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Family Road Trip Destinations this Summer

Family Road Trip DestinationsSummer is here, and it’s time for you to start preparing for your road trip. Where should you go? Here are five places you can go with the family this  summer.

  1. You can’t really go wrong with Colorado for your road trip. It is one of the few destinations that you can take a drive through and marvel at the beauty. You may think there is not much in Colorado, but when you see those snow kissed mountain tops and beautiful lakes as you drive through, you’ll be impressed. Also, a great place to take an RV or go on a camping trip.
  2. Southern flair and food seems to get the best of most people. You could be one of those people who is dining on fine southern BBQ and southern cuisine. If eating is on your platter, you should take a visit to savory New Orleans, Louisiana with your family this summer.
  3. Marveled as a truly American city, you might want to visit Chicago. There is a number of upscale clubs that remind you a place Al Capone would spend his time. If that doesn’t do it, the architecture will be a sight to see. Don’t forget to pick up a slice of Chicago style pizza.
  4. Of course, a road trip isn’t complete without a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Of course, as with everything in Las Vegas, it comes at a price. The entertainment is world-class, even for your kids, and people come from around the world to see Las Vegas. It’s definitely among the top five places you can visit in the United States.
  5. New York City has a great mixture of people and entertainment options. It is one of the best places for tourists to visit, since there is a cultural melding pot within the city. You could spend your entire life doing a new event each day, but you would never do everything within New York City. Places to see include the Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, Little Italy and Times Square.

Before you head out for your road trip, make sure you have checked your tires and prepared your vehicle. The last thing you want on the road is a flat tire. Stop on by TireZoo for a check up on your tires.



Check Your Tires and Road Trip for BBQ

If you find yourself with a road trip planned, why not become a connoisseur of our vast American BBQ styles. As you make your way to your final destination, you can taste and compare some of the US’s original cuisine.

Take off from Minnesota and enjoy the different BBQ flavors across our country starting in St. Louis, working your way South and East.

BBQ Regions in USA Plan your road trip


Regions of BBQ Flavor and Technique in the USA

St. Louis: No light dusting of sauce here. Heavy on the sauce and flavor.

Kansas City: You’ll find lots of spare ribs (pork) with a thicker sauce that includes tomato, molasses and brown sugar.

Texas: Is known for their beef, specifically beef brisket that uses a long smoking process. It produces well cooked and tender meat with a tomato and vinegar sauce blend.

Louisiana: A melting pot of flavors influenced by world cuisine for a very unique flavor of meat (usually pork) and sauces.

Alabama and Kentucky: Sauces often include bourbon and mayonnaise that distinguishes this region of barbeque from the rest.

Memphis and Nashville: You might find a white BBQ, in addition to some amazing dry rubs and sauce, often served on the side so you can appreciate all the flavors.

Carolina’s: Known for a thinner sauce highlighting both vinegar and mustard in their BBQ recipes.

While all of these places feature delicious variations of barbecue, Minnesota has hot dish! Ever had a hot dish with a BBQ sauce? Where is the best BBQ you’ve ever had?

How We Survived Our 936 Mile Road Trip

Road Trip with KidsAre you planning a long road trip for your family vacation? We did, and obviously we survived to tell about it. Our family of five decided to head cross-country to meet up with some friends for an extended weekend, making the long drive part of the “experience”. I can honestly say that our trip went better than we expected, and we’re even willing to do it again.

That’s not to say we didn’t worry about incessant complaining from our older kids or unstoppable crying fits from our two year old. We braced for the worst and prayed for the best. We landed somewhere in between with some great memories.

I attribute pre-planning (Hey, I’ll take the credit) to making a major difference in how well our trip went, as well as how quickly we were able to arrive at our destination. We crossed five states and 936 miles in 15 hours. We made it both ways with only one stop per state! Yes, that’s right. I’m happy to share what we did, and I hope you have a great trip too!

*Disclaimer: We have a Durango with plenty of room, a DVD player, and allow eating in our vehicle. If you don’t…I’m sorry.

10 Things That Got Us (And Our Kids) Through A Long Road Trip

  1. Early To Rise makes the kids crabby and parents tired, but with some good coffee it worked great. We were on the road by 5am, which means we were in a pool at our destination shortly after 8pm!
  2. Two Coolers of the smaller variety worked great for storing beverages right behind the front seat of our Durango, and putting food toward the back of the truck where our oldest could reach out food for the rest of us.
  3. Fast Food by way of packing coolers, saving money, avoiding extra stopping and eliminating excess calories is the way to go. I let each family member place his/her order ahead of time, and I shopped accordingly. I made up sandwiches and snacks that made everyone happy. Having food ready when someone was hungry was really great.
  4. Clipboards made travel games, writing, and drawing much easier for the kids. I put some crayons in baggies and clipped them to the clipboards. These were really handy and fit easily under the seats once we got there.
  5. Water Bottles with squirt tops that are hard to spill work great for the kids to sip on. We just kept refilling the water bottles or the baby’s sippy cup, as needed.
  6. Movies that have not been seen before by the kids hold their attention much better than those they have seen a thousand times. But you don’t need to spend money. I posted on Facebook to my friends that I was looking for some kids movies for our vacation, and I got an overwhelming response. We simply stopped at a friend’s house and “shopped” their movie selection.
  7. Travel Bingo and other travel related games were a huge hit with our kids.
  8. Mandatory Bathroom Breaks happened each time we stopped for gas. We multi-tasked big time, but it worked great. The idea is simple; every time we NEEDED to stop, everyone went to the bathroom (changed diapers). This way we got gas, bathroom breaks, and a much needed stretch all at once. We also threw away trash.
  9. The Element of Surprise works great and helps break up the trip if you can pack some fun items to pull out when the kids get bored. Some great ideas are pipe cleaners, fun foam, suckers, “I Spy” books, hair bands and barrettes to do each others’ hair (works good for girls).
  10. Kennel the dog. I can’t imagine throwing our dog into the mix. He pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for not subjecting him to the chaos anyway.

What about you? Do you have any tips for surviving a long road trip with kids? Any usual items you packed that came in handy? If you liked this article, you might also like: One Mom’s Story of Traveling: Traveling the Mountain Highs and Valley Lows

Are you interesting in writing a guest travel piece? Do you have a great road trip story to tell, fantastic family vacation destination, or tips to help other parents cope while on the road? Email us at