Chain stores and restaurants are everywhere. I often read of people taking vacations boasting about how long they crammed uncomfortably in a car as if it were a badge of honor to fight for elbow room rather than ride comfortably perhaps on a train?
I get perplexed by posts excited about chain restaurant food. It's the same back at home, Why did you drive eight or twenty hours to go to the same places just around the block back home?
I was excited, dear friends went on vacation and actually saw the sights, tried all new restaurants and had a great time! They planned well, considered distance and did not do it as if it were a race popping up long enough somewhere for a 360 view before dodging across another state line.
If your passengers get car sick after eating, why are you rushing so fast? Can you really appreciate things when you over structure your time?
Vacations are about taking your time, doing new things and enjoying different cultures. I went to Tucson and tried a Sonoran hotdog. We wandered different gem shows, hiked trails and had fun.
If you drive cross country, Why not stretch your legs at historical plaques and parks along the way? Make memories that inspire your family to want to travel and to associate it with relaxing and delightful adventure rather than stifling tedium of a metal car as an endless prison. Fast food isn't healthy and doesn't make a vacation or car trip better. Take a chance, try healthier options, pack a cooler and get out of the vehicle. Let your food digest, nothing says you have to push, remember, it's vacation.
Prepare using common sense, with your safety and wellbeing in mind. Bring the right clothes and gear, learn about where you are going and properly pack.
If you're going just to enjoy a hotel and a meal; stay local. Kids and adults like shorter car trips if you're just going to stay inside one or two buildings. Why pay to cross the country to go to a place that's the same as ones back home? Absurd! Stay local and use the money you save on whatever you choose from spoiling yourself with a good massage ( the opposite of cramping your muscles in a long drive) or some other wished for object.
Make valuable memories, not mediocre ones lacking character and depth. Immerse yourself in the places you go. You will not regret it!