Parenting Blog

The Recipe for a Perfect Family Weekend Road Trip

We Bogles know our way around a road trip.

The buckled-up jaunt has become a bit of a calling card for our family over the past decade. Well planned in advance, at a moment’s notice, somewhere in between — we can roll with any type of four wheeled adventure.


As we set off on a long weekend dash to Michigan, I cannot help but think that we’ve got all the ingredients needed to make the recipe for a perfect family weekend road trip:

  • Plummeting gas prices. I’ve seen reports of mid-to-low $2 per gallon prices out there and as there’s no single more cost prohibitive piece of the road trip puzzle, I’m pretty stoked about our timing. Not stoked enough to rent a Hummer, but stoked nonetheless.
  • Clear weather. Listen, I love a good snow shower and welcome a hardy rain storm, but not when I’m trying to maintain 75 on the highway. The forecast for our journey looks darling.
  • Sun shining on our destination. This one is for me specifically because I’m dreaming of taking a few striking photos of the 313, so if I can get a few rays of well placed sunlight to strike an abandoned building or two, I’ll be very pleased to capture it with my Samsung NX1.
  • Happy kids. Duh. Who wants to travel with a pair of whiny brats?
  • 50% of the drives at night. Of course it’s nice to see shit when you are road tripping, but this brief excursion isn’t about sightseeing on the way, so in-motion sleepytime for even the happiest of kids is happytime for adults up front who’ll eagerly use the serene periods to fire up a grown-up podcast or two.
  • KIND Bars. A must have for the Mrs and I when traveling to keep energy levels up and appetites at bay. Also, the bags of apples slices, bunch of grapes, hard pretzels, fresh baked butterscotch cookies and reusable bottles of water. But really, for me especially, it’s all about the loaded-with-protein Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt KIND Bar.
  • Strategically placed hotel stays. Sure, we can do an 8-hour drive straight through but we’d prefer a pair of 4’s or a 3 and a 5 and so we’ve got Marriott points helping us break up the buckled-up portions of this quick weekend road trip, meaning we’ll be fresh and not-the-least-bit-‘get-me-out-of-this-freaking-car’ for the duration. Probably.
  • Indoor pools. All three of the hotels have ’em. Goggle-up, kids!
  • A clean car. Get outta here with your white glove, but I have scrubbed the inside as best I can in 10 minutes time, cleaned most of the windows and mirrors, and vacuumed up all the pieces of who knows what and ‘when did ANYONE eat THAT in the car?’ crumbs. So basically, our car is ready to get filthy again. But it is sparkling as we shove off, and that’s all I care about right now.
  • The opportunity to hang with friends and their kids. We’ve got a meetup arranged with a rad dad blogger buddy of mine and his even radder daughter during this trip, which’ll make this particular weekend family road trip that much more wonderful. Because any time you can connect with folks who you either have never met in person or rarely get the chance to spend time with is like buttercream icing on a cake I could eat all damn day.


Okay, so what if we don’t have another borrowed Toyota this time. The Prius V we had for our last mid-western road trip was rad, and the Highlander that shuttled us around during our 2-week PacNW adventure was so very boss, but this time we will be rocking our own humble ride.

We are very much ready to nail another perfect family weekend road trip! Aaaaand then this conversation happened last night:

Me: Half of the drives will be at night, in the dark.
Mouse: That’s why I’m bringing my harmonica!
Me: Perfect.

Heaven help us all.


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