Road Trip Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Your Next Car Trip

Road Trip Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Your Next Car Trip

Get the car & family ready with this free printable road trip checklist and tips for how to prep for a long car trip! 

This week's one of those quiet times -- not too much on the calendar.

But I know it won't last long --

We're waiting to hear about college acceptances, looking into a few new attractions and counting the days until Spring Break (less than a month away for us!)

And I can smell an AWESOME family road trip somewhere in the near future.

Ahh ... I love the thought of exploring someplace new with our kids!

When it comes to taking a car trip,  I'm one of those "need to plan ahead" type of people.  I don't like to get on the road and worry about whether we might have any car problems or worse, run out of snacks before we reach our destination (heavens no!! the kids might not last until the next stop ;)

So today I'm sharing the checklist we use before heading out on our trips -- whether it's a day trip or cross-country vacation -- PLUS affiliate links to some of our favorite items & a FREE printable road trip planner to help you prepare for your next family car trip!

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Tips for Keeping Kids Safe while Playing Sports

I recently received an email with a question that caught my eye --

"Worried Your Kid Is Going To Break...Something?"

"Hell Yes!"  was all I could think because we have kids who are prone to injury.

Anyone who knows our family is not surprised to see one of the kids walking around with a cast or brace.  I swear that our family motto should be 'Play hard, get hurt, do it again'.

Let's see, the kids have suffered from a deep bone contusion while playing football, a broken wrist in basketball, a leg fracture with dance and four teeth knocked out during another basketball game (read more about our medical adventures & tips on caring for a child in a cast).

And I only have 2 kids!

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What I Did Right & Wrong When Teaching My Kids about Sharing on Social Media

 

How many times a day do we reach for our phone when we see something awesome?

Think about it – most of us never even grab  a camera any longer.  “Oh, I’ll just use my phone”, right?

Because we always want to capture those AWESOME moments --

 

 pumpkin patch

That gorgeous Saturday afternoon visit to the pumpkin patch.....

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Do You Know What Your Kids are REALLY Doing Online?

 

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for BGCA. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

 

For our kids, using technology is like brushing their teeth -- they do it a few times a day; it's just part of their daily routine.

They love to play games, watch videos, stay in touch with friends & family and keep up with all the latest internet fads.

But what are they REALLY doing when they're online?

With a teen and tween at our house, this is a topic that's constantly discussed in our home.

I consider myself a pretty involved parent but I want to balance how much I monitor my kids' tech behavior with being able to teach them good online skills so they can 'police' themselves.  So I was really happy when I was asked to tour and read the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Cyber Safe Futures website!

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Making Lunches Easy & Healthy this Summer

 

 I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central for Revolution Foods. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

 

There’s something about lunch and summertime that just doesn’t seem to jive in our house. 

During the school year, my husband takes on the lunch duties with some help from the kids (they pack their own fruit & snack each day).  So sandwiches are always prepared the night before (I have a great hubby!).

Then summer hits and the idea of doing something in advance goes out the window for me :) 

I mean, it’s summer, right?!  No schedules, live-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of days.

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Going Green: Books & Websites to Inspire Kids

Some of the newest lessons for this generation include learning about the environment, ecology and how our behaviors impact the world around us. 

Earth Day is a yearly celebration that reminds us to revisit how we treat the Earth. 

These are important lessons for our children to learn as many of our resources are finite. 

Helping to preserve the water, open lands and wildlife will mean that our grandkids and great-grandkids will still have the opportunity to roll down a hill, swim in the ocean and breathe fresh air!

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Staying in Touch with Family & Teaching Kids about Snail Mail

 

I'm thrilled to be working with Hallmark and the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community for today's post.  This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and Hallmark; all opinions and ideas are my own.

 

We don't live close to any of our family - they are sprinkled across the country.  So when it comes time to celebrate a birthday or special occasion, we rely on 'snail mail'. 

Yes, we could probably text them a note or send an email but it's not as much fun or as special as sending something special for them to open.

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DIY Kids Chalkboard Backpack

 

Don't you just love when you can reuse or upcycle something for the kids! 

We needed a back-up backpack for the year {you know, for the days that the regular one gets left at school or to use as a bag for afterschool activities}.

I really didn't want to purchase another one since we have so many old ones from previous years.  But the issue is many of the older ones have 'little kids' pictures on the front or are pretty worn out. 

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The Ultimate Road Trip Guide for Families -- Packing Tips & Why Getting There is Half the Fun

Great ideas for packing the car, side trips and road trip activities with kids!

When we got married, my husband and I moved half-way across the country and away from every relative we had.  It was hard the first few years to not have all those family dinners and be there for all the holidays. 

Then we had kids and realized that if we wanted to spend more time with our extended families, road trips were going to be a necessity.

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25 Snow Day Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy

Enjoy these fun activities on your next snow day!

I'm not sure what it is about February -- one day it's sunny and springlike and the next we're knee deep in snow! 

Like so many others, we are having a 'snow day' this week (to the delight of my kids, we're actually having 2 snow days).

You can't go out much (really, driving is horrendous) and it's not like you had time to plan ahead since these days are a surprise. 

Here are a few fun ways to spend the day without going crazy from cabin fever!

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Great Cookbooks for Kids and Math Fun in the Kitchen

Have you ever had a kid who asked "Can I help?" when you were preparing a meal? 

There's all kinds of ways that kids can get involved in the kitchen!

 

Cooking is a great life skill and everyone should know some of the basics behind preparing a well-balanced meal. 

Young children can learn how to choose nutritious foods, prepare snacks, and mix & measure ingredients. 

Older kids will enjoy mastering the skills of whisking, creating fun desserts and learning to crack an egg (warning: buy more than you think you'll need).

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5 Easy Ideas for Making Your Home More Kid-Friendly

 

As kids grow up, it's important for them to have their own spaces.

This will help them to learn some reponsibility with regards to taking care of their things, be able to become independent and feel that they are contributing to the family. 

Because let's face it, after a few years of constantly picking up after them, we're always happy when they learn to chip in and start to do more for themselves.

 

Here are a few ideas for easy ways to change your home environment so that kids can do more for themselves, enjoy their space and help out around the house.

These ideas can be used with kids as young as 2 years old and are perfect for creating independence in kids ages 5 - 12 years.  I've included affiliate links to some of our favorite kid-sized items for your information and convenience.

 

 

Kid friendly ideas for your home

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How to Organize Your Family's Summer Schedule

Every year we look forward to summertime at our house!  The excitement of the 'we can do what we'd like' days that we all love to enjoy.  But, of course, the kids do want to do some activities that require us to keep track of what day it is :)  So, here's a quick and easy way to pull together all those papers, camp schedules and items needed for on-the-go summer fun!

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How I Became The Fun Police (Or What I Learned While Overprotecting My Kids)

 

Anyone who’s met me, or my kids, will tell you that I’m a fairly protective parent. 

Or as my kids lovingly refer to me, 'The Fun Police'

I didn’t plan to be this type of parent – one who monitors what they eat, where they are and how much sleep they get.  But plan or no plan, it's happened.

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10 People who Absolutely, Positively Need Online Library Accounts

 

You catch up with friends on Facebook, check in on Foursquare and tweet on Twitter.  But, do you have an online library account?


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