Road Trip Tips and Essentials

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It’s summertime and you know what that means… vacations and road trips! Our family loves a good road trip. Whether it’s some place in our state we want to explore or a cross country trip, bring it on. We love to travel and most of the time we find it easiest to jump in the car and travel that way. Since we do it so often, we have a routine down… a system that works for us and that I thought I would share with you. Though I am no expert, I am full of wanderlust at heart and we travel often, so here are my road trip tips and essentials. This is focused more on road trips and travel with kids, but take whatever info you find helpful.

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  • If you are taking your own vehicle, be sure to have the tires aired up and checked, fluids topped off, and an oil change if necessary.
  • Make your kid(s) a road trip kit complete with a road map, road trip seek & find/BINGO (printables all over Pinterest), book(s), coloring books and twistable crayons (they don’t melt as easily and you avoid paper wrappers and sharpening), Mad Libs, small pillow, and a Kindle or iPad with headphones (loaded with new games, books, music, movies).
  • Download a gas station app so that you can find the best priced gas along the way as well as the nearest gas stations along your journey.
  • Pack easily accessible snacks and drinks. I utilize baggies and plastic containers to the max. I also love personal coolers because they are nice and compact and there’s a flat top to use as a table top in the car.

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  • Utilize rest stops for bathroom breaks and to stretch your legs (and the kids’). Sometimes I’ll have my daughter do a few jumping jacks, sprints, and yoga stretches to get some of the jitters out. It’s fun with the adults participate too!
  • Bring quarters for the kids. We reward good road trip behavior with quarters. Then at rest stops they can be used to purchase a treat or in the quarter machines that have stickers and tiny trinkets.
  • Bring a camera or a phone with lots of empty space for pictures along the way. Don’t be afraid to pull off the road (safely and in the designated areas of course) to take pictures and explore. I love looking back on our family travel photos.
  • Have a road trip play list ready to go. Have all of your family’s favorite songs ready for their listening pleasure. (This can even include audio books!)
  • Research ahead of time! Plot out and find cool and interesting places to stop along the way. This can be natural features, museums, parks, monuments, hikes, visitor centers, thrift and antique stores, farmer’s markets and festivals, historical places, restaurants, etc. Explore!
  • If you’ve done a lot of driving, be sure to check those tires and fluids in the car before you hit the road back home.

And don’t forget to refill those coolers with snacks and drinks for on the way back home! I hope you found my road trip tips helpful.

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This personal cooler is one of my road trip essentials we’ve been bringing on our most recent adventures and I love it (so does my daughter)! It fits my Diet Coke cans nicely as well as my daughter’s road trip snack baggies and water bottle (we refill it with a jug when needed) while keeping everything nice and cool. It’s not too big and bulky, so it fits well in the back seat or on the floor of the car. The flat top lid makes a great surface for snack eating or even coloring pictures.

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I am also loving the new Diet Coke cans with the fun song lyrics on them and felt inspired to add some lyrics to our little cooler. Isn’t it cute?! It’s super easy to do and only took me a few minutes.

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I used my Silhouette Cameo to design and cut a vinyl sticker for the front of the cooler. I used lyrics off of one of the Diet Coke cans I was drinking… because I couldn’t get the song out of my head and I thought it would be clever on a cooler that holds our snacks and drinks. Plus, music is a big part of our road trips, as we are often singing loudly together in the car. No shame here! We love music!

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Head over to your nearest Sam’s Club for Coca-Cola and Diet Coke  and get yourself road trip ready while you sing your favorite song lyrics right off the cans.

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Do you have any road trip tips? I’d love to hear where your family is adventuring to this summer!