Fun tips for the family road trip

ARA Content

Few things bring a family together and create wonderful memories better than a summer road trip. And after several years of taking backyard “staycations” to save money, experts say families are again packing their cars and hitting the roads to see beautiful natural and manmade landmarks all across the country.

“Piling into the car and stopping along the way to take pictures next to one of the country’s popular landmarks is back in fashion,” says travel expert Emily Kaufman, “The Travel Mom.” “From packing perfect road trip snacks such as Twizzlers Candy to planning activities to keep the kids happy in the car, road trips are about having fun and making memories that last a lifetime.”

Whether planning for a ride into the city or being more adventurous with a cross-state trip, planning ahead for your road trip will help make the journey seamless and fun for everyone. Following are some hints from Kaufman to keep your family road trip full of wonderful memories:

Pack an activity bag. Turn a hanging travel cosmetic case—or even a plastic bin that can fit under a seat—into a case full of fun. This case needs to be fully accessible at all times, with pockets stuffed full of age-appropriate activities for every person in the vehicle. For children, consider adding a roll of tin foil for sculpture creations. Or coloring books with washable markers and a cookie sheet to use as a drawing board. Also throw in a couple paper bags so everyone can make puppets and put on a show while in the car. For older riders in the vehicle, audio books, music, cameras and journaling or blogging materials help to fill the space between sightseeing destinations.

Share a fun fact that is sure to get all members of your family smiling. If your family is traveling back in history this summer with a road trip along historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, also known as the “Main Street of America,” it would take nearly 19.5 million pieces of Twizzlers Twists to line the entire route.

Consider the snacks that you pack. Avoid packing anything that’s easy to spill like juice boxes, or snacks that melt. Try plastic bottles with sports tops or lids that can be tightly sealed for drinks. Also, bring along Twizzlers Candy—they are easy to share, and are the perfect car ride treat. Did you know that more than 875 candy bags would fill the cargo area of a traditional family minivan, keeping your family well-stocked throughout the entire trip? Of course, you might want to save some room for the luggage you’ll need to pack.

Include a first-aid kit. Injuries can happen at any time, and having basics like bandages, pain relievers, wet wipes, anti-bacterial ointment, tweezers and sunburn creams for “just in case” can make all the difference in the outcome of your trip. Blisters, splinters, small cuts and bruises can easily happen, especially as your family leaves the car and explores the countryside. Keep the kit small so it can tuck away in the corner of your vehicle until it’s needed.

Still planning your family road trip this summer? You can win a trip to a well-known U. S. landmark destination or other fun daily road-trip themed prizes like digital cameras, GPS units or a national park guidebook through the Twizzlers Landmark Summer promotion. Visit to learn more, or to follow families who will be sharing stories about their adventures while on road trips this summer. Or, visit to share your own family’s travel stories including photos and maps of where you went.

From the June 15-21, 2011 issue

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