Wednesday, June 15, 2011


5 things to Do Before You Travel by Car

Summer is here and we are getting ready to embark on some major traveling - a 13 hour drive to go and play on a beach for a week!

As excited as we are to get to the beach, there is much to do before hitting the road for a major car ride.  Take note of a few of these ideas before heading out for any drives with the family:

1. Make a you don't leave home without it!  We create checklists for each family member and pet.  If your children are older, have them create the check list with you so they can make sure what they want to take gets packed, yet you get final approval.

2. How's it running?  Get the car in for it's regular maintenance and tell the mechanics that you are about to travel - my guess is they will be happy to make sure everything is running smoothly.  Also, take it in to get a good cleaning.  It's so nice to start the trip in a freshly cleaned car.

3. There's gotta be an app for that.  As moms, it's in our blood to have our trips mapped & planned out - including potty breaks.  But even the most travel-savvy mom needs a little extra help.  Thank goodness for amazing mobile phone apps like these that can get us through in a pinch:

~ Mapquest: This one comes with a free voice guided, turn-by-turn directions.  Who needs GPS anymore?

~ Priceline: Follow your favorite Hotel Negotiator from your phone.  Score a last minute hotel deal right when you need it - chop!

Yelp: Get reviews on restaurants, grocery stores, museums, etc. from the locals who live there- can't ask for better advice.

~Sit or Squat: Find the nearest potty and get reviews on how "clean it is".  Hey, you'll be thanking me when your 3 year old has to potty and your in the middle of downtown Chicago.

4. Dollar store mania.  I have more fun gathering up toys and fun goodies for the kids to get a various times throughout the drive.  I use them as prizes for the winners of games,  prevent the "I'm bored" cries,  heck, I might even use a few for bribing.....shush, you know you do it.

5. Be prepared mom...  Have lots of ideas for these kiddos to do on the drive - so you can avoid hearing the dreaded "are we there yet mom?"  Gather a few new games to play on the road, check out some books on tape from your local library (or download some audio books), rent a new movie or two ( comes in handy here!), or grab a classic to read out load.

Most importantly, take a deep breath and don't get overwhelmed - everything is going to be ready and you will all get there in one piece.  Have a super trip!


Connie Weiss said...

SIT OR SQUAT? Perfect!

Shawn said...

Great tips! Can I just say I love that we fly most places, I hate car bickering!

Centsible mommy of 2 said...

Such a great idea for a site! I have a rental car tip to share, lol. Make sure you check the car rental maitenance policies :)! We were making a 21 hour roadtrip in a practically brand new rental car. You could imagine my horror when the Check engine light came on in the middle of NOWHERE, 3AM on I-5. There was a feature on the car that you can opt to turn off (the rental co. didn't) that when you go the manufacturers recommended mileage for an oil change (the car we were in was something silly like 900 miles), the check engine light comes on. The rental company changes the oil at 1500 miles on every car. We didn't know that until we were having a panic attack on the side of the road and calling the rental company :)

Lorie said...

I am so excited that Jen led me to your blog! I am in Austin and am looking forward to checking out all of your past posts!

Impulsive Addict said...

SHUT UP! Sit or Squat? I LOVE that app already!!

Love your tips. We fly (usually) to our destination because it's usually M's decision and driving 1000 miles is like torture for both of us. Although if we had 3 kids, flying a family of 5 is probably out of the question, huh?

MiMi said...

Very timely post, Becca!
Especially since Myya and I are all of a sudden complete morons and can't remember what we need to do or get to take our road trip. For reals.
Like we've never traveled with kids before? We have! It's just been too long, I think.

Rhonda said...

Love it! Timely for sure as we will be on that 13 hour trip too! Maybe we will see you on the road?
Love this blog idea.

Carolyn said...

I also have three kids and this summer we are going on our third very long road trip. We are driving from Los Angeles to Yellowstone in Wyoming. Your tips are right on. Love your blog.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

I am going to have to check out these things you call "apps" they sound handy. :)
Good tips, every one of these!