This post is so simple that I almost didn’t write it for fear that everyone in the world already does this and would think I am way behind the times. But the 4 tips that I am about to share made a recent road trip so much better for me that I just have to share.
For me, four of the biggest headaches that arise most often on road trips are 1) the accumulation of garbage/trash, 2) frequent purchases at gas stations, 3) requests for pen and paper, and 4) requests to “turn on some music.” With a bit of planning ahead, I followed some simple steps to solve all of the above.
Just this week, I made a 7 hour road trip to take my youngest daughter to camp, and doing the following 4 things made the trip so much better. So, here are my 4 super simple tips for easier, smoother travel!
First tip: ice a small cooler and fill with assorted drinks.
Knowing that at every gas station stop I would probably hear, “Mom, I’m thirsty,” I packed a small Playmate cooler with drinks. This probably saved $10 between the two of us (and would save $20-$30 if the whole family were traveling) for drinks alone. Of course, I did get asked for an icee at one stop, but one icee is nothing compared to buying 4-5 bottled drinks.
Second tip: put kitchen size garbage bags on back of both front seat headrests.
Since we typically go through drive throughs and eat en route, we often have drive through sacks packed to the brim with empty cups, trash, etc….but nowhere to put them. On this trip, all trash went into the 13 gallon white kitchen garbage bags that we hung from the back headrests. The car was clean and uncluttered for the entire trip. The next time, I will give each child her own bag to put near where she sits. I love how helpful these garbage bags are and will never make a long trip without them again!
Third tip: pack colored index cards and enough pens for all travelers.
One of more of my kids ALWAYS need a pen and/or paper when in the car. I now keep these colored index cards and a stack of pens in the rear console for them to get when needed. Whether making notes, lists, or just doodling, having something to write on while traveling is just plain handy.
Fourth tip: choose a soundtrack from a movie or favorite Broadway musical to play for a break from movie monotony.
On our recent trip, my daughter and I listened to the movie soundtrack of Les Miserables and enjoyed it thoroughly. Of course for those with wonderful DVD systems in the car, this might sound boring, but for a change of pace, sometimes a soundtrack will do the job nicely.
I would love to hear any great ideas from you on ways to make road trips easier. Let me know soon, as I’ll be headed back to camp soon to get my girl and would love to be even more travel savvy!:-)