Friday, December 7, 2018

Family Car Travel Tips

As most of you know, we love to travel. We  enjoy road trips as a family. It’s a great way to see the country and it’s usually cheaper than flying. As someone who has traveled a lot, I love helping parents make car trips easier. I haven’t shared any road trip tips in a while and I have some new ones for you. 

Make a car sick kit. Have a package of wipes, paper towels, mouthwash, plastic bags, mints, and motion sickness medicine. 

Bring window markers for your kids to draw on the windows. It wipes off with water. They are lighter than normal markers so they won’t obstruct your view. 

Make car coupons that they can earn for good behavior. You don’t have to make the rewards anything extravagant. It could  be as simple as a candy bar or picking where you eat lunch. 

Use an empty DVD case for a travel drawing kit. Put in paper, colored pencils and stickers. You can use it as a hard surface too. If you need something bigger use a clipboard. 

Make a car grab bag. Go to the dollar store and get some little toys that your children would like and wrap them in different wrapping paper. Decide how often they get to pick a prize. It will give them something to look forward to. 

Play games that don’t require any pieces. Noah loves would you rather. You have to watch him or he will say things like would you rather walk on Legos or coal? When you obviously say Legos and ask him. He will say who said the coals were hot. 

Give your kids each a cheap camera to take photos on your road trip. Noah is amazing at photography. This way they have the freedom to decide what they want to take photos of. 

You can download movies or tv shows from Netflix and watch them in the car. You don’t need WiFi or cellular service to watch them. That’s a great way to entertain them when they start to get restless. 

Origami is huge in our house. Buy some origami paper and let them go to work. Noah will use any kind of paper to make origami. He often uses placemats at restaurants to make something. 

Let them make music. There’s music making apps like Garage Band that your child can use. Just go to the dollar store and pick up some ear buds. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Driving around looking at Christmas lights

One of my favorite things to do in December is to get in the car and look at everyone’s holiday decorations. We do this every year. There’s a huge light display at our local farm equipment store every year. We started going when Noah was a baby. We enjoy seeing all the amazing lights every year. I can’t even explain how cool it is. It’s something you just have to see. There’s ice skaters, farm equipment in lights, and the Grinch even makes an appearance. 

You can make it a whole event. There are so many people who decorate their homes, so there’s plenty to look at. I know that the holidays are an expensive time, so the fact that it’s a free activity is great. Here’s some tips to make looking at Christmas lights extra special. 

Go in your pajamas. Bonus points if they all match. Make sure everyone wears shoes though just in case. 

Bring blankets and pillows to make it extra cozy. Don’t forget the stuffed animals! 

Bring hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy on your drive. 

Map out your route. There might even be a big light display you can visit. Look for neighborhoods as many people decorate. 

Rate the lights. You can all decide which decorations you like best. Talk about what you each like about each house. 

Play your favorite Holiday music. Most music streaming apps have holiday playlists. You can even create your own playlist with songs that are special to your family.  

Carol in the car. Sing a few songs together. You can sing rounds, make animal noises or sound effects, and make up new lyrics. 

Leave the technology at home. It can be distracting. You can miss out on things when you are staring at a screen. Focus on the lights and being with your family. 

Make a new tradition and enjoy it every year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Purchasing a car service plan

When you purchase a new car, it’s very exciting. You have spent a lot of money on it. You want to make sure you protect your investment and make sure you don’t have extra expenses. It’s very important to take care of your vehicle and keep up on the routine maintenance. It is a good idea to purchase a car service package. It will help you keep your car running smoothly. Many times basic maintenance prevents bigger issues in the future. Routinely getting oil changes and having your car checked out can save you thousands in the long run. When you are signing up for a service contract read the fin e print and make sure it works well for you. 

If you decide not to go with a service plan, remember that your car   can also service your car. The advantages of going to the dealership’s service department is they know the model of your car. You don’t want someone who is supposed to know cars, use online videos to fix your vehicle. Sometimes they offer you certain perks like cheaper oil changes or special deals. They can also get parts for your car easily. You won’t have to worry about off market parts that a mechanic purchased off eBay. You can also trust them. You know that they aren’t going to pick up and disappear one day. 

It’s important to have a good relationship with your car dealership. It will go a long way in the future if an issue occurs or when you are ready for a new car for yourself or a family member. They will already know your preferences and your situation to help you get another car. They can also answer any questions you might have.