We are in full summer swing here, and are eeking out every bit of fun that we can out of summer, because before you know it, it will be back to school time. In fact, my older daughter already has some assignments and one of her online AP classes starts the second week of August. But we are still packing in a couple fun things, including an awesome road trip coming up. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of our tips to help make road trips smoother, more fun, and less expensive!
- Let kids help. And I don’t just mean unloading the luggage, although they are helpful for that as well. Even if you make most of the major decisions, giving kids some control/decision making authority over some details will make them feel like they are a part of the action, instead of along for the ride. I like to leave at least one afternoon reserved for some sort of relaxing activity that isn’t “trip oriented”, i.e a day at the pool, a movie, etc. This is perfect for letting the kids plan.
2. Don’t overschedule. If you’re a planner like me, you’ll get why this is hard. I want to to efficiently plan and cram as many activities as possible into our limited vacation time and have a tendency to want to plan everysingleminuteofeverysingleday. No we can’t stop and go to the bathroom. Just don’t. It adds stress and as soon as someone gets a tummy ache or is cranky your whole game is thrown off. Have a general plan of what you want to do but don’t schedule everything or pre-pay for a ton of activities.
3. Keep the car clean. This is actually really important to me – it stresses me out when there is garbage all over the car, etc. And it’s easy to trash a car pretty quickly if you are spending any time on the road! Here’s my tip for success – hang a Hefty bag over the back of the car seat before you ever leave the house. All trash goes inside, and then when you get to a stopping point, you dump and replace.
Not only do we love Hefty because they help keep our car clean on road trips, but also because they support Box Tops for Education! We are RELIGIOUS purchasers of products that support Box Tops for Education, which Hefty is one of!
Box Tops is such a GREAT initiative and my daughter’s school definitely participates – it helps raise a lot of money each year, so we collect all year round!
4. Try some low key hotel meals. Eating out is part of the fun of vacations – I get it. I’m a total foodie and LOVE trying local cuisine! But eating out three meals a day can also be a huge expense. If you can work in some hotel meals, it can knock hundreds off the vacation bottom line. But who wants to clean up after cooking you say? Or be stuck in the kitchen? I hear you. Try this – use Reynolds Kitchens™ products like Oven Bags, Slow Cooker Liners and Bakeware Pans to make cooking and cleanup easy!
We love to stay in Airbnbs, so we often have a full kitchen, but there are also hotel suite chains that have ovens. The oven bags are AWESOME for popping in an entire chicken with almost NO cleanup – and you can use leftovers for chicken salad for lunch the next day – just make sure to keep it on ice. And while “crock pot” isn’t on most packing lists, you can use a crock pot in any hotel room, and with Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners, you can put in a meal in the morning, vacation away, and come back to a cooked meal. With Hefty paper plates and the liners, cleanup takes approximately 3 minutes. Can’t beat that and you can save a TON!
And the bonus is – Reynolds Kitchens™ and Hefty proudly support the Box Tops for Education initiative which helps schools like mine raise money for supplies, technology and more. You can find Box Tops on most Reynolds Kitchens™ products like Parchment Paper, Oven Bags, Slow Cooker Liners and Bakeware Pans. You can also find Box Tops on Hefty Trash Bags, Hefty Foam Plates and Hefty Cups—all things I need to make life easier during both summer road trips and the busy school year!
AND there’s something even better! Now through August 29 you can enter here to be one of 50 daily instant winners and enter to win the grand prize of $1,000 worth of Box Tops for your school! A total of five schools will be chosen for the grand prize and you can enter once a day until 8/29 so bookmark the site and visit often. We are DEFINITELY entering every day – even when we are vacationing! It would feel SO good to be able to support our school with $100 worth of Box Tops!
Do you have any road trip hints to share? Do you collect Box Tops for Education?