After a long summer of camp, pool parties and barbecues, we always look forward to our annual end of summer trip to Michigan to see our family and relax. So we pack up our car and hit the road. The drive takes two days with many stops on the way, but when we get there it’s so worth it! Grandpa’s house is on the beach and my kids can play in the sand every day.
First, we have to get there. At the beginning of the drive, I find myself saying, “This isn’t so bad,” and “This is easy,” with a certain amount of surprise. But it’s not easy. The kids whine. Everyone is tired. And no matter how clean and organized the car is when we start, at some point there are crushed Goldfish everywhere.
If you plan on taking a long distance car trip with young kids I have some advice.
Bring as much food as you can, so you don’t have to stop to eat.
Junk food makes you feel even worse when you’re cooped up in the car. We pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, juice boxes, water, apples, cheese and crackers and trail mix. And, yes, Goldfish. (Rainbow Goldfish if possible.)
Stretch your legs where there’s lots of green space.
We love the rest stops that have picnic grounds. We play hide and seek and tag so the kids can blow off some energy. Plus, it feels great to breathe in fresh air.
Pack the arts and crafts.
When we think they’ve watched enough TV, I hand over the coloring books, crayons and stickers. Luckily, my girls can color for hours.
Exhaust car games. Then invent some more.
We sing songs. We make up songs. We play “I spy” and then we ask them to take a nap. If they don’t take a nap, we sing more songs until they do. When we get really close to Grandpa’s house (the last hour always feels like the longest), we ring “the bell” (the car keys) every time we recognize a landmark. I think the kids will remember the drive to Grandpa’s, just as much as the vacation itself. And as easy as I say it is at the beginning of the drive, by the end I’m so very glad it’s over. (Except we still have to drive home!)
Rent or Buy a Bigger SUV, So Everyone is More Comfortable
For next year’s trip, we’re thinking of buying a larger SUV so we’ll have that glorious third row. We’ve got our eye on the Chevy Traverse — we currently have the Chevy Equinox. We could use the extra room during our trip (and carpooling during the school year) and for the buckets of rocks we’ve collected from Lake Superior.
This advice is brought to you by the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, with seating for up to eight and a five-star safety rating. Our crossover was #TraverseTested for everything from last minute road trips to daily carpooling, so you know it’s the perfect ride to get you and your family back to school in style.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Chevrolet via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Chevrolet.