I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
July 8, 2016
“I just don’t know how you get out and do so much with your family,” a friend remarked to me yesterday. “I see what you’re up to on your blog and think I’d like to do those kinds of things, too, but it seems so hard to find momentum to actually do it.”
I told my friend the truth: the reason I plan so many family activities, day trips, and vacations is that they are my lifeline. Although I’m a homebody at heart, it has become abundantly clear to me that my family’s best moments are when we’re away from the comforts (and electronic devices) of home and out exploring together, whether we’re on our way to a beach resort or a dilapidated cabin in the woods or a country market or a barbecue restaurant in a town with a population of 300.
Consequently, we’re in the car together a lot; to keep the kids from getting antsy, we’ve developed many strategies to make road trips bearable for everyone. Here are a few of my best road trip hacks:
–For long car trips, I generally make a stop ahead of time at the toy store and pick up a few new “surprise'” items for the kids’ toy bags, like travel games and activity books. This adds some excitement to the ride. For a lower-cost option, you might also consider choosing some surprise books (and DVDs if you have a portable player) at the library before you head out on the road, or downloading a few movies and shows ahead of time onto your tablet device. We’ve also found that good quality, comfortable headphones are definitely worth the investment when it comes to keeping your kids happy on road trips.
Family together time has never been easier on the road, thanks to all that’s available simply by connecting your smartphone to the stereo system. Sometimes, I download an audiobook from the library that our whole family can enjoy together. Other times, we stream episodes of This American Life using the TAL app. One of our favorite new ideas is to play ‘story’ songs from YouTube that the kids have never heard — Oldies are the crowd favorite. Virtually any song you can think of is available to stream on YouTube, often with lyrics so the kids can also read what they’re hearing
–We check alternate routes whenever we travel and leave the interstate as often as we can. This way, we pass through quaint small towns and see what life is like in other parts of the country. If we see a shop or restaurant that looks interesting, we often stop to check it out.
An unscheduled stop to play in the creek.
–We plan for and make lots of stops. This was initially difficult for me, because I like to get where I’m going as quickly as possible when I travel alone– but the kids definitely do better with snack/drink/restroom breaks every hour and a half or so.
Day trip to walk on the Trail of Tears.
We make travel as comfortable as possible by bringing the kids’ favorite pillows and cozy blankets. We also choose what we drive based largely on what will be most comfortable for our entire family on the road. One option I’m loving right now is the All-New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which has a ton of features designed to help keep families safe, comfortable and engaged while on the road together. Here are a few of my favorite things about the Chrysler Pacifica:
The Chrysler Pacifica offers Uconnect® Theater, the best family entertainment system in its class (Disclaimer: based on available features and the latest available competitive information and the FCA US LLC Premium Minivan segment) which includes dual second row 10-inch seatback mounted HD touchscreens with built-in games, apps, USB charging ports and HDMI inputs, a USB video input, and a Blu-ray®/DVD player. For music lovers, a 20-speaker Harman Kardon® Premium surround sound system is available.
Available hands-free sliding doors and power liftgate work simply by kicking your foot below the sensors – this makes packing and travel with small children so much easier.
The All-New Pacifica offers the Stow ‘n Go® Seating and Storage system, which lets you stow both the second and third row of seats without having to remove seats and gives you the ability to carry up to eight passengers. For busy families like mine, this feature is AMAZING.
My personal favorite available feature is the Stow ‘n Vac™, powered by RIDGID®: a mid-cabin vacuum system that allows you to easily clean up dirt and spills. Any parent knows that this Stow ‘n Vac™ is worth its weight in gold!
Concerned about safety? (Who isn’t?) The All-New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica offers more than 100 safety and security features, including available features such as Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, 360-degree Surround View camera, Parallel and perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Forward Collision Warning-Plus (Disclaimer: Electronic driver assistance features are not substitutes for active driver involvement, always be aware of your surroundings when operating a motor vehicle). Yes, please!
You can learn more about the All-New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica by visiting the Chrysler Pacifica website. And, just to get you even more excited about the All-New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and family travel this summer, I’m giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky Suburban Turmoil reader! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post answering the following question: Which feature of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica are you most excited about?
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”, and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/7/2016 – 8/10/2016