Summer is almost here and the kids will be out of school soon, if they are not already out for the summer vacation. Time to start planning that “road trip.” Having that large family with some of my kids five and under, I like to keep our summer road trips local.

It helps keep my sanity while driving for hours and the frequent questions of “are we there yet.” Although, I love the excitement my children have when we are going somewhere new and fun, I don’t like the constant questions while I’m driving. If you have ever been to sunny Southern California you know why I feel that way. You have to constantly be on the defense with your driving because the freeways are horrible. In those instances, I like to remind my children that “mommy has to pay attention to the road so we can be extra safe.”

I have a running check list I use and make my husband use when we are going to be adventurous with our family of six. Whatever your size family, I know they can help you as well.

S.D.’s Road Trip Check List:

1. Directions (Printed) 

Printed directions is always a great back up. You never know if your battery will run out on your phone. Simply, you just may forget to grab your cell phone on the way out and not realize it until it’s too late.

2.  Kids with Diapers/Pull-Ups

Make sure you pack enough backup pull-ups or diapers for that rare freak accident that usually doesn’t happen. Nine times out of ten, it will happen if you don’t plan for it to happen. My famous saying, granted I got it from my mother, “better safe than sorry.” Well, I’m sure my mother isn’t the only one to say that old saying. But, it is true and warranted.

3. Cash (On Hand)

This is always a forgetful site for some, even myself. That’s why I like to place it on my check list. The worst thing is to get on your way and end up having to stop at the one place left in the past that doesn’t have a credit card reader. Or simply, you just happened to catch them on the day it broke down. 

4. Gas up the Vehicle the Night Before

Traveling with children is always some type of chore. Between getting everything you need together to being on time for when you need to leave. It is always a great idea to gas up that car the night before your big day. It saves you time & stress it you get it the night before. 

5. Clean Your Vehicle

Who likes to drive anywhere in a dirty vehicle? I sure don’t, that’s why I like to take it to my local Chevron gas station that will knock out two of my items on my checklist at the same time, gas & car wash. Its simple and easy. Pay at the pump or go in and pay for your gas with a car wash. After you fuel up take it through the wash while you are sitting in the vehicle. It doesn’t take no more than 15 minutes for everything. Your kids will get a kick out of it too. Unless, you have a little one doing it for the first time. You have to make it fun for them in order to keep them calm.

6. Pack Your Snacks

Like any other kid, kids love to eat a snack! If your’s are like mine, they like more than one snack each.  Enough easy to clean and handle snacks are key. That way when you get to your destination you don’t have a lot of items to clean up.

7. Electronics & Toys

In this day in age, you can not go on a long trip without the electronic devices. Such as, cell phones, Nabi, Leap Frog tablets, etc. My oldest son loves to play on the cell phone he has which because he is only nine, only has downloaded games that my husband or myself pre-approved. I love Leap Frog tablets!! They are educational and fun for my younger children. It helps pass the time. 

8. Sunblock

Last by not least, sunblock. With global warming, you can no longer step out of the house without your sunblock. Especially if you are attending an outside venue. 


I hope you use some of my summer road trip tips and have a fantastic summer!!



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