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Our family does most traveling by car because it’s usually the economical option for a family of 5 to travel and explore. Though sometimes it means it will take longer it’s definitely great for making memories.
I have vivid memories of our family road trips as a kid.
The week before traveling my papi (dad) would inspect the car thoroughly sometimes even twice. I think he just enjoyed tinkering under the hood but also being self-sufficient and having a vehicle to visit family and depend on was of top importance to him! My dads love language is auto care. So since the moment I started driving he was teaching me any thing and everything he could about taking care of my car.
13 States in 2.5 weeks!
Well, in the past few months we have done our share of traveling as a family. It started with moving from our beautiful South America home to the U.S. Once we landed on U.S. soil we got in our car and drove through 13 states in 2.5 weeks stopping in 8 cities to visit friends and familia.
We ended in Pennsylvania our new home state!
Yikes! I still can’t believe we made that trip in such a short time and survived to write about it.
Exploring our New Home
If you haven’t already noticed we have the travel bug in our genes! Once we made it to Pennsylvania it didn’t take us long to jump in the car and start exploring new adventures and making memories as a familia.
In the pictures above we are exploring Tucquan Glen Nature Perserve. We have also visited Pinnacle Overlook Park, Harrisburg City Island, the Poconos and around Lancaster. We even headed further north and took a quick trip to visit the beaches in New Jersey.
So here are my 8 best family road trip trick and tips that we have used in the past 13 years since we first became a family. My kids are older now so traveling is only a bit easier but these tricks work for any age.
10 Essential Family Road Trip Tricks and Tips
- Pack outfits in separate baggies. That way they don’t have to take everything out to get the socks at the bottom of their travel bag and it’s easy to access. Each baggie should have the essential clothing items for that day: shirt, shorts, socks and undies.
- Make sure you have your car serviced. You definitely don’t want to end up on the side of the road for something minor you could’ve avoided had you checked your vehicle before hand. We trust the Walmart Auto Center and like the $19.88 Pit Crew Oil Change service. It save us time and money, since it is both accessible and affordable. There are also ways to make sure your car is taken care of by doing DIY oil changes yourself at home! Below I share more information on DIY oil changes.
- Snacks. Take lots of snacks both healthy and fun snacks. That’s the fun thing about traveling is you get to enjoy a fun treat here and there.
- Family tradition. Come up with your own family car trip tradition. You can decide to stop and take a picture at every “Welcome” sign you pass when you enter a new state. Or your thing maybe checking out a local ice cream shop in the area you’re visiting. You can always try a local pizza joint in the new town you’re exploring. Another fun idea is to take a picture of the “giant” object, monument, statue that’s popular in the area you’re visiting.
- Make a few stops. In order for our family to survive long car trips, we do more than gas stops. Some times we stop at the park, rest stop or let’s get an ice cream stop. It’s not because we want to prolong the trip but because it helps us get along when we move around outside of our vehicle.
- Decide to pack a meal for the rode. We do this to save money and because it’s healthier. This last trip we packed our own lunch for most of our long road trips. We filled up a cooler with salad, wraps, deli meat, fruit and chips. We pulled over to make some sandwiches along the way.
- Take some entertainment for the drive. We mix our entertainment up with car games and screen time.
- You can never have too many wipes. You can never have too many wipes, toilet paper or tissue in the car even with older kids. If you have a child who gets car sick make sure to have bags handy.
- Stay with friends. We divided up our 13 states trip into sections and stayed with friends along the way to save on money. We only stayed in a hotel one night and the rest of the time we spent one night with friends along the way.
- Use an app for the road! I don’t know what we would’ve done had we not used an app for our long road trip. It gave us approximate times when we would arrive, traffic alerts and more. We have used various apps so try different ones until you find that works for you.
Here’s a bonus tip for you! When you pack your car make sure you pack the things you won’t be using at the bottom. Then pack all the things we mentioned above on top so they are accessible.
Obviously, you can’t avoid car issues on your trip but you definitely can prevent them by having your car serviced ahead of time. Make sure to check your tires, oil, and battery. These were the basics my papi always had me check whether I was traveling or not.
The Pit Crew Oil Change includes up to 5 quarts of Quaker State® conventional motor oil(5w-20, 5w-30, or 10w-30). You also have the DIY (Do It Yourself) option with Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil and buying the products at the Walmart Auto Center which cost $20.24. Everyday low price. This video is Quaker State® video is hilarious.