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5 Tips for Traveling As A Family This Winter

This is a sponsored post with Esurance.com, all opinions are our own. 

road tripsBeing a family of 5 plus pets means we do not travel lightly. We take trips from 40 miles to the beach, 60 to LA or San Diego, 270 to Las Vegas, 400 to the Grand Canyon, 600 to San Francisco, 1,000 miles to Portland, Oregon; lets say we like to travel and take our kids to see places. So its always been important to us to have a car that fits our needs.

Even before we had kids my husband had this little sporty car and he loved taking me to places I had never seen. We met in Oregon, and before that I had lived down here in Southern California. Let’s just say to see what the Pacific Northwest really has to offer, its best to jump in a car and take a road trip.
Our first family car together we had a small crossover SUV type of car and since we have just 1 child we only needed 5 seats. We eventually traded up with the extra kids, but still have stuck with a smaller SUV for several reasons. It is easier to get around in Southern California where traffic can just be brutal. But we cant have a car too small, because we need and use our 3rd row. While sometimes I do wish we had more room with a larger SUV but we have learned to take and pack only what we really need.

family-road-tripsWhat’s most important to me is that my family is happy for these trips. For me these trips are memories that we will all have for the rest of our lives, so making the best of it is important. Packing and preparing for a smooth trip is jkust as important. Not only do we save stress, but it can be costly forgetting things that will be needed, especially when you have extra kids. Being away from the home can get costly, so making sure we have everything we need keeps us on budget.

We like to take trips every so often because we get to bond and have fun and explore, but its also a way to gain new experiences. It is always fun when my kid comes home from school talking about something they discussed in class about a place, and my daughter has knowledge on it already. As we travel, we teach our kids about history, relevance, and ways to relate it all back together. So its important to make sure we have a smooth trip so the kids want to learn and have fun.

5 Tips for Traveling As A Family This Winter: 

  1. Maintaining our cars are the biggest thing my husband would say with road trips. From the tires, oils, alignment, there are many things that become a problem and headache while on the road.
  2. Always be prepared! We keep an extra set of clothing for our kids on trips away from home. Never know when we might find fun in the nature or something with water.
  3. Keep snacks. Depending on a trip, it can be not a lot of time or many hours. If you have a trip over a couple hundred miles, stopping for a store can add onto travel time easily.
  4. For us, its how to keep our kids entertained. With 3 kids sitting next to each other, it’s just easier to try and keep them occupied and happy. Talking, coloring, smartphones, & movies help us.
  5. Keep the right kind of insurance. From health to auto insurance, be protected and have the coverage and ID cards available. Check out Esurance.com for more about seamless online coverage with intuitive tools that help take the hassle out of insurance.

Just as important as making sure our kids are taken care of, and our car is maintained, is holding the best coverage needed. Keeping roadside assistance and full coverage versus only liability may be something that one should consider. Things happen, and being protected from huge bills that occur while on a road is not good for any family vacation budget.

It is important to keep up the best auto insurance rates and checking every so often for better rates is not just smart but can save some money. Another important factor to consider checking every year is coverage limits. I recently had a friend suggest to really think about limits because nothing like having a bill that goes over insurance coverage. Luckily we have not had any need to use our insurance, but when we do, I at least know I do not have to worry about being on the hook for damages. I couldn’t imagine being sent a huge bill.  

Resource Natural Spring Water Portland Oregon (2)The great thing about using the car for trips that it has many benefits. For a family like ours, it saves use money versus airfare. Maybe we spend more time on the road, but when planned for, there is so much to experience outside of major urban areas, that land between Point A and Point B. Our kids have a leg up by visiting about places they learn about. They can apply what they learn and think to what they actually see and know, plus the memories we make along the way are priceless.

What are some of your travel tips or memories?


  1. Jane on March 12, 2017 at 7:01 am

    great tips! thank you

  2. Rosie on January 5, 2017 at 7:54 am

    These are good tips, and not the ones people already would think to make sure, yet could easily make a difference in their safety and enjoyment.

  3. David on December 21, 2016 at 8:20 am

    There is something very comforting about driving in a warm car while the ground is cover4ed in snow and ice.

  4. Melissa@thestatenislandfamily.com on December 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    We are planning a Winter road trip at the end of December and I am so glad I read this post! You reminded me of so many tips I need to know in order to make sure we have a safe trip! Thank you!

  5. Toni | Boulder Locavore on December 17, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Awesome tips! I love that everyone in your family loves road trips! I wish we could travel more often next year! Saving these tips! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Tara on December 16, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    These are all great tips. I’d also keep an emergency kit in the car. You never know when it will be needed.

  7. Cathi Crismon on December 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Even though we have flying privileges, we’re big on road trips in our family. Road trips definitely make the best memories!

  8. Jennifer on December 16, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    These are great reminders! We are heading out on our winter family road trip very soon and really needed to read this. For us, snacks are key!

  9. gingermommyrants on December 16, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    We go on a lot of road trips. I always pack some games for the kids to play and a ton of snacks. I am hoping to go to the Grand Canyon next year.

  10. Jocelyn Cañasa Brown on December 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Such good tips! I definitely need to be prepared if we travel this winter. Thanks!

  11. Kelly Hutchinson on December 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    These are really great tips! I hope to travel with my family many times this winter! Thanks!

  12. Chelley @ A is For Adelaide on December 16, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Living in new England, family travel starts and ends with good car care! A few years ago my battery died in a parking lot, 400 miles from home. Thankfully we have AAA… but AHHHHHH! Nightmare with kids!

  13. Colleen Lanin on December 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I love all these tips. Snacks are key! A hungry kid is a bratty kid. Said with love, of course…