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Ten years ago my husband and I moved with our two year-old daughter from Eastern Long Island to Staten Island (approximately two hours away). It was hard to leave my friends and family but Billy got a great job that required him to work in New York City and I knew I would soon start working there as well. Our current home was just too far away for a daily commute (especially when we had a little girl that we were eager to get home to.) It made more sense for us to live locally. In the years following our move Taylor and I have driven out to visit about once a month. We go for long weekends, breaks from school and spend at least a week out there every Summer. Here are some tips I have discovered that make a huge impact on how enjoyable our journey will be:
1. Bring Snacks
Having a well-fed child is imperative to a pleasant trip! Not only do I feed Taylor a meal right before we leave (usually after breakfast or lunch) I also bring food to enjoy along the way. When my daughter is full she is so much happier. Take it from me – there is nothing worse than being stuck in a confined space with a hangry tween! Do yourself a favor and stock up on plenty of snacks! I usually choose things that are non-messy because the idea of cleaning yogurt from my floor-mats after a two hour drive is revolting. I stick with small baggies of pretzels, crackers, popcorn or cheese sticks.
2. Keep Kids Occupied
The night before we leave for a road trip I make sure to charge all electronic devices that we plan to bring. Taylor’s iPad is a one-stop shop with music, games and a Kindle app so she can read. I also pack a car charger just in case. If she is bringing a friend I include games they can play together like road trip bingo or supplies for a small craft (like friendship bracelets).
Headphones are extremely important for us during a road trip because Taylor and I like different music. (I cant survive two hours of Kidz Bop.) Also, she likes to plays games on her iPad that make loud noises. I make sure I have a pair of headphones for her. This way I can listen to music and enjoy the trip without interrupting her activities in the backseat.
Whenever we travel, Taylor likes to bring her own pillow and a small blanket. This way she can snuggle up and nap comfortably during the trip and she can also use them at the hotel or friend’s house where we are staying. It makes her feel more at home.
5. Clean/Service Vehicle
Worst case scenario during a road trip is to be broken down on the side of the highway. Before setting out on any trip (especially one with kids) I recommend that you clean and service your vehicle. In preparation for our visits to Long Island I always take my car to the car wash and then I head over to Walmart.
I have been taking my car to Walmart for the past year or so to get my oil changed since it is so convenient. I can drop it off and do my shopping all at the same time. They have most or all of the road trip necessities I mentioned above including snacks, beverages, crafts, books, headphones and electronics so you can stock up and make sure that you car is ready for your trip all at the same time.
I love that I can have them use Pennzoil® products! Right now I am using Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology (which is on Rollback from $49.88 to $44.88). It makes my engine run perfectly! Later on (after I hit 75k miles on my car) I plan to use Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle®. Pennzoil’s high mileage motor oil helps clean out the sludge lesser oils leave behind, while helping to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. Right now it is on Rollback from $39.88 to $35.88, from June 15th until September 28th.
You can find your closest Walmart Automotive Care Center here so you can be ready for all your fun Summer road trips!
6. Don’t Be Too Rigid With The Schedule
When I was younger we used to go on family vacations and my Dad would plan and plot the course like a crazy person. He would get extremely stressed about arriving on time and very aggravated about unscheduled stops. I think a lot of that anxiety came from not wanting to get stuck in the middle of nowhere at night with just a paper map. (This was pre-navigation and cell phone.) Because of those experiences, I try to remember not to get so caught up in the destination that I lose site of the journey! When possible I like to take some crazy selfies, pull over to investigate fun shops or roadside attractions and make sure I treat the car ride as part of the vacation!
Are you guys planning to go on any road trips this Summer? Leave me a comment with the fun trips you have planned!