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jrc1963 posted 5/3/2014 16:01 PM

I've not taken a long vacation/trip in many many years...

Next month I'll be driving from Florida to Michigan.

Any tips from travelers?

I was thinking I'd use a designated credit card for most of my purchases to A) Keep from carrying a lot of cash, B) to not have to worry about overdrawing my checking account by using debit card and C) to keep track of expenses.

Any other tips for a long road trip with a 12 years old.

[This message edited by jrc1963 at 4:03 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)]

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/3/2014 16:16 PM

Any other tips for a long road trip with a 12 years old.

Snacks. Lots of them!

jrc1963 posted 5/3/2014 17:19 PM

What should I budget for food and gas...

Part of the time I'm staying at my Grandmas house... so, I won't be eating out every night... or staying in hotel.

Amazonia posted 5/3/2014 19:47 PM

Plan to eat breakfast in by having a box of granola bars, or if your hotel offers free breakfast, make sure everyone eats enough that you can do a lite lunch to save money. You can also easily do sandwiches, chips, fruit sort of picnic lunches from the supermarket depending on your plans for the day. Bring a small cooler and some re usable ice packs to put in the hotel mini fridge over night.

Chrysalis123 posted 5/3/2014 20:24 PM

Stop a lot.

Have your son research the route and find cool things to see and do along the way. Get postcards from each state and have your boy send them to somebody.

I drove my kids from Colorado to Naples, Florida when they were 8 and 10. It was very fun, but I stopped a lot because otherwise it was torture for them.

The return trip was more tiring for me.
Have fun!!

dameia posted 5/3/2014 20:47 PM

You might want to let your bank/credit card company know you're traveling so they don't stop your credit
card. Our bank often calls when H is traveling to make sure it is actually us using the card all over the country.

norabird posted 5/3/2014 21:12 PM

Audiobooks can be great for drives with kids! The time goes by so fast listening to a good one.

jrc1963 posted 5/3/2014 21:32 PM

Audiobooks are good choices... I wonder what we should listen to?

Ama... we'll only be in hotels for a total of three nights... the rest of the time we'll be staying w/ Grandma... But I like the breakfast tip.

Chrysalis - Great idea... It might help me a little bit too.

gahurts posted 5/3/2014 22:13 PM

I recommend pushing it on the way up. Make the trip up there in as few days as possible. One if you can only stopping for gas and bathroom breaks and to stretch. Then stretch out the trip back home to three or even four days if you can stopping at attractions to see and take in the sights.

The excitement is higher in the beginning of the trip so a long trip is easy to do but on the way home it's a lot harder because you both will be tired. So break it up to keep it interesting and each segment short.

MovingUpward posted 5/3/2014 22:18 PM

Don't take I-75. If you do, decorate your car in Blue and White.

Jrazz posted 5/4/2014 00:10 AM

Portable DVD player with car-outlet charger and a few fun movies. Not for the WHOLE drive, but sometimes it's nice.

Amazonia posted 5/4/2014 07:36 AM

Sorry, yeah, I meant for the few nights you're at the hotel

If you've got good cell signal and unlimited data plan, there are websites like (google to find others) with free audio recordings you could listen to on the car, or you could download some audio books ahead of time - or check your local library for books on CD!

What kind of stuff is your son into? I used to do road trips with a group of friends in high school and we always listened to Agatha Christie books on CD when we'd drive. They're very engaging.

jrc1963 posted 5/4/2014 07:49 AM

Don't take I-75. If you do, decorate your car in Blue and White

Not only am I taking I-75, but I'm spending one night in Lexington and I'm going to be decked out in Orange and Blue!!

Ama! No unlimited data on my phone... I'd have to download stuff from iTunes for my iPod...

He's a eclectic reader, he listens to a lot of different stuff.

One thing that will help is we have Sirius XM Radio... so we should be able to listen to good music the whole way up.

Jazzie... I do have a portable DVD player w/car charger... I had forgotten about it.

MovingUpward posted 5/4/2014 08:23 AM

Not only am I taking I-75, but I'm spending one night in Lexington and I'm going to be decked out in Orange and Blue!!

If you get to grab dinner there, I highly recommend Ramsey's diner. WH5 approved dining.

jjct posted 5/4/2014 08:26 AM

Have you actually tried audiobooks while driving?

I can't do it myself & be safe at the same time.

I would have to 'block it out'...
The kiddo could still listen though.

jrc1963 posted 5/4/2014 11:37 AM

If you get to grab dinner there, I highly recommend Ramsey's diner. WH5 approved dining.

Well that's a high recommendation indeed!!!

If I promise not to attack your toes with nail polish, would you be interested in joining us for dinner?

jjct - never have done audio books... driving or otherwise.

metamorphisis posted 5/4/2014 12:37 PM

One thing to keep in mind is holds on credit cards. They vary widely, and I know they are worse on debit cards. But just make sure you have enough open on the card that a 200 hold at the hotel (that might take a few days to fall off) won't eat into the money you needed for gas or food for the next few days.

norabird posted 5/4/2014 13:08 PM

My mom has missed an exit because of an audiobook before. But for cruising I think it's okay for most. My family loved loved all the old Winnie the Pooh audios. Harry Potter is on audio too and certainly long enough...your local library will have suggestions if you tell them what the preferences of the 12 year old are.

And the license plate game and twenty questions are good too. Plus keep a pillow in the back for napping/comfort.

Crescita posted 5/4/2014 13:15 PM

Plan pit stop towns in advance. It's always a let down when you end up at the gas station with only one dining option nearby and long lines.

Rotate charging all your devices in the car, or get a splitter if you will be using more than one the whole way.

Dress comfortably and have a change of clothes and toiletries in an easy access place in case you want to freshen up before you reach your destination.

Have fun

ETA: One other thing I like to do, you can pick songs from my music, or I can pick from yours. No body gets to pick from their own collection. I might not get to hear Beck, but I won't be listening to any disco, or death metal thank you very much

[This message edited by Crescita at 1:20 PM, May 4th (Sunday)]

jrc1963 posted 5/4/2014 13:20 PM

All great tips!!! Thank you...

The Credit Card I plan to use has a high limit and currently has nothing on it. So I don't think Holds will be a problem. At least, I hope not.

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