takes a break every 100 miles. Get out of the vehicle, stretch and revive.
  • Do the research. Map out the route in advance. Also make sure the car is vacation ready. Have it serviced or checked out by a trustworthy mechanic before hitting the road.

Last but not least, "pack your patience," Noble said. Be prepared for busy roads and long airport security lines throughout the summer. If hitting the roads during a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, consider leaving extra early and think about taking the road less traveled.

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