Every year when June rolls around and the summer heat sets in, I get an itch to hit the road with my family.
Traveling with little ones (mine are 7, 5, and 3 now) isn’t always easy, but it is totally worth it in the end. If you go into battle (let’s face it, that’s what a road trip with little ones is like!), you can survive the trip with as little drama as possible.
I like to make a plan, get prepared ahead of time, and go into our road trips with every likely “traveling with kids” scenario addressed.
Tip #1 – Leave with a Fully Stocked First Aid Kit
Not having one on hand will surely mean you’ll need about 35 band-aids. Of which none you will have. Trust me on this one.
Tip #2 – Check Your Tires and Fluids Two Weeks Before Your Trip
Somehow we never realize we need new tires until we need them for a long upcoming trip. We like to get ours checked (and possibly rotated and balanced) a couple weeks before a big trip. This allows for any last minute repairs or new tire orders to be placed. (see the Sam’s Club #DareToCompare tire event info below). And inevitably we will need an oil change and fluids topped off before our trip, so better to get this addressed ahead of time instead of rushing around the week of our vacation. We’ve left for a trip before and realized along the way that we desperately needed new tires. Not knowing if your tires will make it on a 2-day driving trip with little ones in the car is not a good feeling. Trust me on this one!
Tip #3 – Take 2 or 3 Quiet Time Activities per Child
All of my kids love coloring so we stock up on coloring books, crayons, markers, construction paper, and notepads for our trips. School aged children may like books, word games, or road trip games like “find the license plate.” Whatever your kids like best, take that!
Tip #4 – Put Pre-Portioned Snacks in an Accessible Location
I like to buy snacks the week before our trip, then put single servings in snack sized plastic bags. I take several kinds because it’s never a good idea to run out of snacks on a road trip, and sometimes our plans make us delay a regular meal. I place the snack bin in the floor just behind the driver’s seat (but where I can reach it from the passenger seat), and give those snacks out as needed throughout the trip. Properly timed snacks can thwart serious meltdowns and take the edge off of a sibling rivalry situation.
Tip #5 – Allow Time for Plenty of Breaks
Whenever my husband and I travel by ourselves, we try to see how far we can make it without stopping, in order to arrive at our destination more quickly. We soon learned after having our first child that attempting to the do the same with children in the car is a recipe for disaster! Children need time to stretch their legs and get out some energy on long road trips.
We usually plan for a stop about every 2 hours in our schedule. That way, anytime someone has to “go pee really really bad” or we need to stop to eat because staying in the car one second longer would make us all nutty, we don’t derail our arrival time. If we plan for stops along the way and take them as needed, trips go much more smoothly.
If you wait too long, this can happen!
Road Trip Preparations with Sam’s Club
Preparing for a trip with little ones is kind of like playing a championship football game. I’m not football expert, but I have watched enough hometown teen movies in my day to know that you must 1) study your opponent ahead of time 2) consider their weaknesses and your own blind spots then 3) train and prepare accordingly.
Getting your car ready for your summer road trips is half of the battle!
In Tip #2 above, I mentioned getting your tires checked out two weeks ahead of time. This is no joke. After being burned at the last minute by not getting our tires checked well ahead of time and having to rush order some tires at the dealership, I can tell you that we will never do that again!
Luckily for all of us, Sam’s Club offers their members great deals on tires at their #DareToCompare tire event. In addition to already low prices on tires, they also offer a matching offer promo called that works like this:
- Bring a valid “all-in” quote (on dealer/retailer letterhead dated within the past 7 business days) from a tire sales and installation retailer to your Sam’s Club Tire and Battery Center service counter.
- The tire must be the same brand, same line, same load index and speed rating (service description) as the tire intended for purchase at Sam’s Club.
- Sam’s Club carries some club-specific tire lines – in these cases, Sam’s Club will compare the club-specific tire line to the equivalent general-market tire line and match accordingly on brands like Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich and Pirelli.
CURRENT TIRE PROMOTIONS AT SAM’S
- Through July 5th, get $70 off a set of 4 Michelin tires
- Through July 12th, get $80 Instant Savings on a set of 4 Pirelli tires
- Through August 31st, get $70 off a set of 4 Goodyear tires
Not only does Sam’s Club offer a fabulous price on tires, but they also include the Tire Installation Package with each tire purchase. For $15 per tire ($25 for dually tires), the installation package comes with these benefits as long as you remain an active member of Sam’s Club:
- Tire Mounting
- Tire Lifetime Balancing
- Tire Lifetime Rotation
- No Charge Tire Lifetime Flat Repair
- 24-hour Emergency Roadside Service
Complete terms and conditions of all Sam’s Club warranties and services can be obtained at any Sam’s Club Tire and Battery Center location.
We are heading to Pigeon Forge around the 4th of July and will be getting our tires checking out this weekend. Do you have any fun road trips planned with the kids this summer?
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