We have traveled I-70 through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado enough times to know it like the back of our hand. Before kids, we could breeze through the mountains and make it to the other side making good time and with no interruptions. Kids in the car changes things. It changes a 4 hour drive to a 5 to 5 1/2 hour drive. But that’s ok. We have done this enough times, I think we finally have it down! Our 7 ways to conquer I-70 are useful with or without kids. Hopefully these tips make your next drive much smoother.
1. Plan Out Your Drive
Before hitting the road, make sure to plan out your drive. Check the weather, road conditions and closures, know your route and surrounding areas, traffic, and drive times. When we travel over the mountains, they can be unpredictable so planning ahead for us is key. We often run into weather and/or traffic. Chances are you will at least end up with one or the other. We tend to plan our trips around traffic. If we leave too late, mountain traffic headed back into Denver can be a nightmare….meaning your delay times are hours instead of minutes. That’s not a situation you want to be in with a screaming child who is sick of being in the car. (Can you blame them? I don’t want to sit in traffic either.)
2. Check Your Car
Make sure your car is prepared for the trip. Check the tires, the oil, fuel up, and make sure your windshield washer fluid is topped off. The most frustrating thing on the road is car trouble. Not all of I-70 has cell service and if you have our luck that would be the perfect place for your vehicle to give you issues.
We’ve are a little too familiar with this situation.
Let’s be honest, its easy to get tired on the road. You get settled in, the car is warm, the cruise control is set and your eyelids start to feel heavy. But wait you have snacks! Snacks are a great way to keep you awake and focused on the road. We keep “sleepy suckers” (aka tootsie pops) and gum in the truck for when we feel tired on the road. Another favorite is peanut M&M’s. If it’s an early drive we like to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Just make sure you have a rest stop to stop at after your coffee if you know what I mean.
Crank the tunes! A good jam session or tapping your thumb to the beat on the steering wheel can keep your drive groovin’! Even if the music is the ABC’s (yes we do jam to kids music from time to time) or finding something to sing along with on the radio, finding the rhythm will help you cruise through those canyons and over the passes.
Will this connect to my I-pod?
If you have kids, this is a must! Make sure they have plenty to do. Take along toys, games, books, or movies they haven’t used or seen in a while. This will keep their interest longer (hopefully) rather than something they use all the time. Think of game to play along the way; the license plate game, name all the states, I Spy, etc. The busier they are the less you will have to hear “Are we there yet?”
6. Organize Your Vehicle
Pack your vehicle strategically. Make sure you have everything you need within reach. Place the toys at the kids feet, keep snacks and drinks close by, make sure you have chapstick and sunglasses out so you aren’t fishing in your purse while driving to find them. Place a map in an easy to reach spot in case you need to take a detour. Keep you phone out in case of emergencies but please don’t use it while driving. Planning how you will pack your car will make it easier and safer to find things while driving.
7. Grin and Bare it
If none of these tips help the only thing we can say is grin and bare it. Long commutes aren’t always fun. They can be draining and exhausting but you gotta get there so suck it up buttercup. You got this!
Remember please drive safe. If you feel too tired to continue, pull over and rest or get out and walk around to rejuvenate yourself. Put your phone down. Don’t text and drive. Enjoy the scenery….even if you have seen it 100 times. Safe travels adventurers!