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Be Ready for that Next Road Trip
Posted By Jessica Fisher On August 8, 2011 @ 12:51 am In Travel | 9 Comments
This post has been sponsored by Allstate. 
Our family hasn’t flown on a plane in about six years. But, we get in the car almost every day. And with the grandparents living two and three hours away, road trips are a frequent occurrence.
“Have car big enough to fit us all, will travel,” is our motto. Last year for our first two real live vacations in years, we put a lot of miles on the good old Scourge by driving to Monterey in Fall  and to Mammoth Lakes  in Winter.
Traveling with six children is no small feat, let me tell you. There’s a huge amount of packing and rearranging — and rearranging again. It’s a task that I tackle instead of hubs, mainly because I want to make sure everything gets to come.
On our last trip to Santa Barbara, I was surprised to see that everything fit in the back without too much hassle.
Turns out, I forgot the toothbrushes!
No, seriously, it was because FishChick2 no longer needs the Pack-n-Play or the travel booster seat or even a stroller on some trips. It’s amazing to me how the seasons change — and how much space you gain as your babies grow up!
Over the years I’m learning to be better prepared on our trips away from home. Good planning helps a good vacation happen. Good vacations encourage us to do it again. It’s a win-win all the way around.
I take mental notes on each trip and try to scheme how to do it better the next time.
Here’s how you can be ready for your next road trip:
We bought a GPS awhile back. We chose a squirrel voice and named it Squirrely. While it has been really helpful, it is not infallible. In fact, the satellite connection has dropped at very crucial moments in the trip, leaving me with no clue where to go. So, I’ve learned to print directions off Google maps as well as let Squirrely be our guide.
After a few too many times of delaying or canceling an excursion due to carsickness, I’ve learned to keep an emergency kit  in the back of the car. Readers had some great suggestions (that you should read ), so I’m adding ziploc bags to my kit. Being prepared for upset tummies doesn’t take much, but it’s totally worth it!
The other day our regular CD  was missing so I popped in an old one that was in the car. Turns out it was a walk down memory lane! This CD was one that I had burned eight years ago when FishBoy14 was really into Davy Crockett and Roy Rogers. The CD reflected those interests of his. It was so fun to listen to — and made our car ride so much more enjoyable.
Since we bought our new-to-us vehicle early last year, we made it a family rule not to eat or drink anything messy in the car. We’ve only broken it once — on our way back from Mammoth in our efforts to get home before the Storm of the Century hit — FishPapa conceded to eating burgers and fries in the car. Since it poured rain for four days straight after we got home, we had no opportunity to go clean out the vehicle. And did we rue the day we allowed burgers and fries in the car!
Keep a picnic bag ready to go  in the back of the car so you can have an impromptu picnic when the mood strikes.
We have been stuck on the side of the road a handful of times. Thankfully, nothing has ever been serious, but the time we blew out our car’s engine in 118 degree heat taught us a very expensive lesson: to always check the fluids before you go and make sure that we have some kind of road side assistance plan — just in case.
If you don’t already have some type of assistance available, then you might want to consider pre-registering for the Good Hands Roadside Assistance program  from Allstate.
You can sign in through the widget below or visit the website  for more details.
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URL to article: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/08/be-ready-for-that-next-road-trip.html
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 Allstate.: http://www.allstate.com/auto-roadside-services.aspx
 Rincon: http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Rincon-Point
 Monterey in Fall: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/10/how-to-vacation-with-children-without-losing-your-mind.html
 Mammoth Lakes: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/12/meal-planning-christmas-week.html
 keep an emergency kit: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/06/be-prepared-for-carsickness.html
 our regular CD: http://lifeasmom.com/2011/03/make-a-family-playlist.html
 Keep a picnic bag ready to go: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/04/have-bag-will-travel-or-go-to-the-beach-or-the-park-or-on-a-picnic.html
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