This weekend we are taking a fun family road trip to San Antonio. I was invited to attend AdventureCon at Sea World, and since all four of us love it so much, it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass. The kids are super excited for us to get this show on the road. James has been asking every day when we are leaving. If you’ve liked my Facebook page then you might have seen a funny conversation I had with him about the trip (and if you haven’t liked it, um, why not? Get on that please!)
We take several mini-road trips throughout the year, but there is always a lot of planning (mostly mental because I always wait until the last minute). I was thinking about road trip tips, and as the summer travel season is kicking off, I thought it would be a good idea to pass them along to all of you. Here are my five tips for a fun family road trip:
1. Safety first. Frankly, this is not something I normally give a lot of thought to because David takes care of it, but it is very important. Before you leave, don’t only fill up with gas, check out your car to make sure that it is in good working order. Tire pressure good? When’s the last time the oil was changed? Tires were rotated? Do you have proper equipment in case you have a roadside emergency? All of these are things you need to think about before you hit the road. For more tips check out this article on Real Simple, Summer Family Fun: Road Trip Tips.
2. Meals and snacks. My kids are eaters, especially James. On most trips, before we’ve even gotten out of the neighborhood (or driveway), one of them is already asking for a snack or a drink. We always pack a cooler with drinks and snacks when we are traveling to keep down on cost, but it is also a lot healthier. I love this idea from Annaliese for packing snacks in labeled bags. I’m going to try it out this time, and hopefully it will keep down some of the bickering of the “she ate all of the…” and “he won’t share the…” type. Jodi and I wrote an entire post about not blowing your diet while on a road trip. Check it out for more information about planning meals while on the road.
3. Keep them entertained. It doesn’t take long for the “I’m bored” and “when will we get there” to start. As a matter of fact, James has already started asking me how far it is (lucky me). I always try to plan games for them to play in the car and pack art supplies with paper and coloring books. But don’t forget about technology. My kids can pour some time into playing games on our various “i” things and the LeapPad. We also bring along a portable DVD player for movie time. This post from Celebrating Family has some great tips for keeping kids entertained on the road.
4. Comfort is key. Spending hours in the car is not the most comfortable thing in the world. I try to correct that problem as much as possible by bringing along pillows and a light blanket for everyone. Driving in the Texas heat is no time to be arguing about who’s cold and wants the air conditioning turned off (it isn’t happening kid, give it up).
5. Stock up on supplies. Nothing is worse than being away from home and realizing that you need something you don’t have. Before hitting the road I make sure that I have a few basics loaded in the car like a roll of toilet paper (road side potty break!), a roll of paper towels, wipes, and a small first aid kit. Also plastic grocery store bags make it easy to keep the trash under control, and they are super easy to dump when you stop for a break.
Are you planning any fun family road trips this summer? Have you got any tips for me?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:
10 Things to Do in Galveston, TX
10 Things I Learned at Sea World San Antonio or Sea World is Awesome!
A Day at Moody Gardens (from my daughter’s perspective)
For more tips check out these articles:
11 Essentials for a Great Road Trip
8 Tips for Taking a Road Trip With Small Children (Love her water bottle idea.)
Road Trip Packing and Checklist from Power of Moms
12 Things to Bring on a Road Trip with Children