Road Trip Essentials

Dear readers, it has been a while.  k and n finished school on June 18.  On June 20-27, we took an epic, 2,400+ mile road trip that covered three national parks and six states.  Upon our return home we found that our computer had decided to call it quits.  I am happy to report that we ordered a cheap HP laptop from Amazon, and we’re now back in business!P1020120

Our first stop was Great Basin National Park in Baker, Nevada, aka “Nowhere”.  With an eight hour plus car ride ahead of us for the day we left at 5:20 a.m.  We borrowed a CX-9 from D’s work, which was pretty much a necessity, given that we both usually drive Mazda 3’s. 


For any road trip, snacks are key to this family.  I came up with the idea to re-purpose the kids’ rainbow loom boxes to make snack boxes for the road.  This put the kids in charge of their own snacks, eliminating much of the whining and constant turning around to dole out snacks throughout the trip.  I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest, but they put the snacks directly in the compartments without plastic bags.  Knowing this would end up as a big mess if someone accidentally spilled the contents of their box, I thought plastic bags were a better idea.  They also kept the snacks fresher.  The kids were good about self-control…some snacks even made it back home with us!  Of course, we did supplement with other food that would not fit or stay fresh, including fresh fruit, cheese, etc.

One big perk of renting the CX-9 was the built in video monitor/dvd player and two wireless headphones!  We had a rule that the kids were not allowed to watch any DVDs while we were in any of the national parks (we wanted them to be looking out the window!)  We also had a rule that they could not start out the day with any movies.  We wanted to make sure they were bored before they resorted to electronics.  I made each of them a little binder with some activities, but they were kind of difficult to do while riding in the car.


Meanwhile, D and I enjoyed the Sirius radio stations that we had access to.  Before the trip, I was in a mild panic because I could not find our ipod (which we pretty much only use on road trips).  However, the 80’s, 90’s, and 2k stations kept us entertained.  We were having flashbacks with hits from Eminem to “Here Comes the Hotstepper” to C+C Music Factory!

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