Are We There Yet? Road Trip Survival 101

Having just returned from a 1,000 plus mile round trip to beautiful coastal Georgia, I feel like a road warrior.

I may also feel like a drink after doing six loads of laundry in 24 hours and coming home to 90 plus degree temps and the world’s most prolific shedder of a dog (75 pounds so he’s got a whole lotta dog hair goin’ on).

I’m not the most organized mom, but there are a few things that keep us all a little saner when traveling. My girls are 9 and 6 and are charter members of the “Are we there yet?” club, so sanity is key.

Here are a few tips fresh from the road that helped our family stay sane during our summer vacation:

  • Pack your vehicle in zones such as the luggage zone (toward the rear of the car) or the backseat zone for items that need to be within arms’ reach
  • Put often requested items from kids in easily accessible zippered tote bags – our entertainment bag has such items as handheld video games and a good old school deck of cards, and our snack bag is filled with small, easy to open items that aren’t too messy
  • Pack empty grocery plastic bags for wet items from the beach or pool
  • Stock up on bottled water, soft drinks,  juice boxes, etc. on sale as you can expect to fork over a couple of bucks for a soft drink at the pool or beach snack bar on vacation
  • Let each child choose a pillow, a blanket, and a small stuffed animal for the road
  • Bring a white noise machine or alarm clock with nature sounds for the hotel room
  • Speaking of sound, ban any video games or small electronic toys that make annoying sounds that cannot be muted as they may or may not drive you to the brink of insanity while in a car for hours upon hours
  • When it comes to electronics, limit electronics to one item per child (this is a time to unplug, after all); my girls barely touched their handheld video games while we were on vacation, but the built-in DVD player with wireless headphones in our Nissan Quest was a sanity saver
  • Have a designated trash bag in your vehicle and empty it each time you stop for gas, bathroom breaks, or meals

Of course there are more mechanical tips related to your vehicle. We always get the oil changed and tires checked before we hit the road, but sometimes the unexpected happens, like a flat tire. Fortunately, in today’s day and age of smart phones, help is literally just an app away. Allstate (you know…the “You’re in good hands” company) has a new pay as you go roadside assistance program that is available to anyone.

What are the benefits of Good Hands Roadside Assistance?

  • Free to join
  • Open to anyone in the U.S. whether you have coverage through Allstate or not
  • Pay as you go; no monthly fees
  • Most services cost about $50; towing fees are typically $75
  • You can register for up to 5 users on your account, which comes in handy for families with teen drivers

One thing to note, although it’s not required, pre-registering for Good Hands Roadside Assistance provides faster service if and when you need help on the road and you’ll also receive a welcome kit in the mail containing a wallet card, a key fob and a window cling with the phone number for roadside help.

Are you taking a family road trip this summer? Do you have any tips to share to make vacation a little saner for us all?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Allstate.


  1. Blonde Mom says:

    EG: You’re welcome! We’re not normally that “has matching luggage” family but we love it. It’s also on wheels so it’s super easy to navigate through the airport. I’ve borrowed the girls’ smaller suitcases for trips because they meet the carry on size requirements. The green one is my favorite. 😉

  2. Richard says:

    I remember family holidays before hand-held computer games were invented. Looking back on it, I feel sorry for my parents for all the “Are we nearly there yet?” that I did instead!

  3. Julia says:

    Hi, nice post from you.I never made a vacation trip with this amount of luggage. I don´t even think this will fit in my car. Great that you had a nice trip. Thank you for the “road survival” tips. Going on vacation with childrean is not easy. We just made a trip to the beach with our two kids and it wasn´t easy. I will try your tips the next time we go on vacation, hoping that it will be a better ride as our last one. The tip with the white noise machine interests me. What does this machine actually do?

  4. Michelle Lorenzo says:

    Hey, I recently made a trip (vacation). Nearly had more than enough luggage alongside me. Had to go through roadside assistance, But Allstate were quick in assisting us. They seemed pretty professional.

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