We ventured up to Minneapolis this weekend, escaping the nasty, never ending summer of Texas. It was a treat to wear jeans again, even if it did mean I had to dig out my old maternity jeans. While we didn't road trip the 1100 miles north, we did road trip out to DFW airport (arguably a long car ride) and traveling with a toddler got me inspired to share my road trip hacks with you.
When you have wee ones, organization and planning ahead is KEY. When you're organized and plan ahead, the whole process is so much easier. I like to start with a quick shopping trip to Tom Thumb, because there's one located about six blocks from my house. That level of proximity already makes things easier!
Road trips are fun and deserve special treats, but I don't like to go overboard with the junk food - especially the sugar. Sugar highs and toddlers/husbands can be a bit much in the confined space of a car. I like the whole grains in Triscuits Original, and the protein punch in Peanut M&M's. We're Texans, so tortilla chips are a must and the Restaurant Style by Tostitios is so tasty!
Y'all know I'm anti soda and anti-sugary drinks in general, but I learned that Capri Sun cut the amount of sugar in its product AND there's no high fructose corn syrup in it. A product straight after my little yogi heart! Plus the packaging makes it so easy to consume in a moving car. Finally, I love a breath freshener like Orbits gum. It helps me stay awake for any long, monotonous drives.
Easy access to these products while driving is essential. Instead of a big cooler, I like smaller ones because the car is already full enough with luggage and toddler gear. To keep your beverages from getting wet and dripping all over you, I like to pack the ice in little baggies. Then I put my non-cold food items in a plastic bag within arms reach. Using the bag the grocer gave you is great because it doubles as a trash bag when you're done with your treats!
While road trips are fun and a time to let yourself have some treats, I want to still provide nutritious food for my family. I don't want items that are too greasy (I do not need to clean up greasy little finger prints off the back of my seats!) or that veer too far from the way we typically eat (no additional emergency bathroom stops, please and thank you!)
When you're packing the family up for your next road trip, I recommend getting products that are "treats" but still reasonably healthy for your family to consume. Keep them in easy arms reach, reuse the bags from the store for trash, and downsize your cooler for an easier fit. All these road trip hacks will lead you to a fun final destination!
Finally, remember to enjoy the ride!