Travel Time With Kia
Hi all – I’m Jennifer Link otherwise known as @BabyPlannerNYC and general Mrs. Moneypenny or Girl Friday for Mr. Jamie Grayson. Wait, I do my own thing too!! Like Jamie, I help families try to figure all this baby/maternity stuff out. So while he was traveling and living it up in New Zealand he decided I should have taken over. (MWAH -AH – Ah!). Ok, not really. But a girl can dream, right?
So really – since he was traveling I thought it might be a great time to do a feature on traveling with children. Yes, the holidays feel like ages ago and I originally started a feature on holiday travel , but its not the only time we travel. Winter break was here in New York and I know quite a few families who headed out this past week. So whenever travel time is on the horizon I get lots of questions of how to make it enjoyable and how to prepare.
First of all, I love to fly! And I’ll suffer thru about any length of flight (maybe even a long flight to say . . .hmm, I dunno, New Zealand – take me with you next time Baby Guy!) to see something I’ve never seen before. But I love a good old car trip. Car tripping brings out all kinds of nostalgia for me. My parents loved to drive. I don’t think we took many flying vacations because they always liked to make the trip part of the vacation too. That right there is the key. The vacation starts when you drive away from your block and wave goodbye not when you get to the hotel. Life is journey not a destination folks! To quote the lovable Ferris “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Fortunately, KIA agrees with me. And I was lucky enough to recently take the KIA Sportage out for a holiday trip with the fam. It could not have been a more perfect vehicle for us. We had a 17 hour trip ahead so we needed to be comfortable but we were going for more than just an overnight trip – of course, you wouldn’t drive 17 hours for one night. So we had stuff. And we have a two yr old who, ahem, does not pack lightly. The cargo space was big, thank goodness. In the floor of the cargo area there are compartments and we used them for putting little stuff – like our stocking stuffers.
To help prepare her for the hours that she would need entertainment we packed books, stickers, a magnet doodle board, a DVD player with her favorite movies and signing videos (Hi, I’m Rachel!) and yes, the iPad was loaded with some fun drawing, counting and letter games.
For me! I packed books, magazines and had my iPhone loaded with audio books. Now fortunately the KIA had bluetooth and I just hooked my phone up for listening and for calls while I was driving. It also had a nav system that was super easy to use. We have tried a lot of nav systems throughout years of traveling and renting cars and have gotten pretty good and I would rate this one as super easy and yet doesn’t skimp on the features. It helped us find anything we needed and, most importantly, helped us get there and avoid and traffic delays. The instrument panel for the driver was very sleek looking. Fancy! And when I wasn’t driving I was either snoozing or just looking out the window as the states flew by.
So I didn’t have Jamie there to install our seat, but he has taught me the way of a CPST pretty well, so we had her seat on the side on the way out and then we tried it in the middle too. She liked either because the Sportage had plenty of room wherever she was.
I don’t have pictures of this to share, because we looked a just a little too road weary but we had 4 adults, a dachshund (hi!), 2 yr old in her seat, all of our bags and snacks/entertainment in the car for the return trip and we were still comfy! Brilliant!
The Sportage is pretty snazzy looking! Especially in red, my fav car color. Take a look! It even looks great after a long drive . . .
Lastly, I will get a little dorky and personal on you here – I am a daughter of a car lover. And while I don’t know nearly as much about cars and their inner-workings as he does, I love to drive. And he taught me to truly enjoy the actual act of driving. So I have to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed the handling, the get up and go and the comfortable ride of the Sportage. We took it thru snow and rain and ice and it really handled like a charm. I could be biased because I am just happy to be driving, but the Sportage was a great vehicle! Normally I have something I would change and there really isn’t much I can think that needs to be different. Thanks lots to the folks at KIA for letting us take it for a spin.
Top Five Car Travel Trips -
Pack bags accordingly - For example, if you are staying one night in a hotel on the way there, pack a carry-on size bag with only the things you need for that night’s stay. You don’t want to be lugging every piece of luggage into the hotel for a stopover. And same with electronics and valuable. Don’t leave those in the car overnight, so have them packed to grab quickly to take inside.
Pack Healthy Snacks and Drink Lots of Water – Best road snacks are nuts with dried fruits, rice crackers with hummus and some fresh fruit or veggie snacks.
Coordinate stops as best as possible – Between the little one, me and the dog we plan a stop about every 3 or 4 hours. Plus, I need to get out and walk around and I almost always have to use the ladies. So we are more than happy to take a break. Always have everyone go to the bathroom whether they think they need to or not! And if you are staying hydrated, you will need this anyways.
Trade Every 4 – For safety, I think its best to plan to switch drivers around every 4 hours or so. You always want the driver to be fresh, on point and nowhere near snoozy. So why not switch, a 4 hour chunk makes the trip move along but yet doesn’t expect too much from any one driver.
Take Pictures and Videos - this one seems obvious, but not many people think its exciting to take pics of boring old truck stops, but it helps to catalog the trip very so well.
If you have any questions, want to share more or need any trips for traveling with kids hit me up @BabyPlannerNYC or in the comments and I will gladly get back to you. Also, follow me on Pinterest and let’s pin things together.
Thanks for having me today and I hope to see you all again soon!
**Disclaimer: Jenn was provided with a Kia to review for this post**
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