This post is part of our new series. Road Trip Tales highlight people you know and people you should know who love travel and family as much as we do. Our first featured Tracy Moore, host of CityLine. Next up: Erin Bender from Travel with Bender!
We met Erin at the TBEX conference in Dublin. Ish and I chatted with her over breakfast and liked her right away. Then I met Josh while doing #Blogville in Italy last summer and it sealed the deal. This is one cool family. For the past few years, they along with their kids Mia and Caius have been traveling the world. This month they’re on the #motherofallroadtrips across Canada.
I asked Erin to share some tips to help with your next Family Travel trip.
What’s your favourite summer road trip memory?
The year we did the Pacific North West. Two weeks from San Francisco to Seattle and back again stopping at the dreamy Crater Lake, the amazing Yosemite and so much more. The snow had just started melting, so the weather was perfectly warm, but there was still a splatter of white on the mountains.
What is your top tip for Family road trips?
Know your limits. Our family can do 3-4 hours of driving per day. So we look at the total time needed to get from point A to point B and divide it by 3 to determine how long we will need to road trip. Then add a few more days on just in case we fall in love with a place.
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you set out on your first family road trip?
How many times the kids would need a toilet stop.
Top 3 snacks for in the car?
Big box of cut up fruit (or ready bought fruit) and cherry tomatoes/baby carrots. An energy drink for mum. Granola bars.
Worst snack for in the car?
I always buy raisins and they always end up in every crevice of the car. Same with a bag of chips. Why do I do it?
Musts on the road trip playlists?
Having just fallen in love with Nashville the TV show, I must have my Nashville soundtrack now haha. Plus the Frozen soundtrack for the kids.
Never on the road trip playlists?
My husband would say Taylor Swift, but we play it when he sleeps :) No heavy stuff – easy listening all the way.
I most embarrass my kids in the car when I….
My kids are too young to be embarrassed by me yet, thank goodness. But I can bet as they get older they won’t find the change of words I sing to songs about them all that amusing :).
My kids drive me nuts in the car when they…
Fight with each other – it’s just way too close quarters to ignore it.
Biggest challenge you’ve faced traveling with kids by car and how you handled it:
When we started our epic road trips the kids use to sleep for a good few hours each time. As they got older they were losing this nap and we had to rearrange the whole way we had been doing our road trips. Sometimes we can still exhaust them with a swim in the mornings or a morning at a playground before hitting the road and sometimes it’s car games and sometimes… yes we resort to technology.
Dream road trip destination?
We have done plenty of dream road trips:
A month in Italy -France -Spain
A week in Bulgaria
Two weeks in Ireland
A month in Wales
East Coast, West Coast, Pacific North West USA
Currently we are road tripping Canada.
But I still have dream road trips… Next? Maybe Iceland!
Follow along as we take our Dream Road Trip: at #globetrottingmama and #ExpediaRoadTrip . Want to learn more about the Benders? Follow them on Twitter @travelwitbender , on Facebook @TravelwithBender.