October 26, 2016

10 Must-Know Family Road Trip Tips (+ a Giveaway)

sleepy road tripWe leave for our cross-country road trip in less than three weeks. It’s really snuck up on me, and honestly, I’m starting to get a bit nervous. Fortunately, I was asked to participate in a Blog Hop with nine other family travel bloggers, all sharing their best road trip tips, and I’m starting to feel a bit more at ease.

Even better, as part of this Blog Hop, we’re giving away two big prize baskets, each filled with fun, travel-related goodies like a GoPro HERO, a world map, a selfie stick, stickers, a kids’ almanac, travel guides, handmade soaps, an activity organizer and a travel eye pillow.

My contribution to one of the prize baskets was three Lonely Planet books for kids, including Adventures in Famous Places, Adventures in Smelly Places and Adventures in Noisy Places. As a bonus, each book has lots and lots of activities and stickers. Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this page and you’re in. Good luck.

Now, without further ado, take a look at my 10 must-know family road trip tips that will help you manage the drive, hold onto your sanity and enjoy the journey.

1. Don’t Get Too Ambitious. I want to see it all, but my kids have little legs, and really, there are only so many hours in a day. And, honestly, I’d probably be better off with a nap than seeing one more attraction. Enjoy time together, build in down time and don’t run yourselves ragged. Have fun.

2. Bring an Extra Set of Car Keys. Enough said. I can’t imagine being hundreds (thousands) of miles away from home and realizing I have no idea where the car keys are. That’s probably my worst nightmare. I’ll stash an extra set in a suitcase or in one of the kids’ backpacks.

3. Eat Before You Get on the Road. Little ones need full bellies to help ward off car sickness. It’s too late once you start driving and tummies get stirred up. If that happens and then you decide to eat, whatever gets put in will be coming right back up. Yuck.

4. Plan for Outdoor Fun at Rest Stops. Bring soccer balls, badminton rackets, softball gloves, whatever you need so you can get out and get active at road stops. Kids (adults too) need to move around and burn off pent-up energy. Plan to do so for 15 minutes every two to three hours.

5. Bring Comfort Items. Make sure the kids bring whatever they need to max out on comfort in the car whether it’s a pillow, a blanket, activity booklets or headphones to tune out the music (or other people) in the car. Comfortable kids are easy-going and helpful kids (read: not whiny kids).

6. Plan for Laundry Stops. Not every hotel has coin laundry facilities. If you’re planning to be gone for more than one week, look into where you can wash your clothes, whether it’s at a relative’s house or a coin-operated machine at your motel. Bring a bag of single-load laundry detergent packs, like all might pacs, with you, too.

7. Make Healthy Food Choices on the Drive. There’s no need to stop for fast food every time you need a meal along your drive, or at the very least, you don’t need fries every time. For me, I know I need to eat healthy and in moderation. Fries, for example, make me sleepy, and that’s not good as the only driver.

8. Know Where You’re Going. This seems obvious, right? But nothing frustrates me more than being lost. Nothing. Make sure addresses and destinations are close at hand to key into your GPS or mapping app on your smartphone. Even better, bring along printed directions, like a AAA TripTik.

9. Plan Ahead for Disaster (So it Won’t Happen). I always find that things are least likely to fall apart when I’m most prepared. When I bring along a first aid kit with bandages, pain meds and anti-bacterial, not one kid in my car will need these. Trust me. I also bring along an emergency roadside kit, and use these tips to manage car sickness, plus that extra set of car keys I mentioned above. 

10. Don’t Forget to Capture Memories. Don’t get so busy getting from Point A to Point B that you forget to take in your adventures and hold onto the memories. Buy a selfie stick, take photos and videos, keep a travel journal. Do what you can to preserve the good times (even the not so good times).

Read for the giveaway? Take a look below and enter to win one of two prize packages. 

The Grand Prize includes a GoPro HERO (camera only, $129 value), a selfie stick ($25 value) and three Lonely Planet Road Trip Guides ($30 value).

The Second Prize includes a travel eye pillow, hand-made soap, world map, stickers, Lonely Planet Kids’ books, National Geographic 2016 Kids’ Almanac and a Thirty-One hang-up activity organizer.

Giveaway Rules

1. You must leave at least one comment on one of the participating blogs below.
2. You may receive additional entries by commenting on other blogs in the Blog Hop.
3. You may receive additional entries by performing actions in the Rafflecopter widget below, allowing for up to 20 giveaway entries.
4. Giveaway prizes will only be shipped to winners in the Continental United States (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).
5. The giveaway runs through June 12, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
6. Winners will be notified via email.

Read more road trip tips on the following blogs and enter again to win the prize packages!

100 Routes Across America
Grow in Grace Life
Headband for Today
I Love Family Travel
Kids Are a Trip
Kids Unplugged
Our Whole Village
Stuffed Suitcase
Trips with Tykes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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