Thank you to Roku for sponsoring this list of 7 things all road trip loving families need and providing my readers with a chance to win their very own Roku Stick for their next family road trip.
My family and I love going on road trips. We chose a home in the beautiful Southern California mountains that’s 3 hours from Las Vegas, 3 hours from San Diego and 3 hours from Los Angeles.
It’s awesome being so central. It gives us every chance in the world to hop in the car and go on short road trips quite often. Hey, we even did a cross country road trip back in May that was pretty amazing.
Over the years and the abundant number of road trips we’ve taken, I’ve put together a list of 7 things that every road trip loving family needs.
Whenever we go on a road trip, we always bring a cooler with us. The reason we are able to go on so many road trips is because we have figured out some tips for making them affordable.
One of those things is packing our own food. We like to bring plenty of snacks as well as sandwich and salad fixings with us. That gives us more money to do fun stuff since we’re not paying for overpriced restaurant food at every meal.
The first thing I do when we arrive at a new hotel room is set up the essential oil diffuser. I always put On Guard in first since it cleanses the air and gives our immune systems extra support – something we all need when we travel.
At night I diffuse lavender or a relaxing combination to help us sleep soundly. For some reason, I often have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms, and diffusing essential oils always helps.
Headphones for the Kids
This one is for the parents’ sanity. My girls always bring their tablets with us on road trips, and if they don’t have headphones we pay for it. It’s not my idea of a peaceful drive to hear kids’ games the entire drive.
Whether your kids have tablets, portable game systems or you have a DVD player in your car, you’ll want to invest in some good headphones for the kids. You can thank me later 😉
A Good Camera
I know, I know. Our phones have cameras on them now. That’s what my daughter tells me. Phone cameras are great for posting pictures of your trip on Facebook and Instagram, but I love taking pictures with a real camera.
Even though we do use our phone cameras all the time, our Nikon D90 comes with us on every trip. I love being able to capture memories with pictures, and having a good camera with us is part of that.
Road Trip Games
This is something you absolutely want to prepare ahead of time, especially if it’s a long road trip. When I was a kid, my siblings and I tried to see who could find the most states’ license plates or who could find all the letters in the alphabet on street signs first.
Zoë and Kaylee have their own games they’ve made up. Zoë said there are three that they play most of the time. They like to count how many school buses they can find and whoever spots the most wins. They play I Spy quite a lot. And they play another game that Mommy isn’t so fond of when we’re in an area with a lot of traffic lights. They like to shout “red light” when stop and “green light” when it’s time to go. They think it’s hilarious. Anything to avoid the dreaded, “Are we there yet?”
A Good Sense of Humor
Road trips rarely go off without a hitch. Sometimes you wind up in a room with one King bed instead of two Queens. Sometimes you forget your toothbrush or another necessity. Sometimes someone gets sick. Sometimes you just can’t stick to the schedule you set for your trip.
When you’re on a family road trip, it’s so important to keep a good sense of humor. When things go wrong, laugh about it and move on. So many of the memories are in the experience – good and bad. If you can laugh about the rough moments, you can turn them into good memories.
Roku Streaming Stick
We just recently added this little baby to our roadtrip arsenal. At home, we have Smart TVs, which is awesome. Even through all of our travels, we have only stayed in one hotel with a Smart TV that allowed us to log in to our Netflix account.
Now that we have a Roku Streaming Stick (retail: $49.99), we can take our entertainment with us. It’s so nice to be able to pull up Netflix on any TV with an HDMI port (and a room with high-speed Wi-Fi) and not have to shell out $15 to watch a movie in the room. It’s a huge money saving bonus.
The Roku Streaming Stick is not just for Netflix though. You can also watch Amazon Video, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, Google Play, YouTube, Pandora, PBS Kids and so much more with the Roku Streaming Stick (as long as you have a membership). There are actually 3,000 streaming channels available with more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes.
And I love how portable it is. It’s the size of a flash drive, but we keep it in the box it came in to keep it safe. And since it comes with a remote control and a charging cord, I like being able to keep everything together in one spot.
Another really cool feature is the Roku app. It lets you download an app on your phone to use as a remote, search for what you want to watch, cast movies from Netflix and YouTube, and even listen to what you're watching using ear buds connected to your phone.
We have 3 road trips coming up in the next several weeks, and my Roku Streaming Stick will be packed on each and every one of those trips so we can bring some of our entertainment with us.
One of my readers will win a Roku Streaming Stick ($49.99 value). Open to US only. Enter via the widget below. Giveaway runs through August 31, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST.
Road image © Deposit Photos / AnnaOmelchenko