The Griswolds we're not, but we do love us a good road trip.
We began road tripping when the boys were quite young (2.5 and 4 yrs). Our first trip took us eight hours away and since then we've done yearly getaways taking us six to twenty-six hours on the road. While I wouldn't consider myself a road-tripping expert, I do think we've mastered a few tricks I'd love to pass along.
Essentially a good road trip comes down to three things - The Forethought, The Fun and The Food. Oh my, how important is the food! We've learned, the hard way, that it is almost essential to have good food on a road trip. But first things first.
Or in other words, the planning. The organization of a road trip is essential to a positive experience. Detailed maps and directions, designated pit-stops, plenty of gas, necessary papers (passports) in an easy to locate spot. Predetermined time of departure and estimated time for arrival are also important aspects to plans. Lots of forethought equals lots of fun.
Crucial to a good road trip, is lots of fun. When the boys were little I would pack "bins of fun" for our trips. Small baskets filled with an assortment of entertainment would be placed between them. The bins were meant to last two hours and I would pack as many as were needed for the duration of the trip (eight hours on the road = four bins). We would stop every two hours for a leg-stretch, trip to the washroom and a bin swap. Each bin would contain one small surprise (something new I purchased or borrowed for the trip), and the anticipation of the swap was almost as fun as the packages themselves.
We don't do movies in the car unless we're travelling for more than three hours at a time. If that's the case we pack some favourite movies and individual DVD players for the road. Often I will add in a new movie (bought or borrowed) and that guarantees almost two hours of quiet. Lastly, we make a family music CD. Each person chooses five songs and I make a compilation of the tunes for the road.
For us, the most important part of the road trip. Hard experience has taught us that nothing good can be found on the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Too often we've been forced to face the villains of the vending machine and as such we rarely travel without a nice supply of good food.
Fruit and veggies are always a must-have but they can get a little boring after a while. Muffins, pretzels, sandwiches, drinks, granola bars, cheese and crackers, breads and meats are just a few of the options we now include.
Ben and I are road-tripping from Toronto to New York City today and here is what we're packing:
Chocolate covered strawberries
Carrots, celery, cucumber and hummus
Cheese and chocolate
I expect we'll be on the open road for eight hours, over both breakfast and lunch, so we'll be well supplied of good, REAL food.
Have a good week friends...I'll be back next Monday. But tell me, are you a road-tripping family? What are your secrets to success?
Avocado, Bacon and Goat Cheese Sandwich
- 1 baguette
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp mayo
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 10 slices of bacon, cooked
- goat cheese
Scoop out the insides of the avocado into a bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Add the mayo and salt and pepper (to your taste) and mash together to create a smooth spread.
Slice open the baguette, lengthwise. Spread one side of the sandwich with goat cheese and the other side with the avocado mash.
Layer the lettuce, bacon and tomato on one side of the bread. Close it up and and slice into four sandwiches.