Road Trip Advice: Stay Sane, Save Money and Go Green! #kiasocialclub

Many years ago, my husband and I moved half way across the country to live and left behind parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and just about everyone else we knew. It was a good move for us financially and my husband got a great job but it left us rather lonely. The only way we could visit our family was if we flew (which we could not afford) or if we drove (which is a 2 day road trip). Since we wanted the kids to grow up knowing their family as more than just pictures on the refrigerator we started making a very long road trip every year when the kids were just babies. We have learned a LOT over the years about staying sane, saving money, and reducing our carbon footprint along the road.

Road Trip Advice from a well seasoned traveler!

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So, how can YOU have an enjoyable road trip and stay connected with those far away friends and family? Here are a few tips:

1. Do not travel during peak traffic times! I find it helpful to take a late afternoon nap and leave after dinner. That way you are well rested, well fed and your children will possibly fall asleep as soon as the sun goes down! A road trip is always much more peaceful with sleeping children!

2. Pack your snacks!  Do not bother stopping at fast food restaurants or gas stations. You will only be fueling up on high fat, highly processed garbage that will make you feel sluggish and gross. Before heading out on your road trip pack a cooler with trail mix, fruit, dried cereal, and other high energy, low fat foods. You will be creating less trash and keeping yourself healthy at the same time.

3. Know where you are going. This is a biggie! We always have at least 2 sources of directions to go by on a trip. We use our portable GPS system but also have printed directions as well as a map of the areas we are traveling in. Getting lost on your road trip is NOT fun, especially at night! Be prepared if there is an accident and you need to find an alternate route! Getting lost is a huge waste of time and gasoline and makes husbands VERY cranky!

4. Keep your kids entertained on the cheap!  Over the years, I have discovered that children get very easily bored. I’m sure you already know this! Stock up on small, used toys from Goodwill or garage sales and bring a bag of new stuff with you on your road trip without spending a fortune on it. Also, there are a ton of free apps that are fun for kids both young and small. My family’s favorites are the trivia apps! After a long road trip we are just loaded full of useless tidbits of information!

5. Hit the library! Books are a great way to keep kids occupied on a road trip and there is no reason to spend a fortune on buying them. I also like to get out magazines that I can read aloud to my husband to help keep him awake when he gets tired. Mental Floss is one of our favorites!


Road trips can be a lot of fun if you are prepared. Having a reliable car that you can trust is important before embarking on a long distance road trip. You also want to make sure that your ride is both safe AND comfortable. Nothing makes for a grumpier road trip than uncomfortable parents! The Kia Social Club (#kiasocialclub) is all about discovering your sense of adventure and encouraging you to embark on your own road trip. Check out the Official Kia Soul Hamster Commercial below to see what keeps these hamsters dancing! Have you ever driven a Kia on a road trip?

On our first road trip my son was 2 1/2 and my daughter was 6 months old. We didn’t really have a lot of experience road tripping yet and I can honestly say it was NOT a lot of fun! There was a lot of seat kicking by the toddler, screaming by the baby and a few near tears moments from the parents. Add in a poopy diaper that was nowhere NEAR contained and we seriously thought that we would never do it again! BUT, that is honestly my favorite memory of a road trip with my family! WHY would I enjoy remember this particular trip? Because that age is so very precious even if they are a lot of work! We sang the Wheels on the Bus song about a million times and ate WAY too many goldfish crackers but I would love it if my kids were that little again…even with the crying and poopy diapers! Now I have teens and the minute we get in the car they just plug in and don’t talk to us for 12 hours! Enjoy your children when they are little, even when you wonder how you will possibly stay sane for another minute in the car with that Silly Songs tape playing! You will miss it one day, I guarantee!

What is YOUR favorite road trip memory?

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21 thoughts on “Road Trip Advice: Stay Sane, Save Money and Go Green! #kiasocialclub”

  1. I hate driving at peak travel times. We always get stuff in a traffic jam in a major city. Of course, that’s the time the kids decide to get motion sickness too.

  2. Thank you for all the great tips. I love taking road trips with the kids, but sometimes it is stressful hearing “Are we there yet?” every few hours. The kids and I always play games such as I-spy, and road trip Bingo. I let the kids pack a backpack full of activities for the ride and I bring along my iPad as well. With the iPad, the kids can play games, read, and watch TV live anywhere we can get a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. A co-worker at DISH told me about this option, and with the DISH Remote Access app, the kids can access all our subscription channels. My favorite trip was to San Diego, because the kids had so much fun there, and we got to make stops a long the way to see the sites.

  3. Oh, yes always be prepared- Pack everything you will need several days before. Do not leave at peak hours. If you can leave a day before a Holiday event- do so, believe me it will make it easier on you. Have lots of activities for the kids in the car. In my case we have a DVD system in our car, so I tell my daughter to pack up all her DVD’s and our trip is always so much easier. Love it!

  4. My favorite road trip memory is a bit of a strange one… My grandpa actually let me sit on his lap and steer the car on a drive through Arizona when I was 8 or 9 years old. He ended up letting me drive for a REALLY long time. I remember changing into the left lane to pass a truck and being very careful going by steep dropoffs on the side of the road. I was amazed at how much he trusted me. Years later he told me that he had fallen asleep and was terrified when he woke up.

  5. Awesome advice..Love Kia I always try to pack some of our own food so we don’t have to stop so many times.. The kids always bring their ds system and games and their iPods. Love traveling. My favorite time is just traveling with the family and seeing new sights. Great post.


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