Road Trip Pro Tips {From Moms}


road trip pro tips from moms in louisvilleBeing in Louisville, we’ve got a major highway right through our city, so we can hop on the road and start heading just about any direction! Before you do just impulsively jump in the car and take off, we’ve got some road trip pro tips from moms to help make your adventure as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

When planning a road trip to any of the destinations on our Road Trips section in our header menu here on the site, we’ve teamed up with Sister Sites that are all within driving distance of Louisville to share their Visiting Moms guides: Cincinnati, OhioDayton, OhioColumbus, OhioIndianapolis, IndianaKnoxville, TennesseeNashville, TennesseeDetroit, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You’ll get ideas of where to shop, where to eat, where to play, where to visit, etc. in each of these great cities! Having a game plan ahead of time can help you save so much more money than just reacting to the unexpected while you’re there.

Like we shared in part of our Spring Break Savings Tips post, “Set a daily and trip budget in advance. This will help you avoid impulse buys and really be purposeful in what souvenirs you take back home with you from your vacation. It’s also a sneaky way to get the kids learning about budgeting and the value of waiting for what they truly want.”

We also gave you this thrifty idea in that same article with one of our LMC mom pro tips :: leave room in your packing to fit a cooler in the car, filled with sandwiches, drinks, and cold snacks and a reusable shopping bag filled with all the non-perishables. This will save you a ton of money when you stop for those potty breaks and are tempted to pay “convenience” pricing.

For a successful family trip (in the joyful sense and not just the budget-friendly sense), you really need to know yourself and know your partner/kids. To make this enlightenment way more fun, you can find out which Road Trip Personality you are with a post from Kate Mock Elliott on our Sister Site in Cincy – are you The Oprah, The Norma Desmond, The Simon & Garfunkel, or The Rihanna? We took a lot of road trips growing up, and my parents were absolutely The Simon & Garfunkel – we played all the games! I was too when my daughter was smaller, but now that she’s a teen, our little family has all become The Rihanna – we listen to ALL the music all the way there and all the way back.

My mom was a master of car games. Her most brilliant one was coming up with the “Quiet Game” when we were little. When she started the competition, we all were supposed to be as silent as possible for as long as we possibly could. Anyone that made a sound immediately lost. The last one to keep quiet was the winner and got to pick out a special treat (within a certain dollar amount) at our next pit stop – while all the other kids had to just enjoy whatever we’d packed and brought with us. We were all so competitive, we thought it was the most fun and rewarding game ever! What I realized as a grown adult and mother myself years later was that she really just wanted the peace and quiet for as long as SHE possibly could get it! So smart.

Kate does advise that no matter which road trip personality you are, you should be prepared to collaborate with other types for those long car rides! For the littles, keeping an Etch-a-Sketch, Magna Doodle, and/or Water Wow! and Magic Marker pads keeps their creative brains entertained all while keeping the car mess-free (well, at least from a drawing and coloring aspect!). We brought all those from Kate’s list along when my girl was younger, and they were lifesavers on the road. Also, taking some age-appropriate trivia cards can help with those long stretches through seemingly never-ending corn fields on either side of the road (for us Midwesterners).

Some additional essentials Kate recommends as well are a portable potty (for when the younger ones just can’t hold it to your next bathroom stop), a barf bucket or bag (especially if it’s your first road trip and aren’t sure how susceptible the kids might be to car sickness), and an easily-accessible overnight bag with a few spare clothes and toiletries (because stuff happens and you don’t want to unpack all the luggage while on the road!).

To our fellow seasoned travelers, what other road trip pro tips would you recommend for all of us? Share in the comments below!


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