Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5 Road Trip Tips: A Guest Post by Kate

Hey everyone!

Summer is upon us! Yahoo! 

We visited the motherland (Utah) last week so I've been MIA.

We ate a few of our favorite Utah restaurants, visited some of our wonderful friends and family, saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and went adventuring in Moab for a few days without the girls. Tina and Lil Spits did amazing on our flights, we didn't get robbed while we were gone, I only got food poisoning once, and Tina's new car seat was found two days later (the airline misplaced it), so I consider it a successful trip!

Speaking of trips, I'm really excited to share this post with you! I asked my friend Kate to guest-write something awesome for my blog today, and she didn't disappoint!



Let me tell you a little bit about Kate: She's a babe, she cracks me up, her baby is adorable, she and her husband are the cutest couple you've ever seen, and she's my favorite friend that I've never hung out with! Even though we had a bunch of classes together at Utah State and our husbands were in the same program, we never hung out! True story. A super lame true story.

Here's Kate the Great's post for ya!

ROAD TRIP TIPS

I once witnessed a father and a son who went on a long summer road trip. The son had to miss out on a hot date and his dad was annooooyying. By the close of the trip he ended up appreciating his dad, his friend got all the cheese whiz in the world, and his girl Roxanne loved him just the same. It sounds like a Disney movie or something. I'm kidding. Just being goofy.

But for real, road trips can be long and hot and uncomfortable, and did I mention long? And if you’re crammed in the back seat, you get to know the people you’re with (and their body odor) a little too well. Despite all the rough stuff, in my humble opinion, road trips can also be the BEST. The tough parts usually end up being things to laugh at years down the road, and you’ve also got memories galore to lock in your family scrapbook forever. Yay.

If you’d like to skip to the happy parts of the trip and try to prevent some of the “I could do without that” stuff from happening, take a looksy at some of these tried-and-most-of-the-time-true tips:

#1: Come prepared with things to do in the car

When I was little, my sisters and I ran out of things to do on the car ride. We got desperate and made up a game called “hide the gum” where one of us hid our chewed up gum and the others had to find it. I know what you’re thinking, “those girls were brilliant”, right? In the end we had to make a pit stop because the gum got stuck in my sister’s armpit (not kidding, not even close).
In order to prevent pit-gum from plaguing you or your passengers, plan accordingly. Here are a few ideas that don’t involve anything sticky:

-Watch movies! Except not you, driver. If you’re driving, don’t watch a movie… unless you’re okay with watching Just Like Heaven. Literally.
-Car games like "The Alphabet Game" or “I Spy” or the song about 2,615 bottles of pop on the wall
-Bring card games
-Listen to audio books
-Listen to music
-Take a little nap! This is a good opportunity to catch up from all your late night packing.
-Talk to the people you’re with. It’s this remarkable thing where you get to know more about people’s lives through conversation. Try it out sometime! If you like it, let me know.

#2: Take your car in for a thorough inspection before you leave

I was eight-ish years old and was on a mini road trip with my dad and little sister. We were headed to my grandma’s hometown, population: five million trillion cows and 3 people (the three of us included). Really though, it is a minuscule town and it requires 50 miles on a dirt road to get there. We were traveling late at night on that dirt road and boom! Flat tire. We changed it and kept on going. Pretty soon, wouldn’t ya know it? Another flat tire! This time we had no choice but to wait for someone to happen across this random dirt road late at night.
Lesson learned, people! Take your car in. In the end, a nice old man and his daughter picked us up and we squished into their little pick up truck. I don’t want to say that being sandwiched between two midnight strangers wasn’t the best time I have ever had, but it wasn’t the best time I’ve ever had.  

#3: Bring lots and lots of snacks

Unfortunately, it had to be decided between my husband & I that I can’t have Cheetos unless the road trip is over 3 hours (#cheetoaddict). Chances are you probably don’t have the same rule in your family, so EAT CHEETOS LIKE IT’S YOUR JOB! Enjoy your road trip. Get all the snacks in the world. It will save your life and your children’s lives and your great grand children’s lives. Your posterity will thank you.


#4: Go with the flow & be spontaneous

No matter how much you prepare, things are going to happen that are out of your control. This is where the “things to laugh at years down the road” part comes in.
Like the time that we stopped for a bathroom break and I stood in a gigantic line waiting to pay for my drink with toilet paper hanging out my pants. 
Or the time my husband and I stopped to sleep for the night and our tent was completely busted, so we duct taped it together using a stick we found in the woods. (oh yeah-rule #3.5….always bring duct tape). 
Or when my husband’s family stopped to eat leftovers for lunch, and used a screwdriver as a knife. I mean, A SCREWDRIVER KNIFE! I should probably get that patented, right? The catch phrase could be “this knife is screwy!” I’d make millions.
Also, don’t be afraid to stop if you see something cool. We once stopped along the way and there was a small petting zoo right outside the gas station door. Was it FDA approved? Eh, probably not. But SO AWESOME.

#5: Get Creative!

If your road trip is super long, you might exhaust all of your planned activities. In this case, you’ll have to get a little resourceful (but no gum, okay?). This might automatically place us in the “dorkiest couple ever” category, but my husband and I have a list of made-up car games that we’ve perfected over the years. Here are a couple for you & your fellow dork(s) to try out:

-“Finish that song:” I start singing a song that I know the words to and my husband has to complete the lyrics. My personal favorite was when I started singing Maroon 5's, “Sugar, yes please” and he finished with, “won’t you get all of my honey bees!”
-“Band Names:” This one is our favorite. We create band names with things we see along the way. For example: “Hey, have you heard of that band 'Does This Road Ever End?'” “Oh yeah, I love that song on their album 'I Swear I’ve Seen That Haystack Before.'”


Well, there you have it! Five wowza tips to make your road trip sail a little smoother. I know there’s more than five out there, but I’m no road trip professional--I’m more of an entrepreneur. I can hear Oprah’s voice in my head right now... “and YOU get a screwdriver knife, and YOU get a screwdriver knife!”

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Thanks so much, Kate! We tried playing "Finish That Song" on the way down to Moab (we were terrible), listened to Muse, and listened to "Dad Is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan. We had some great snacks, but no Cheetos, a poor mistake on my part. 

Also, we definitely need to start a Kickstarter for The Screwdriver Knife. Anyone else want to invest with me?


If you know of any other road trip hacks, please let us know! If you don’t, Kate might just hide gum in your hair.

Thanks for reading!

Kate & Melissa




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