You know what’s great about being back on the mainland? Road trips! In Hawaii, you’d drive for an hour and get nowhere. But here, the road is open! We can go anywhere. We have always loved staycations and so for 2017, we have a couple day drive road trips planned. Being a family of 6, we need some essentials in the car and on the drive. Today, I’m sharing what we feel is essential for driving across the country.
Obviously having food and drinks in the car is important. Between keeping the kids hanger at bay and my celiac disease, packing food is just a smart idea. We have a 2 month old, so we will have to stop every few hours to feed him and this is the perfect time to break out the snacks. Have a variety on hand – some salty, some sweet, some fruit. Don’t forget the fruit. So often road trips mean fast food, and giving them some berries or a squeeze applesauce packet will be a welcome change.
Change of Clothes
We are planning overnight trips, so of course we will have suitcases with clothes, but do you know what you don’t want to do when someone has an accident or spills? Dig through suitcases. Keeping a change for each kid in a bag in the main part of the car will allow for quick and easy changes. And while you’re at it, toss in an extra shirt for you too. Eating while driving is messy. I’m just keeping it real folks.
No one wants to be stuffed in between backpacks and suitcases. If your trunk doesn’t have enough room, consider a luggage rack or small trailer. There’s an awesome backup camera for a trailer hitch here. We have a minivan but we also have 6 people, 2 under the age of 2, so we need stuff. Investing in a secure luggage rack will mean that we will have plenty of room to stretch our legs while we sit. Just remember to keep out the kids’ busy bags so they don’t get bored.
The only thing that is hard about road trips is hearing the constant “are we there yet?” While our van does have an entertainment system, I don’t want to go for 8 hours with the kids glued to a screen, so I pack up some busy bags. I let the kids pick 3-4 toys to stick in the bag and then add in some surprises. Dollar store goodies, coloring books, small craft kids, small busy boxes, window clingys. All of these are hopefully enough distractions to keep the “are we there yet?” questions at bay.
One of the most important parts of a road trip is staying safe. We drive a Honda Odyssey and thanks to the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, the extensive use of high-strength steel makes for a strong front frame for increased protection from frontal collisions. Not only does our steel frame keep us safe, but taking frequent breaks and making sure we take enough travel days to get to our destinations safely is key. With small kids, always add one more day than you think you’ll need. You never know when one will get sick or you see a park they just HAVE to stop at. Trust me, the extra day will be welcome.
Check out this post for some additional tips, even though it’s titled “Summer,” keeping your tire air pressure up is always good.
These are my family-friendly road trip essentials. Do you have any additional suggestions?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.