Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias
Earlier this summer we embarked on another fun road trip to explore more places we’ve never been before. Our usual packing routine includes rounding up all of the children’s tablets, charging cables, headphones, and some back up batteries, and loading them up with the rest of our travel necessities. Bringing electronics on a road trip makes the drive so much nicer for the parents. The kids stay quiet, they’re not fighting, they’re not constantly asking for snacks, they’re not turning up their noses at their parents’ singing.
They’re also not looking at anything around them.
And to be completely honest, the thought of having to wrangle a bunch of tablets and keep them charged and keep track of all the accessories, and keep my husband from breaking them (he accidentally broke two of them over the course of our winter epic road trip) was just too much for me. So the day we were leaving, I looked at my husband and said, “We’re going to leave the electronics at home.” And he looked at me, very confused, and said, “Are you sure?” I was sure.
And so we embarked on an 11 day trip with nothing but the radio and scenery to entertain us. Of course we had some cameras, and my husband and I had our phones but we were careful to only use the phones for taking and sharing photos and videos and we stayed way from using them as entertainment.
I can’t say it wasn’t challenging to drive halfway across the country without electronics, but I will say that we made it work. And even enjoyed ourselves. Even though we had to listen to the Kidz Bop radio station for hours on end.
Maybe leaving the house without any kind of entertainment for the kids wasn’t the best idea, but we picked up some goodies while we were on the road to help us out, and we figured out a few ways to make it rather enjoyable. Now that I’ve blabbered on, here are my tips on how to have an electronics-free road trip!
Tip #1: Make your surroundings part of the entertainment. We have a repertoire of in-the-car games that we like to play on long car rides, as most people do. In order to encourage the kids to look around, we play things like “The License Plate Game,” where you look for out-of-state, out-of-country, or personalized license plates and whoever calls it out first is awarded points based on the type of plate. My ultra-competitive children (and husband) love this one. We also play “The Alphabet Game” where you look for words on signs and building and vehicles that begin with each letter in the alphabet. Starting with A and going in order, whoever finds a Z-word first wins.
You can also make this DIY Magnetic Road Trip Bingo that incorporates things from your surroundings as well!
Tip #2: Do the bigger chunks of driving in the early morning or later at night. We try to plan our drives in a way where we can get up super early and drive while the sun is coming up, or head out after dinner and drive until about midnight. There are a few reasons for this including: Less likely to hit any bad traffic, everyone tends to not be as hungry or have to use the restroom as much during these hours, and the kids usually fall asleep for a while, so they don’t need the constant stimulation. And since we don’t have to stop as much, we cover more ground faster, and can enjoy our day travels more, which brings us to….
Tip #3: Stop a lot during the day! The main reason kids do well on trips with electronics is because it’s stimulating their brain a lot. But exploring, playing, and learning about a new place also stimulate the brain! During the day we stop at pretty much every rest stop, we pull over at places of interest, hit up a local playground wherever we are and make some new friends, or even just stop to admire the scenery.
I’m happy to say that not only did we survive our electronics-free road trip, we enjoyed it! After we came home, they were all happy to jump right on their electronics and let my husband and I do the best part of vacation – unpacking and cleaning/servicing the car.
Since we take our own family vehicle on road trips, we make sure to give it a little TLC after every long trip. After we get everything out, and get the rooftop carrier off, we give it a good wash and vacuum, and then head to the Walmart Automotive Care Center for a Pennzoil® High Mileage oil change.
Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil (for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles) helps clean out the sludge lesser oils leave behind, while helping to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines. It’s specifically designed for keeping engines running clean and going strong, and since this last trip put us over 75,000 miles on our van, it’s exactly what we needed.
As an added bonus, it’s currently on rollback for $4 off (39.88 to 35.88) – no coupon needed. (We all know I love a good deal!) Let the experts make your life easier and get your oil changed with Pennzoil at Walmart’s Automotive Care Center, so you can get back to doing the fun stuff.