Road Trip to Great Wolf Lodge + 5 Tips for a Happy Car Ride

Road Trip to Great Wolf Lodge + 5 Tips for a Happy Car Ride

Road Trip to Great Wolf Lodge + 5 Tips for a Happy Car Ride

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by MoneySavingQueen.com

MoneySavingQueen

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 5:01 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 19 at 3:02 PM

For Fall break we decided to take a family trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. If you haven't been before, you have to check it out. I'll be posting a full review (including pictures and deal finding tips) tomorrow. Grapevine is about 5 hours from Tulsa, OK so while it wasn't nearly as long as the 18 car ride to Florida we took earlier this summer, it was still long enough for us to get hungry and the kids to be bored.

I know many of you will be traveling over the holidays so I thought I would share a few tips to help you save money and entertain the kiddos on your journey.

{5 Tips for a Happy Car Ride}

1. Plan Ahead: For every single long car ride we take (we've had four this summer), I plan ahead strategically. I always visit the dollar store or $1 spot at Target and load up on new coloring books, sticker books, puzzles, etc. The trick is to not bring them all out at one time.

You have to pace yourself. Give the kids a few of the new items when you first get in the car, then bring out a new item every few hours or when the boredom really sets in. You don't have to spend a lot of money, but getting some new items will really make a difference.

2. Stick with the Coupons: It is pretty likely you will stop at a drive thru while you're driving to your destination. I bring an envelope full of restaurant coupons and if we feel like stopping, we open the envelope. When we went to Grapevine, my envelope was filled with Sonic, Wendy's and Taco Bueno coupons. My husband, myself and my youngest son ate at Wendy's for only $4 after coupons! Not bad at all.

3. Snack Stashing: Obviously, you have to bring snacks. Most of us throw a few boxes of granola bars or crackers in a bag and call it good. Then, we pick up candy bars at the first gas station we stop at, right? No, you've never done that. If you really want to save money and ditch the unhealthy snack foods, you have to prepare snacks in advance. Get some baggies and fill them with homemade trail mix, cookies or even homemade granola bars.

4. New Movies & Music: If you do have a DVD player in your car, grab some new movies from the library before you head out on your trip (don't lose them though). If you have an iPod then be sure to upload some new music for yourself and your kiddos too.

Our trip to Florida was the first time I had ever used an iPod (insert laughing here), it was awesome for the boys. My oldest fell asleep listening to some oldies I had downloaded.

If you're old school, mix your own CD on your computer before you leave....please don't tell me you're still listening to tapes. Anyway, the point is to upgrade whatever you've got with some new stuff that will entertain you and your children.

5. Journal It: In my world, I have long since given up on the journals because I'm a blogger. I basically journal every single day online, for the world to see. But, for a long car ride, give everyone a journal before the trip. The adults can simply write down what they see and want to remember about the trip but for the kids, it's a little different. Give your kids some old magazines, scissors and glue sticks.

Let them describe the trip in pictures in their journal or if you have other things you might want them to cut out like 'find items that are blue' or whatever will work just as well too. The older the kids are, the more creative you can be.

 

We tend to divide our car in half so each of our boys has his own little section for themselves. They're surrounded by toys, books, crayons and pillows. We were so blessed this year to receive a 2011 Chevy Tahoe courtesy of WeAreGoldBuyers.com which came with a DVD player! Talk about a life saver! And, it's also extremely comfortable and roomy in there so my boys had plenty of space. Oh, did I mention it's a Hybrid? Yep, that's right. It is not a gas guzzler which obviously makes these road trips a lot more affordable.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my Great Wolf Lodge review!

 

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