Genius Hacks for Your Summer Family Road Trip – Frugal Novice

Genius Hacks for Your Summer Family Road Trip

You’ll love the tips in this sponsored post, and will wonder why you haven’t been using them all along!

It’s mid-June, which means school is out for most kids, and road trips are in full swing. I personally love road trips, but I know they can be a headache for some people. We’ve got three kids, so I totally understand that there are challenges to being in the car for long periods of time… but that’s why I’m happy to share this post with some of my favorite hacks for making road trips as smooth as possible.

1) You know how kids get tired of playing with the same toys over and over again? You can have the same problem with movies. DVD players make entertaining kids a lot easier (I do like to remind my children that when I was a kid I didn’t have any electronics at all on trips), but if you’ve got a selection of, let’s say, 5 movies, your kids might get restless (not to mention – how many times can you listen to Minions before you start reciting it in your sleep?). We discovered the best solution to this ever.

Redbox.

Y’all. This is seriously a game changer. You don’t have to pack a zillion DVDs… in fact, you don’t have to pack a single one. Stop by your local Redbox on the way out of town and pick up a movie. Once you’re done with it, simply find the next Redbox location on your route and return it. We let the kids take turns picking a Redbox movie so everyone gets to watch something they like. Since we rarely make it to the movie theater, it’s a great way for the kids to catch up on all the movies they’ve missed, too.

2) I’m a big fan of behavior charts at home – chore charts, reward charts, etc. – and I’ve discovered a way to take that on the road. I bring three different-colored binder clips with me (you need one per child) and I clip them to my visor. As long as the kids are behaving, their clip stays up on the visor. If they’re whining, arguing, etc., their binder clip gets removed. I tell the kids that I might not even point it out to them that their clip has been taken down – it’s their responsibility to pay attention. If their clip is up on my visor when we stop at the next gas station they’re allowed to pick a small treat. When my kids were younger I would go to the dollar store before trips and buy prizes, then wrap them so the kids could earn “presents” to open, but now I love the gas station treat prize because it helps me minimize what I pack for our trip.

3) When you’re on a long road trip with your family, you inevitably start to accumulate dirty laundry. The hotel laundry bags are tiny, and when you’re a family of 4 or 5, they won’t last long. We’ve started packing a trash bag in our suitcase and using that to keep all the dirty laundry together in the back of our minivan. Then when we get home it’s all in one place and easy to get it all washed!

4) On road trips in the past I would use bags to organize snacks, activities, and toys in our vehicle. While I still use bags for some things, I’ve recently discovered how absolutely amazing plastic tubs are. I love them for use at home, so I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about using them on the road before. You can find small shoebox-sized tubs at the dollar store, and they’re an easy way to store items under seats. The lids keep things from spilling out into the car, and the structure of the tubs helps keep things from getting crushed.

Now that you’ve got tips for your trip, do you have the right vehicle for the road? Visit Thompson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Harford County for all your vehicle needs.

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