Friday, September 21, 2012

The Art of Traveling

This weekend my family is hitting the road yet again, for a long road trip to Hilton Head Island in SC where we'll be hanging out with family for a week.

I feel like since Matt and I got married in 2006 we have earned the titles of "professional travelers." Since being married we have hopped planes, trains and automobiles galore (several times with our very young children, which let me tell you is no easy feat.) I love to travel, though I hate the work (packing, ugh...UNpacking, double ugh.)

Road trips I think are the hardest, especially with kids, because they drag on such a long time and it's easy for everyone to get bored. (And boredom inevitably leads to crankiness.)

We've learned some tricks along the way to make long road trips easier (and dare I say, fun?) So I thought I'd share.

Travel Comforts [For the Kids]

In the past we've downloaded movies or kids shows onto my iPhone for Olive to watch in the car, but then that leaves me without my phone (no fun) so for this trip we invested in an affordable portable DVD player. We got this one off Amazon and it looks very kid friendly and durable. (LOVE that the screen folds down over the buttons! We could probably even mount it in the car eventually.) 

We also bought this volume of Looney Tunes (we hardly own any DVDs since we don't watch much tv, and when we do we just use Netflix) and I'm excited to relive my childhood watching them with the kids. I mean, I just love those ridiculously violent, politcally incorrect guys, don't you?

[For Him]

Nothing makes a long car ride pass more quickly than a good audio book. For this trip we downloaded an Elizabeth Peters mystery to try out, and the first book of Ralph Moody's "Little Britches" series. 

Some other great audio books we've enjoyed over the years are:

1. Anything by Agatha Christie (The Miss Marple books read by Joan Hickson are the BEST.)
2. Killing Lincoln by/read by Bill O'Reilly (love him or hate him, the guy wrote a fascinating book about one of the most fascinating presidents ever. We loved this book so much that we took a trip to Washington DC just to visit Ford's Theater.) 
3. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett. (These are ridiculous, hilarious, and great for all ages. The ones read by the author himself, are of course, superb.)

[For Me]

I love a good, girly magazine (Lucky, Vogue and Nylon are my favorites) but when do I have time to read them? Never. Oh wait, except when I have to sit in the car for several hours! 

The funny thing is, I cannot read a book in the car without getting horribly car sick, but I have no trouble with magazines. (Yay!) A good, thick magazine makes hours in the car just whizz by. 


Good music is a MUST for any road trip. The hard part is getting everyone to agree on what to listen to. We love old Christian greats like Keith Green, Don Francisco and Rich Mullins. We also love "The Buena Vista Social Club" album. (Never gets old.) 

I have been working hard lately trying to get Matt to become a Beirut fan. (I think I'm slowly starting to sway him over. He really likes "Gulag Orkestar.") I am also loving Devotchka lately and am hoping to get to listen to them a little this weekend. 

Last but not least, you must remember the most important element needed for an enjoyable road trip:

Coffee. Lots of it.

You can guarantee I'll get my pumpkin spice latte fix this weekend. Probably more than once if I'm lucky.

What things do you do to make a long car trip fun? I always love new ideas!

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