On The Road Again
Three weeks ago, Kiddo and I packed up our Kia Niro and headed south to take on Alabama, Tennessee and even a minor detour through Georgia which threw us for an unexpected loop. I can’t lie, this was a much welcomed surprise since the big green highway signs posted the city Athens which is the birthplace of a few of my favorite bands like R.E.M., B-52’s, and Widespread Panic. For me that was a sure tell-tale sign this would be the road trip of a lifetime.
First stop was Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Kiddo would be attending for a week, and I decided I would take full advantage of seeing some of the local sights and making a day trip up to Lynchburg, TN for a “Taste of Lynchburg” tour at the famous Jack Daniel’s distillery which do not allow minors on a few tours. I figured while she was camping with NASA, I could sip the finer whiskeys Jack Daniel’s bottles. To get in the mood, I even packed along some of my favorite Jack Daniel’s Praline Pecans! This was a great way to break up the week because before I knew it, Kiddo was an official graduate and alumni ready to hang up her flight suit until next summer.
Bucket lists, journaling, and packing list. When it comes to planning, that’s the short of it.
Traveling and seeing different parts of the country has always been something very high on our Bucket List and something we’ve always been passionate about. I suppose that makes complete sense in retrospect considering traveling was the reason this blog was born. On a shopping trip to Cost Plus World Market I found “Visiting 50 States Journal” where we could chronicle our U.S. adventures and plan what we would love to see, what we saw, and where we would love to go next!
But something that has always been a mandatory part of exploring is carving time out each day to write about the day in a travel journal. I try to make it as fun as possible because even if Kiddo is “bullet journaling,” she will be able to go back years from now and remember all the wonderful things that happened along the way. In life, we tend to think we are going to remember every little detail; however it’s the details that get lost the most. Because let’s face it, those small are the best memories. So I always make sure to find some fun notebooks because ultimately these will be our words, our thoughts, and our autobiography.
And we haven’t even touched base on road trip snacks! These are a few of our favorites. There’s something for everyone and we also enjoy playing Bean Boozled since it’s so silly.
Speaking of remembering everything, I can’t remember squat unless I have everything meticulously written down. So these PACK THIS pads are the answer to all of my prayers. For each trip, I use one sheet for each of us, so that I can speed through with a highlighter and make sure everything in our carry-on and checked luggage is good to go. Oh, and I also sneak a special stash of goodies just for me. I can’t go anywhere without my travel tumbler which I luuuuuuve, and while strolling the aisles of World Market I stumbled upon this gem: Champagne Dream Gummy Bears which you can bet will be hidden deep in the glove box for emergency sanity purposes! I keep the collapsible lunch box with me because I rarely ever finish my meal at restaurants, but I’m always so hangry later. This comes in handy on long road trips. I also never leave home without a foldable laundry bag just because.
The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist
Since the days of 8-tracks, I truly in my heart believe the proper playlist sets the entire mood for the trip. I can remember family sing-a-longs to the likes of “Hungry Heart” and dividing the car passengers in a full-on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” car-pool karaoke. We’d get so excited the moment we heard the very first note of our favorite tunes coming through the speakers. Bonus points if the sound system didn’t “eat” the tape ribbon. So below I’ve made sure to include songs that are “Parent Friendly, Kid Appropriate” so that you’re not ready to fling yourself out of a window somewhere on Route 66 because you have to hear Kids Bop for the umpteenth time. Check out our JetSetFam Radio Road Trip Playlist on Spotify.
Here is our obligatory road trip selfie.
Road Trip Gift Basket
After Space Camp graduation, we made a quick pit stop to grab our luggage and start driving to our next destination: Knoxville, TN. I made sure a small congratulatory Road Trip gift basket filled with snacks and car games was waiting for her back at the hotel because if I’ve learned anything about car rides, it’s always the three-hour mark. Everything is fine and dandy, but then out of nowhere, you need to call in serious back up because sheer boredom sets in big time. That’s when I’ll start to bring out tricks, snacks, and games from my “Mary Poppins” road trip bag. Cost Plus World Market made finding road trip snacks and retro road trip travel games not only easy, but so much fun especially these games that brought me back to my childhood road trips when seat belts, road side assistance, and air conditioning were optional.
Since everything I do has a “theme” I planned the goodies mostly around a Retro-1970’s road trip style and picked some games and gadgets that would get us through hour-long road trips when we were a kid. For this journey, I was all about unplugging this road trip except for the radio because I just wanted us to enjoy each other’s company, catch up, and play “I Spy.”
Travel Tip: “Hey, you!” are 12 double-sided pencils that are triangle. So that means no rolling. We not only bring them with us in the car, but on the airplane as well!
Are We There Yet?
There was so much to do, so much to see, and so many miles between Huntsville, Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Nashville, and Memphis, and I didn’t want to miss a thing. I did my best to space the games and gadgets out which quite frankly worked beautifully. The GPS system also came in handy because it automatically counted down the time from city-to-city avoiding us from having to answer the dreaded, “Are we there yet?” whine.
Oh, and one word of advice, when shopping for travel friendly games + gadgets, leave the tiny pieces at home with the Legos. Go for more practical items. Arts and crafts and games for older children, and books, flash cards, and magnetic board toys for the younger kids.
DIY Travel Game
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Taste of America Road Trip Sweepstakes
Cost Plus World Market would like to make one of your road trip dreams come true! The Taste of America Road Trip Sweepstakes gives you the chance to enter to win an adventure to one of America’s Favorite Food Cities: Nashville, San Francisco, Boston or Chicago. Prizes includes: Airfare for 2, Hotel, Food Tour, City Excursions and Dinner. Plus, a $1,000 World Market gift card! There are also three first place $500 World Market gift card prizes. Sweepstakes ends 7/7/17
Promotional consideration has been furnished by Cost Plus World Market. On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family are invited to experience gifted products and services. This practice does not hinder the influencers’ point of view. All descriptions accurately reflect our overall feelings, and The JetSet Family will only share items that we love and deem worthy of being featured on our blog. This post may include affiliate links. Any purchases made using these links allows The JetSet Family blog to continue to share all of our favorite things with our readers. Thank you for supporting us and our sponsors.
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