Road Trip Tips Shared Via Twitter | My Family Travels
Summer-Road-Trip-01-twitter-party_0
Summer-Road-Trip-01-twitter-party_0

Last week on July 27th, Productopia hosted a Twitter party with Family Travel Forum and Motherproof to share great advice with traveling families about how to have fun on a road trip.

Missed it? Don’t worry. We’ve got the highlights right here. And we welcome your thoughts in the comment section or via twitter.

@consumersearch
Welcome to our #KidsInTheCar Twitter Party with @MotherProof and @familytravel4um. Thanks for joining us. We have some great tips coming.

@consumersearch
Do you have any planned road trips already? Where are you going?

@ChaCha572
I am from NW Ohio and we love to travel with our kids to all the great places near by πŸ™‚

@MotherProof
The Gparents are road tripping w/ 5 kids now. They use popsicle sticks worth $1 or $5 to incentivize good behavior.

@familytravel4um
Need some road trip ideas, check out @idiotsguides Best Family Destinations.

Favorite Road Trip Destinations

@CiaoBambino
What's your favorite road trip with kids? 

@surferhair
Anyplace with a nice zoo. Omaha is great.

@ChaCha572
I love taking the kids to see different parts of the country, they learn so much

@familytravel4um
To roadtrip w/tiny travelers, a 1-state route like TX, provides enuf variety w/out so many miles – see http://bit.ly/pMMehE

@pitstopsforkids
Going to Disney, Laguna Beach, San Diego for #BlogHer11 and family visits.

@martiferg
best was our trip to Disney 2 years ago. Worst would be our trip to Illinois last year 

@familytravel4um
Dreaming of a drive to Quebec to beat the heat, eat well, say bonjour, maybe canoe? fun for kids – http://bit.ly/qf#3yto

@familytravel4um
If crossing borders, must check required docs; Canada has all new rules now – see http://bit.ly/pWdX56

Where Do You Stop On Road Trips?

@travelwithkids
I think the best road trips are the ones with fun stops along the way πŸ™‚ Need a bit of extra time for that, tho 

@familytravel4um
Teens need pit stops for adventures: hiking, biking, climbing etc – Moab UT is a good base – http://bit.ly/r4Cmlz

@newenglandgirl
For long trips, we like to plan a fun mid-way stop. Ex: We hit the Yarmouth Clam Fest on way to Bar Harbor. Fun! 

@ChaCha572
We try to stop and stretch every 100 miles or so 

@surferhair
Okay, how do you deal with dad who won't stop no matter what??? 

@consumersearch
If you have kids, you need bathroom breaks. If they say they need to go, let them. Last thing you need is an accident.

@newmediatravel
Would assume lots of playground stops en route to meet new folks and get some exercise? 

@newmediatravel
But playgrounds can vary in safety. Be sure to check kind of ground coverage, sharp angles, broken links etc. 

@surferhair
Wacky local stuff: giant balls of twine, maple museums, 2-headed chickens.

@familytravel4um
Love pet cemeteries


The Best Road Trip Tips

@consumersearch
Before any successful road trip gets going, you need to make sure you plan accordingly. 

@pitstopsforkids
Love the road trip advice at Best Family Travel Advice: http://bit.ly/pbcwyu

@pitstopsforkids
We have road trip itineraries created by many bloggers at our site: http://pitstopsforkids.com/road-trips/

@familytravel4um
Everyone asks the best road trip schedule for babies? So we compiled these mom tips – http://bitl.y/oYYpDM

@HuppieMama
Need a big car when traveling with kids!

@consumersearch
We got a great tip if you don't want a minivan: http://t.co/DAgLcAI

@familytrips
Making lists of everything that you will need and checking them off and packing in advance will help reduce stress

@consumersearch
Pack everything, except valuables & perishables, before. You'll have time to organize & speed up the morning departure.

@familytravel4um
For most efficient car packing, we put food, change of clothes, chargers & squishy ball in backseat; trunk stays locked. 

@grandparent
For 2-day trips, pack a bag with a set of essentials for everyone. Saves having to get everyone's bag out and saves repacking. 

Tips On Car Maintenance 

@MotherProof
Before hitting the road for a family road trip, do you make sure your car gets a tune-up from a mechanic?

@ChaCha572
Most times it gets an oil change and air pressure checked on tires. We don't miss our car maint. appts

@familytravel4um
Need some car tune up ideas? check out the auto blogs @MotherProof

@jennin72
If I'm visiting family, sometimes I save the tuneup until we get to our destination. 

@consumersearch
While auto insurance is always essential, make sure your plan is up to date. These are the best providers: http://t.co/52srzCa

@consumersearch
Have numbers for your insurance company, roadside assistance in your phone. Have backup copies in the glovebox.

@HuppieMama
I fill up the tank and check the tires for air!

@consumersearch
SO IMPORTANT: make sure you have enough air in your tires. Use a pressure gauge: http://t.co/WEm9Nbd

@consumersearch
Make sure your owner’s manual is in the car. It will be full of instructions on the tire repair/change process.

@MotherProof
After checking your tires, be sure to lift your car’s hood to check its oil levels. http://t.co/NdItOnD

@familytrips
Make sure your car's oil has been changed recently before going on long trips

@consumersearch
Check all bulbs in advance; replace any that aren’t needed. It’s not just a safety thing. Busted taillamp = ticket


Car Add-Ons for the Family Road Trip

@MotherProof
What features must your car have for a road trip? Navigation system? Heated and cooled cupholders? http://t.co/onZaV77

@familytravel4um
Love the GPS on my Droid; I tested a bunch of @google amazing travel tools – see http://bit.ly/opc9IT

@consumersearch
If using a portable GPS that you’ve owned a few years, make sure its maps are up-to-date so you don’t have to download with 

@martiferg
navigation is a plus, and never leave home w/o a first aid kit and emergency supplies 

@consumersearch
Do you worry about leaving your portable GPS in the car when you are stopped? We have tips to secure it: http://t.co/Ehnajmf

@consumersearch
Map your trip out before you go with our best reviewed free GPS app @googlemaps: http://t.co/K62j816

@consumersearch
iPhone users looking for a GPS app for your road trip? We recommend @NAVIGON_’s MobileNavigator: http://t.co/P1oaGLf

@familytravel4um
Mom thought she'd go crazy hearing @justinbieber 1 more time; kids headsets are a lifesaver – http://bit.ly/oYYpDM

@consumersearch
If everyone has a different taste in music, encourage limited the use of earphones: http://t.co/Ceu34eP

@consumersearch
Use the best music download sites: http://t.co/zTqDRmr. Make a family playlist for music before your trip. 

@newenglandgirl
Satellite radio helped us survive most recent long-haul trip to Bar Harbor, Maine.

@MotherProof
Invest in child-sized headphones so kids can listen to their audio books while the car cabin stays zen. http://t.co/3Ck35gG 

@familytravel4um
In our car, audio-book or Learn Spanish CD is great cause we all shut up, recite out loud – http://bit.ly/oYYpDM 

@familytravel4um
@CIG_lifestyles best family vacays guide has fun read-aloud factoids, love those! – http://amzn.to/dTAHav 

@consumersearch
Make sure you have a stocked first aid kit in the car. If you don’t, you can buy one before you go.

@familytravel4um
Our car trip survival kit always includes zip-locs & towelettes; rest is gravy! – see http://bit.ly/nm1zp8 

Keeping the Peace in the Backseat 

@consumersearch
With the #KidsInTheCar safe and the car ready, its time to hit the road. But how do you keep everyone happy?

@familytravel4um
Need smart diversions for the backseaet? Check out @idiotsguides Word Search Puzzles.

@tiffany053p
make sure everyone has something to keep them occupied! 

@martiferg
that's exactly what I do. I head to the dollar store & get some items the kids have never seen before 

@HuppieMama
I like to plan out some activities in advance, bring a few fave toys, and pick restaurants with good kid options

@MotherProof
Use “one in, one out” rule. Let kids choose one toy from home per car trip, and make sure they take that toy back you return. 

@martiferg
it also helps to bring a cooler w/ drinks and plenty of snacks. We also have a little potty. 

@martiferg
my children are 2 1/2 and 5 1/2 and our little potty comes in so handy when we are in the middle of nowhere 

@consumersearch
When traveling with infants, specific nighttime diapers are your friend as they absorb more. 

@consumersearch
Hand held games are great for keeping kids entertained. Check out the systems that get top marks: http://t.co/URabikV 

@consumersearch
Pack extra batteries! You never know when a device will lose juice. These are the best: http://t.co/jEoqaoN 

@RobinPregnancy
And depending on the ages, some of the Series of Unfortunate Events. might I suggest: http://bit.ly/dragjP

@caloriecount
We loves the All Creatures Great and Small series

@consumersearch
Have a bookworm in the family? An e-book reader, like the Kindle, will work wonders: http://t.co/qPiVESl 

@consumersearch
The Nook is also a great e-book reader and it comes in color, too! http://t.co/crBXVZR

@scentednights
The Ectako mini jet book is the perfect ereader for kids. Just their size! 

@MotherProof
What’s your can’t-leave-home-without-it item that keeps your kids happy on road trips? Mine is the iPad. http://t.co/xotNNjC 

@familytravel4um
iPads are great for roadtrips w/out babies, no pets, tiny bit a' luggage, Help keep front seat sane. 

@MotherProof
This case lets kids watch movies on the iPad without holding it.. It's great for younger kids. http://t.co/O5ZAj8h 

@consumersearch
Some families need to be wired even on the go. Do you? Verizon mobile broadband gets top marks: http://t.co/MeIaQ0f 

@familytravel4um
@newmediatravel loves electronics. I prefer old school car games so I print out the game rules – http://bit.ly/nLnkhU 

@consumersearch
Sometimes families want to leave the electronics at home with #KidsInTheCar. What is your favorite game in the backseat?

@martiferg
I spy is a fav right now 

@KMkeycars
Go old-school w games! Put down gadgets & play name game, license plate, I spy, going-on-a-picnic, cow game, name that tune! 

@familytravel4um
PDF of fave car games to refresh rules here: http://bit.ly/nLnkhU

@tiffany053p
we buy coloring books and word puzzles and travel size board games!

@surferhair
Who has TRAVEL BINGO?

@MotherProof
What is your favorite game in the backseat?” Roadtrip Bingo! 

@newenglandgirl
We play the alphabet game… with funny categories when we tire of the usual animals, food. 

@grandparent
but no DVD player? Me, neither. Try these low-tech road trip games. http://ht.ly/5NWxa 

@martiferg
dvds that the kids haven't seen before is a lifesaver for me 

@consumersearch
Do a family movie night with #KidsInTheCar. These are the best portable DVD players: http://t.co/fuyIxuz

@consumersearch
Healthy drive-through pick: @Starbucks Reduced-fat turkey bacon, white cheddar & egg white sandwich. 320 calories 

@familytravel4um
Cheaper @dunkindonuts

@consumersearch
Somewhat healthy drive-through pick: @DunkinDonuts Egg White Turkey Sausage. 280 calories, 5g fat, 1 g fiber, 11 g protein. 

@caloriecount
Although the grocery story is best, this might come in handy "Road Trip: Healthy Convenience Store Foods" http://bit.ly/oUgkgC 

@consumersearch
More healthy snacks: apples, baby carrots (wrap in lightly moist paper towel), bananas, cereal, popcorn, trail mix, and PB&J 

@grandparent
Best snack for #KidsInTheCar–grapes. They are neat and not sticky, and if you lose some, you get raisins!

@MotherProof
Crazy or genius? My friend’s family skips healthy snacks once a day on a road trip. The kids can pick candy or salty snacks. 

@consumersearch
Choking is a concern for kids under 3. Use these tips to prevent it: http://t.co/xkrdfnW

@surferhair
We love having crushed ice in the cooler. Something we don't get at home — the "good" ice from the 7-11.

@consumersearch
If your kid <3s milk, pack Tetra-pak single serve cartons like the ones offered by Horizon (we like the smaller straw hole). 

@MotherProof
NEVER allow milk in the car or you may never get the spoiled milk smell out. http://t.co/ZKucP6H 

@Noonz
Water is the best in-car drink, imo. No stains on clothes, seats, etc. after inevitable spill


Saving on Gas & Road Trip Budgeting Tips

@MotherProof
Do you take gas prices into account when budgeting for your family’s road trip? 

@consumersearch
Maintaining a constant speed always helps with gas savings (cruise control is your friend).

@consumersearch
Remember that once you’re at speed, you don’t need a lot of pressure on the accelerator. A light foot will help you save gas. 

@MotherProof
What kind of car do you drive for road trips? Is it a fuel hog or a gas-sipper? http://t.co/uBDCaLK 

@ChaCha572
Mid size SUV …. average gas, more room = less fighting in the back seat πŸ˜‰ 

@tiffany053p
we have a fuel hog, a double cab truck 

@ChaCha572
My hubby is all about the cruise control – steady turtle gets us to our destination every time!! LOL 

Departure Time with Baby on Board

@surferhair
Okay, is it better to start a trip in the middle of the night, hoping the kids will sleep? 

@pitstopsforkids
Maybe in theory, but mine never sleep well in the car. 

@Noonz
I'd rather leave early AM off a night's sleep, and let the chips fall where they may.

@familytravel4um
I prefer very early am.

Cleaning Up the Car-Hotel

@surferhair
The MESS is part of the road trip — you have to be ZEN about it.

@Noonz
I like to think of everyday driving as an ongoing dress rehearsal for any road-trip messes. 

@consumersearch
If traveling with kids, the back seat will get messy; crumbs will happen. Spills will happen. 

@MotherProof
Put the kids to work! Have them help clean up their backseat mess. Warning: They’ll probably whine.

@grandparent
Anytime anyone gets out of the car for anything, they have to carry out a piece of trash!

@tiffany053p
you can always keep a hand held vaccuum in car! 

@Noonz
I actually have the auto-specific Dustbuster, which plugs into the cigarette lighter. Works OK.

@MotherProof
Get help! A home vacuum only sucks up so much. The professionals at car wash can give your family-hauler a thorough once-over. 

@MotherProof
Your car has storage bins. Use them! Use the seatback pockets to store coloring books and colored pencils in zippered pouches. 

@consumersearch
If you have little kids, spill-resistant cups are a no-brainer. Otherwise, juice boxes are always a solid pick. 

@martiferg
yes a spill proof cup is important. Love the ones by @thermosbrand

@EmMitchell
Speaking of spills…always bring extra napkins or paper towels on a long car ride to clean up any surprise mess! 

@familytravel4um
There are lots of great pet seat covers; must keep that funky hair away from baby – see reviews @consumersearch

@MotherProof
Baby wipes are a must! Clean spit up from car seat harness straps, and crud around cupholders while waiting in carpool lane. 


Avoiding Motion Sickness or Coping With It

@consumersearch
Are ur #KidsInTheCar prone to motion sickness? If you see them become pale and sweaty while yawning, stop the car and try to stretch a bit.

@surferhair
I heard that sitting in the "way back" makes it worse.

@MotherProof
Try Sea Bands for kids for motion sickness. They apply acupressure to the wrist and work wonders! 

@consumersearch
Plain crackers or a banana can help with motion sickness. And open the windows while distracting #KidsInTheCar with a song or game.

@caloriecount
Ginger is good for motion sickness – gum, candies, or ginger ale. 

@consumersearch
If the motion sickness situation gets nasty, be prepared w/ plastic bags or the beach pail, and don't bury it in the trunk! 

Car Safety Tips for Road Trips

@newmediatravel
Actually, ever have the kids sit in front and a parent in back and rotate the order? Role reversal? 

@familytravel4um
Sit backseat 5 mins w/baby, makes big difference; reassuring, sleep better too – http://bit.ly/p1D8gc 

@grandparent
Just be sure that #kidsinthecar are old enough to sit safely in the front!

@consumersearch
If your kids are young, having some kind of car seat or safety restraint is necessary. 

@consumersearch
According to @NHTSAgov nearly 9,000 lives were saved by child restraints from 1975 to 2008. 

@consumersearch
Make sure you understand the basics of the LATCH system for car seat safety before you hit the road: http://t.co/nE8gwFB 

@HuppieMama
And now, the suggested age to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing is 2 years. Not everyone follows… 

@consumersearch
Booster seats keep your child safe when they are too large for a convertible car seat. The best: http://t.co/I035lIL

@consumersearch
47 states require booster seats for kids who have outgrown their child safety seats but are too small for adult seat belts 

@consumersearch
@GHSAHQ explains that each state has different child safety laws for car travel: http://t.co/nDRjxva 

@AAASafety
3 out of 4 kids are not properly buckled into their car seats. Find a seat inspector near you (it's free!):http://ow.ly/5NWHS 

@consumersearch
Convertible car seats can be used from birth until 40lbs; they convert from rear- to front-facing: http://t.co/HeurfFu 

@consumersearch
@childseatsafety has a great child seat growth chart to help you decide what kind of car seat is best: http://t.co/EYj4YlY

@consumersearch
Infant car seats, for newborns that weigh less than 30 pounds, should be rear-facing. The best: http://t.co/e6xHXN3 

@consumersearch
Some of the best brands of car seats: @GracoBaby, @SunshineKidsUSA, @Britax and @babytrendonline: http://t.co/e23PYsz 

@consumersearch
Who makes the Bentley of child seats? Well, Bentley, naturally: http://t.co/VhGrWfA 

@Noonz
I can assure you that installing car seats using a Bentley coupe's LATCH points elicits much R-rated language.

Keeping the Adults Sane

@MotherProof
The kids are happy in the backseat, but how do you keep YOURSELF sane and happy on a road trip? 

@martiferg
I actually feel better when I am the driver and DH is the navigator. πŸ˜‰

@MotherProof
While the kids are watching movies/reading books, a road trip gives my hubby and I a chance to catch up and hang out. 

@ChaCha572
We laugh and reminisce listening to older music… its refreshing!

@MotherProof
@MotherProof’s Jennifer Newman says her family’s road-trip sanity saver is the driver gets to choose the music.

@ChaCha572
I stay happy with a magazine or my i pod – I am the co pilot though, so I have to be alert πŸ˜‰ 

@tiffany053p
i read my cooking magazines! 

@MotherProof
Use your fave foodie apps to plan your family’s menu for your post-road trip grocery run. I like the @WholeFoods Recipe app. 

@ChaCha572
I cut coupons and sort out expired ones from my purse

@MotherProof
Stay organized with "Driver Cup" – fits in any cupholder and contains everything from lip gloss to cash: http://t.co/lYyeLkp

@MotherProof
When nothing else works, try a dark-chocolate-induced mood boost (for you … not the kids). 

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