Hi Guys! So, I know that there are plenty of Guide to Road Trips and Family Travels out there but this is certainly not your average Guide to Family Travel round up. I have a little secret for you, as much as I love and I mean LOVE traveling, I cannot stand road tripping. Literally, the 5- year- old me comes to the forefront when there is a road trip on the horizon. Three to four hours is my max, I have to go to the bathroom what seems like every five seconds and I get extremely antsy. I’m an “Are We There Yet” Kind of Girl. I know it sounds terrible but I am just not your ideal road trip buddy. That’s exactly why I created this article. I know I can’t be the only adult like this. There has to be more of us out there in the world and if so, this is the perfect guide for you. If you’re interested in a Mini-Guide to Family Travel when you DON’T like road trips then keep reading!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Toyota. Toyota was gracious enough to loan my family and I a 2017 Highlander in exchange for this blog post. However, all opinions are truthfully my own and has not affected the information in this post.
Road Trips are inevitable. There will always be a time where you’ll need to take a road trip for leisure or because it’s a must. For military families like ours, this is often the case especially during PCS season. As much as I prefer plane rides, unless you’re moving to another country, driving or coming out of pocket Is the only way to PCS in the military…I dread those days. Lucky you, I have come up with a mini guide for us anti-road trippers.
The Car means EVERYTHING to the trip!
There are few things worse than being trapped in a car for an extended amount of time when you are uncomfortable. That is exactly why I need three things: Style, Comfort and Space! We have found all that in the Toyota Highlander. I will be the first to tell you that not all SUV’s are created equally. I absolutely loved all the space and comfort I got in the Highlander. This makes it perfect not only for a road trip but also for a family who is on the go daily.
I typically sit in the backseat with my baby to ease both of our minds and I was pleasantly surprised that I could stretch my legs out and have arm room to the left and the right of me. The seats sit separately making the perfect amount of space to deal with the long drive ahead. The fact that there is also a foldable third row is amazing as well. For a small family like us, it meant we had plenty of space for a lot of travel bags and room for our big bertha of a stroller, #Winning for the moms out there. For larger families, it also means having plenty of space for more travelers to sit comfortably.
Style doesn’t hurt either! The Toyota Highlander is a very pretty car. I love anything that gives me the space of a mini-van without the stigma. Moms have standards for family luxury too! I can’t forget to mention that It has excellent mileage which makes my husband and our pockets very happy. The whole point of a road trip is to save money and that includes gas. With 21 City and 27 highway mileage, we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that we only had to fill up twice in a 6 day, 600+ mile period. That was probably thanks to the Stop and Start engine system that helps conserve fuel. Oh, and Toyota has you covered with safety, which as a mom tops my list by far. The Standard Toyota Safety Sense™ made me feel a whole heck of a lot safer on the road especially at night.
Moving on, learn to go on a road trip prepared. We always tend to pack up our kids with plenty to do and eat on long car rides but forget ourselves. When I go on road trips, I like to bring everything I need to take my mind off the idea that the trip is so long. That includes my laptop, a book, a good music play list, snacks and drinks (did I mention snacks?) and a good road game. Pinterest has amazing ideas for road games. Not only do they take your mind off the length of the trip but it is an awesome way to bond with your family and create memories.
Make Memories of It
Speaking of memories, as much as road trips can be long and boring, there is indeed an up -side. You can make a ton more memories on a road trip than you can traveling any other way. On our last 6- hour road trip from Jacksonville to Miami, we created an awesome itinerary that allowed us to enjoy the road trip with no complaints. The night before we left the hotel, I looked up all the major landmark attractions from Jacksonville to Miami and we made an effort to stop at every one of them and take a photo. We certainly did not take 6 hours to get back to Miami, it was more like 8 but it was so fun to have the next stop to look forward to. Also, when we got back home we had plenty of memories created as well as a mini scrap book for our adventure.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stop
While I’m already giving you untraditional advice and going against all the road trip rules, I thought I should be the one to tell you that it is okay to stop! Even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes to use the bathroom or stretch your legs, a stop could be all you need to keep your sanity. I like to get out the car as much as needed to do a little woosah, get my stretch on and click my heels in an effort to arrive faster (can’t blame a girl for trying…No I’m joking…or am I?)
Remember to Have Fun
The best way to survive a road trip is to pack all the positive vibes. Remember that the trip will not last forever, in a few short hours, you will arrive to your destination and have the time of your life. Don’t let the road trip drain you or take your focus off that. That being said, have as much fun as you can, after all part of the vacation is getting there. Have great conversations, tell stories, laugh as hard and as often as you can, take plenty of pictures, play the music way too loud and have an all- out good time during your journey.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed my Mini-Guide to Family Travel when you DON’T like road trips. A special thank you again to Toyota for sponsoring this post. Seriously guys, if you’re in the market for a larger vehicle, run over to your local Toyota dealership and test drive the Highlander. I wish someone told me sooner how much I would love the vehicle for a family like ours who’s always going somewhere!