My 3 Monsters: Road Trip Essentials

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6.27.2016

Road Trip Essentials

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Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Hi guys!  Temperatures officially reached 120 here in Phoenix last week so, like everybody else, we're gearing up for some summer road-tripping.  It's time to get out of Dodge, folks! The older our kids get, the easier it is to hop in the car and head out on an adventure, but I remember the days when I dreaded road trips.  It felt like we had to pack up everything we owned and, no matter how hard we tried, something vital was always left behind.  We have experienced the GOOD {laughing, playing, and family bonding}, the BAD {bickering, car seat tantrums, and non-stop hunger}, and the UGLY {bed wetting, motion sickness, and night terrors} in the course of our travels -- and lived to laugh about it!  Today I'm sharing my Road Trip Essentials with y'all to hopefully make your summer vacay a little easier.

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Essential No. 1 A Well-Stocked Snack Bag.



Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Nothing keeps spirits up in the car quite like the right choice of treats.  Our perfect combo is a little bit of chewy and fruity {SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy}, a lot of crunchy {BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits}, some peanut butter {NUTTER BUTTER Cookies}, and melt-proof chocolate {OREO Cookies}. Throw in some whole foods like apples and raw almonds and a cooler full of water bottles and you've got everything to keep the whole family happy! 


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Opt for single-serving packs when you can to simplify on-the-road snacking. Throw some small paper cups into the snack bag for serving snacks out of family-size containers to avoid spilling in the car.  My kids used to love the little paper cups with riddles printed on the sides!

Essential No. 2 A Detailed Plan.



Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Years ago we took a 10-day cross-country road trip to attend a family reunion in Nauvoo, IL.  Our oldest was 7 at the time and our youngest was 4.  With three days of driving there, three days of driving back, and only four days at our actual destination, I knew we needed to make the journey part of the fun.  That took loads of planning!  Four different hotels in four different cities we had never visited before. Driving directions and maps for each leg of the journey {since smart phones weren't even invented yet}. Sites to see and fun places to stop along the way.  Meals for each day {since we were trying to stick to a pretty tight budget}.  It was a lot.

I created a Road Trip Binder for that trip that worked beautifully and helped make the smoothest, most memorable road trip our family has ever been on.  I have continued to use it over the years and I love it!  Y'all can download the printable pages here to create your own.  In addition to the daily planning page pictured above, you will find a weekly overview page that is especially helpful for longer trips:


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
The Packing List page helps me make sure we have everything we need:


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
There is also a cutesy cover page because, why not?


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Place the printables in page protector sheets and keep them in a binder.  Print out any maps or directions you might need {in case you aren't getting phone service?} and put them in the binder as well.  This way all your important information -- hotel address and phone numbers, reservation confirmation numbers, notes and reminders -- are all in one handy place!


Essential No. 3 Good Old Road Trip Entertainment.



Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
I know, I know.  We have smart phones now.  And iPads.  And iPods, DVD players, and video game systems.  I'm not anti-technology, but when it comes to road trips I am a firm believer in the oldies, but goodies -- Dots and Lines, the ABC game, License Plates, Tic-Tac-Toe, etc.  We like to try and unplug -- just a little -- while we spend time together in the car.  It takes me back to my childhood.  I like to print out several game pages and laminate them or place them in page protectors.  The kiddos can use dry erase markers to play over and over again. The game pages are also available with my other Road Trip Planner printables


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Cross the license plates off as you see them on the road.


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Before you leave, draw lines on the map to show your route.  The kids can color in each state you pass through to show your progress along the way.  You can find many more printable road trip games and other tutorials here


Essential No. 4 A Sense of Humor!



Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
Some trips are a breeze.  Some are brutal.  Last summer on our road trip to the family cabin in Montana we: lost air conditioning in the van one hour into our first full day of travel; rested in a hotel for 3 hours while it was fixed; had a tire blow out later that night, one hour from our day's destination while our 16 year old was driving; found out our {never used} spare tire was shredded and unusable; were transported to our second hotel of the day by Highway Patrol; hit a bird that got stuck in the grill of the car; and had another tire blow out on Day Two of our journey home.  We could have been miserable.  We could have cried. At times we considered turning around and going home.  Instead we laughed.  A lot.  Every misadventure added to the hilarity.  Sometimes you just have to be willing to laugh -- and adapt the plan.  And eat all the OREOs in the hotel at midnight.

Ready for a road trip?!  Hopefully we haven't scared you off.  Whether you take months to plan the perfect trip or you hop in the car on a whim, one trip to Walmart will get your snack bag all set. Be sure to look for a coupon booklet on the display in your local store to save on these delicious snacks and more!


Four Essentials for a Perfect Family Road Trip from my3monsters.com -- It's not what you might expect!
What will you pack in your road trip snack bag this summer?

Happy travels!

Amy



4 comments:

  1. I love the binders! We are going on a family road trip in a few weeks and this will be very handy! Thank you! (client)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This fall we plan on taking a camping trip out west to the Grand Canyon

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will definitely pack Nutter Butter's on our road trip this summer!
    deannankeller@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never went on a vaction so there is no syory to tell... guess that is a fail!

    ReplyDelete

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