by Ashley Dzurilla
Hi! I’m Ashley and a mom of three living in the Midwest. Ohio to be exact. I’m excited to be working with Tires Plus and talking all about Summer Road Trips. Ready?
First things first – pick a destination, near or far. I’m always surprised to see what there is to explore just an hour or two away from us. This trip we decided to visit Hocking Hills State Park. It’s about a four-hour drive from us and has waterfalls, caves and a lot of hiking. Once we decided on a location we knew it was important to make sure our car was safe and reliable. Tires Plus puts you in the driver seat when it comes to all things maintenance. Tires, brakes, oil changes – their techs will get the job done. Knowing we had safe tires was important for us, as well as an up to date oil change. We also had our brakes tested to make sure all was good.
Now that we have a destination in mind and we know our car is ready to go, we pack. Yes, I’ll give the boys a tablet and headphones to keep them occupied for a little while. Ophelia is only 1, so she’s happy with watching a movie we attach to the back of the passenger seat. I’ll also make a fun music playlist and make sure we have plenty of snacks on hand. I try to shoot for healthy since I know fast food will be in the near future. Granola bars, grapes, bananas, crackers – things that are filling but won’t give them a sugar high. Add in a few games of ‘I Spy’ and a couple rounds of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and we don’t have much longer to go.
When it comes to restroom stops we try to maximize as much as we can. Potty breaks, diaper changes, filling up the tank, a couple squats and clearing out any unwanted trash that has accumulated. I like to keep diapers, wipes, bottles and some baby toys right in the front seat for easy access. This time around we decided to give Wes a real map. Like the ones made out of paper. Remember those? This helped to eliminate the dreaded ‘Are we there yet?’ debacle. He was able to check the map himself and I think he had fun with it. Once I know we are almost there, I’ll ask everyone what they are most excited to do. Making s’mores was on the top of everyone’s list, including mine. I decided to give Wes and Sawyer their own disposable camera to take photos, too. I love developing them once we get home and seeing what they thought was picture worthy.
So, now we have arrived at our destination! Hocking Hills has so much to offer, especially for kids. It feels good to get out in nature to explore and catch some fresh air. Here the kids can run and play and it’s refreshing to unplug for a little while and take it all in. Sometimes no WiFi really is the best. On our hike, I made a list of things for them to find and when they did, they could check it off the list. They enjoyed trying to count all the bats they could find in the caves and learned where the water comes from that turns into a waterfall. I also bought cheap glow sticks for night time which all of them really liked. Wes and Sawyer had a lesson in building a fire and Ophelia just sat on a blanket, happy as can be, covered in marshmallows and graham crackers. We also brought a little converter so we were able to plug in those clear globe lights around the outside of the car. It gave off the perfect camping ambiance light.
These trips mean so much to me as a mother. I love seeing my kids learn new things, and smile and laugh from something so simple like a s’more. Every summer we take a family road trip and I never regret it. If you plan ahead, it can be easy and fun and you’ll have a handful of fun memories to take with you. Follow @tiresplus for other road trip destination inspiration. And don’t forget to click this link and schedule an appointment with Tires Plus to get your car ready for your next Summer Road Trip. Thanks for taking the time to read and follow along on our road trip journey!