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.
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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!
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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?
What is YOUR favorite road trip memory?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.