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  • Writer's pictureJon Watkins

Thanksgiving Road Trip Tips

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Just in time for Thanksgiving! Jon and Jenn share with you their road trip tips (or lack thereof). Whether your drive is an hour or ten, these tips will help the entire family stay occupied. Of course, you can also just listen to past episodes to past the time as well.

Transcript from the podacst:

Road Trip

Jon: Another episode, welcome to Our Savings Starts Tomorrow. I'm Jon, my wife, Jen sitting next to me.

Jen: Hello.

Jon: And we're ready to go Thanksgiving. This is our special Thanksgiving episode.

Jen: Is that your Turkey?

Jon: We don't have a budget for a sound effect. So, I have to do I, can you better?

Jen: No, <laugh>

Jon: It was pretty solid of a Turkey. I think Don know. We thought this would be a fun kind of topic to do for our podcast today. A lot of people travel for Thanksgiving.

Jen: Yep, including us.

Jon: Yeah. We're gonna do it as well. We're gonna leave Salt Lake City and drive to Las Vegas.

Jen: Las Vegas.

Jon: Which by the way is like six hours away but we decide six hours is too long in a car.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: And so, we'll stop in St. George, which is four hours away.

Jen: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.

Jon: For the night.

Jen: Yes. And then we'll resume the next day.

Jen: I see nothing wrong with that

Jon: Even our kids are like, can't we just drive all six hours.

Jen: They say that until we're in the car. And they're like, when are we stopping?

Jon: We're so bored.

Jen: Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.

Jon: It's a boring, you know, there's certain drives that are kind of more entertaining than others. Like if there's things to look at, --

Jen: No.

Jon: This drive has nothing to look at.

Jen: I disagree with you on your first statement.

Jon: You think all drives are boring.

Jen: There's just like all drives. There's gonna of be portions that are boring.

Jon: I feel like there was a time when you and I used to enjoy road trips together. Wasn't that a thing we did.

Jen: I know, but we're not like road warriors. What's the longest road trip we ever… Oh, well I guess we went to Kansas? We drove from LA to Kansas.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: That's pretty long. But we broke that up into two days.

Jon: Right. But still that was like eight hours, nine hours, 10 hours.

Jen: Did we enjoy that?

Jon: No.

Jen: Yeah. I was gonna say,

Jon: Oh no, that was a terrible, I got pulled over.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: It was awful. We got lost once or twice.

Jen: Why are we driving?

Jon: I had to move all my stuff out to Kansas, one bag.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: That's all we had. Speaking of bags, we’ve been arguing about packing for our trip and I think it's good to explain the difference between you and I, when it comes to packing because we are driving to Vegas for three nights Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Yep. Three nights and then driving home. We're not going to the strip. We're not going anywhere at all; we're staying at an Airbnb with family and then we're driving back. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. So, I say each kid can pack all their stuff in a backpack, including us and that's it. You pulled out the biggest suitcase like if we were flying to Ireland for a week,

Jen: We're driving, that's the beauty of being able to drive is that I can pack as much things as I want enough.

Jon: Oh, things <laugh> that's instead of a beep, I'm gonna give you a Turkey noise. <Laugh> So why? Just because you can, you're going to

Jen: Well, and also the weather, I have a love and hate for fall. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I love it so much. Yes. But it's very difficult to pack during fall weather. How do you pack for like 67?

Jon: Long sleeve t-shirts and pants?

Jen: What if you get hot,

Jon: You roll up your sleeves of your long sleeve shirt.

Jen: I'm just saying in the morning, it's pretty cool, in the afternoon, it could be warm in the sun, in the shade. It could be cool in the evening. It could cool down. I like to have options. I need a lot of layering happening.

Jon: Are you planning on doing wardrobe changes throughout the day?

Jen: Maybe. I don't know. I'm gonna have to cook on Thanksgiving with your mom and sister. And so, like that's a lot. And then I might wanna change afterwards. You guys wanna play football. Okay. You know, those memes about like Turkey trot or drinking mimosas in the morning, guess what family John's family is. <Laugh> and I am not all about it, but anyways, we have that going on. And so, I've gotta pack for a freaking half marathon, basically.

Jon: You know, the best part about that is, two great things. One I didn't even... so we signed up for a Turkey trot. I didn't even sign up for the closest one. I signed up for the one, like an hour away that starts at 7:00 AM.

Jen: Of course, you did.

Jon: So, you know, we have to check in by what, 06:30 probably, which means we're gonna have to leave like at five 30 in the morning.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: But we get to do the Turkey trot at the Hoover dam.

Jen: Right. If there's not mimosa involved, I'm staying in the car.

Jon: No, we're doing this for our health to run. So, then we can have mimosa later on. Oh yeah. And then the mimosa they're five Ks. [crosstalk04:37] I've done OSA 5k before [mumbling04:42]. But this race actually gives you the option of doing a half marathon.

Jen: I know and your stepmom was like, are we doing a half marathon? Or are we doing a marathon? I'm like, what, what are you talking about?

Jon: It's like, not even like, oh, we should have been training for this. She's like, oh, we're just running the half marathon.

Jen: I know your crazy. They're a crazy. I love em. But,

Jon: And then we're gonna come back and we're gonna play a game of two hand touch football, which is gonna get violent. And people are gonna start getting pushed down.

Jen: I know. God. I know. And then we will drink mimosas, but then everyone will be so tired from earlier on and being so early., the mimosas will hit hard.

Jon: Oh yeah.

Jen: And then fights.

Jon: And uncomfortable conversation starts.

Jen: Fights and politics and vaccine talk and oh gosh.

Jon: It's gonna be so much fun.

Jen: I can't wait.

Jon: So, speaking of drinking, we never talked about what you're drinking today. If you don't know this ..., if this is the first podcast you've listened to Jen always pops a bottle of wine for some liquid courage and she gives us a nice little review. So, what are you drinking?

Jen: I'm drinking today. Some J. Lohr Mm-hmm <affirmative> cab. Yeah. From Paso.

Jon: That's a good one.

Jen: It is a good one. It's a good steady eddy.

Jon: It's not too strong. It’s a mid-range table wine. Would you say,

Jen: I guess I would call. Yeah.

Jon: Or is it a fancy wine?

Jen: I mean, let me feel this well, okay.

Jon: She's fingering the well, ... which means...

Jen: It's pretty deep.

Jon: It is a deep well,

Jen: Which means it's pretty decent.

Jon: There is no actual correlation between well size and how Jen... she oil checks, every bottle of wine, she gooses it. And the deeper the well the better the bottle, someone told her this once and now just believes it as fact.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: I've looked it up,

Jen: You know, it has not steered me wrong.

Jon: I've had some good wine with no well

Jen: Really? Have you ever felt the bottom of a cooks bottle? <Laugh>

Jon: Flat,

Jen: Flat. Just totally flat. <Laugh>

Jon: Right. What are we actually doing with the road trip conversation today? You printed out a list and you're like, I got this.

Jen: Let's be clear. You've printed out a list.

Jon: I was trying to give you credit.

Jen: I literally just looked at the list.

Jon: Listen, this is the problem.

Jen: I do not agree with this list and I'm gonna explain why I don't agree with this list at all, as we go through the list,

Jon: You could have printed out your own list, but instead you were too busy shopping for wine and pouring yourself, a glass.

Jen: I'm sorry, some of us have bigger strengths than others.

Jon: Oh, I see. All right.

Jen: I can't do everything.

Jon: Why don't you read the list? What is this list? You're gonna give to us?

Jen: 10 simple road trip tips.

Jon: Is that like a jingle?

Jen: Yeah. <laugh>.

Jon: Is that because I did the Turkey noise. You felt like you had to do some kind of show bizzy thing?

Jen: Yes.

Jen: Okay. Hold on. Let me take another sip of my wine.

Jon: <Laugh>

Jen: Okay. The first thing on this list is pack plenty of snacks and drinks and individual portions. Ain't no one got time for those individual portions.

Jon: Oh, like,

Jen: No, like we're gonna bring like, we'll bring a bag, a big bag of chips or something.

Jon: I'll tell you what we do, we leave our house...

Jen: It's true.

Jon: An hour from here. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> there is a gas station.

Jen: This is what everyone should do. By the way.

Jon: That's along the way to where we need to go.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: We stop at that gas station.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: And everyone goes on a spending frenzy as if it's supermarket suite <laugh> and they buy all the junk food they want to eat.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: And then you guys all hike back in the car.

Jen: Yes.

Jon: With your Doritos, nacho cheese and --

Jen: The cheese puffs.

Jon: --The candy and the cheese puffs and the sodas.

Jen: Yep. And the like energy drinks for us. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yeah. Yeah.

Jon: And then we also... there's a red box there.

Jen: Yep.

Jon: And our kids have these portable DVD Players.

Jen: Oh, you know what? That's not really on this list.

Jon: Oh.

Jen: But can I just tell you if you have kids mm-hmm <affirmative> I love the portable DVD player. Look there's tons of electronics for kids. Right? Like our kids have many electronics. Like they could bring their laptops, they could bring an iPad. They could bring their Nintendo, like all these different things. But I do love having the old school, little portable DVD players. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, it's kind of Fun.

Jon: Yeah. And we let them choose their movies at the red box. Yep. And it's a thing and they get to pick two each and then what they do is they switch 'em throughout the road trip there and sometimes back. And sometimes we forget to return them for days and they end up costing so much money. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> by the end, but it's a tradition and we're not gonna stop doing it.

Jen: Exactly.

Jon: Okay. So.

Jen: Yes,

Jon: So that was not on the list.

Jen: That was not on the list, but the first thing on the list is snacks, obviously. So, we like going and getting our own snacks.

Jon: I think when I was a kid, like my mom would like make like sandwiches--

Jen: That sounds about right.

Jon: And the cooler of just sandwiches. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> we never stopped anywhere. We'd stop on the... Actually, you know, where we'd stop at the truck stops. And sit there on those uncomfortable park benches mm-hmm <affirmative> and then we'd go into the bathrooms. And my parents would scare me about the truck stop bathrooms before I went in. And I'm still traumatized today.

Jen: Okay. Anyways, --

Jon: You don't wanna hear about at that, huh?

Jen: No. Okay. Making busy bags for basically your kids, things for them to do on the road trip, like magnetic, chalkboards and trays and stuff. I will say our kids are older and they're not into this kind of stuff anymore. They're into their electronics. But when we had younger children, you know what, I used to go to the Dollar store and I would like make little bags. I really did make bags for them. And I would do like dry race boards and pens. And I would get like a fun little bag to put all their trinkets in. And I would do a what is it called? The clipboard. And then I would like print out activity. I did so many things like.

Jon: {inaudible 10:20] coloring pages. You’d print out. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> you did a lot. What happened? Did, did you give up?

Jen: I gave up.

Jon: Okay. Just wanna make sure

Jen: I feel like they're fine with it.

Jon: They're fine.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: You remember when we tried to --

Jen: Now I just download an app for them.

Jon: Yeah, they're fine.

Jen: They're fine.

Jon: Do you remember when we tried to download all those books on tapes for that one road trip? We downloaded like all the Harry potters.

Jen: Oh yeah.

Jon: And we thought like, oh, won't this be fun? We'll listen to the books as a family.

Jen: Yeah. They did not like that.

Jon: They did not like that.

Jen: No,

Jon: It was a nightmare.

Jen: They started liking it now.

Jon: Yeah. I wonder if they'll I still have 'em.

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: We'll try 'em and report back.

Jen: Yes. try activities that requires zero props. I don't even know what that means.

Jon: Like the select bug or ice by.

Jen: Okay.

Jon: Aren't those?

Jen: Yeah.

Jon: Did you have as a kid have that bingo, car bingo. and it would have like different things you're supposed to see on your road trip. And then when you saw it, you would slide over the plastic piece over the thing.

Jen: No, we didn't know, we flew places.

Jon: Oh, <laugh>.

Jen: Again, I’m not trying to sound Bouchie I'm just saying--

Jon: You're not trying, you just are.

Jen: My, mom and dad did not have time to be driving me all over the world. So yeah. We didn't know, but I know what you're talking about. I know what you're talking about.

Jon: Thank you for acknowledging.

Jen: Sorry.

Jon: Gosh. What else is on your list? <Laugh>

Jen: Try chatting for a while, this is like the worst list, John. Hey, you know what again, I don't think that our kids chat with us at all when we're on a road trip, cuz they're like in, well the first hour--

Jon: The first... okay that is our rule.

Jen: The first hour mm-hmm <affirmative> we make the kids chat with us --

Jon: Until we get to the gas station--

Jen: Until we get to the gas station, which is like an hour away. And then we get all of our stuff and then it's like, okay, now you you're honing in on your road trip time. Put your headphones on then you and I put on the like podcast that they probably shouldn't be listening to.

Jon: Oh my gosh.

Jon: We downloaded this podcast once. And we were like, oh, the kids have their headphones on. And this podcast was like F bomb F <laugh>. Yeah. It was ridiculous. And they heard Everything,

Jen: Everything. Yeah. I think they liked it. <Laugh>

Jon: They had a lot of questions at the

Jen: Anyways. So yeah. I mean, sure. If you, if you're a family that likes chit chatting the whole time, then have at it, --

Jon: Do you enjoy talking to your family.

Jen: Plan stretch breaks ahead of time and take turns driving.

Jon: We don't ever stop.

Jen: No, we do. We like, --

Jon: No.

Jon: Okay, this road, quote unquote road trip. This is a trip that we've gone on many, many, many, many times. So, we do kind of have like a rhythm, like we always stop at the one gas station--

Jon: That's an hour.

Jen: And then we always stop at the Creamery.

Jon: Oh yeah.

Jen: Which is like, what? Two hours past that.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: And then we always stop in St. George,

Jon: Right.

Jon: At the [inaudible13:25] like we're a creature of habit.

Jon: That's four-hour trip. That's all we have to stop that many times for a four-hour drive.

Jen: Yeah. But then from St. George to Vegas, we will not stop. [crosstalk13:34] it's short. I don't drive. I should drive. cuz I'm the better driver. --

Jon: Oh wow. --

Jen: --But.

Jon: Wow, gonna do that huh? What else is on your list?

Jen: Expect the unexpected. Mm.

Jon: Okay. So just like lean in on whatever's happening. Is that what they're trying to say?

Jen: I guess.

Jon: Yeah. I get it.

Jen: Okay.

Jon: When things don't go. Well, I like to do the rant that Chevy chase does in National Lampoon Xmas Vacation. So that's my thing.

Jen: This says, and this is how old this is making a CD. What or playlist for your trip ahead of time.

Jon: I Didn't read the list beforehand.

Jen: I will say we usually pick our podcast ahead of time. --

Jon: Yes, we do.

Jon: --And then we always like Audible, like if we wanna listen to a book.

Jon: Yeah. We downloaded that because there won't be WIFI. --

Jen: Right.

Jon: --Sometimes, so we're ready to go.

Jen: But we kind of like, I like to mix it up so I like to have, like, we usually listen to maybe like one news thing, something informative and then some sort of like serial killer something or other, and then maybe some sort of comedy.

Jon: Then we listen to every podcast we've ever done together.

Jen: Of course.

Jon: Yeah.

Jen: Well, we need the listens

Jon: And then you critique me. You give me an air, check.

Jen: I air check you,

Jon: As we drive --

Jon: --As we drive.

Jon: Yes.

Jen: Well, that's why I need you to drive, Cuz I have notes.

Jon: I know you do.

Jen: So anyways, I would suggest doing that. Keep your ride clean by disposing of trash at each stop.

Jon: No. We can't keep our car clean for a week; normally

Jen: God bless the people that can with kids.

Jon: I know.

Jon: I don't know how they do it.

Jon: Actually, we have a car mat right now that's not in the car because there was like water that mixed in with the goldfish and creates that paste inside and I don't know. I didn't wanna clean it, so I just took it out of the car and I'm just leaving it there until like the cleaning fairy shows up.

Jen: I will say that the last little trip, road trip that we did, I did bring a couple trash bags with us and that actually was helpful. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so I would recommend that if anyone else is just learning this trick <laugh>

Jon: They're like, why wouldn't you have [crosstalk15:39]

Jen: I don’t Know.

Jon: We hear you.

Jen: And plan your ride time to include naps. I mean, we don't travel long enough for nap.

Jon: Yeah. That's for the kids.

Jen: I guess, well can't they sleep in the car.

Jon: I think they mean like, yeah, but you say like, okay, it's time for you to nap. put down the electronics and then you give them like some Benadryl and you let them sleep for the next eight hours. <Laugh> I'm sorry. Nighttime punch. Yeah. That's how you do that.

Jen: We never do that. Dang it.

Jon: We're all only doing four hours we can't stay in a car long enough.

Jen: I know.

Jon: It's a four-hour drive. If we drug our kids at hour one, I'm gonna have to carry 'em up to the hotel room. <Laugh>

Jen: Oh, plan some surprises up your sleeve. Hmm.

Jon: That's usually just because I'll make some wrong turns. We'll end up... there's some kind of surprise. Something will happen to us. Yeah. Yeah.

Jen: May I also suggest, oh, if you're like us and you make a stop for the evening mm-hmm <affirmative> that you pack some twist off wine... You know, I'm a fan of the twist off wine when we're traveling.

Jon: I know.

Jen: You know why? Because I have so many crappy openers.

Jon: We have done scavenger hunts around town, trying to find wine openers just on road trips, because we'll have a bottle of wine, but no way to open it up. We have pushed corks back into the wine bottle.

Jen: I've severed a bottle. <Laugh> no, I've never, severed a bottle, but that'd be pretty cool if I did.

Jon: Awesome if you did.

Jen: Oh my God. Maybe I could learn to do that and then I wouldn't have to bring twist offs anymore and I'll just be like, oh, I'm just gonna bring my machete.

Jon: Yeah, that's Fine. Oh, this thing <Laugh> I hope that's the end of your list. <Laugh>.

Jen: Yep. That's the end of this list.

Jon: Well, we hope you have a safe drive for Thanksgiving. And if you have any travel tips, you can message us through Instagram and maybe they're better than ours. Our list wasn't great.

Jen: It wasn't great.

Jon: No, but this is how you learn.

Jen: This is how you learn.

Jon: So, we take notes. <Laugh> and if you wanna follow us on Instagram, we'd love for you to do so. Our Instagram handles Our Savings Starts Tomorrow. And don't forget if you like this podcast review us, rate us subscribe. Five Stars,

Jen: Five stars. You know what? Thanksgiving's coming up thankful for you guys.

Jon: Aw,

Jen: I know.

Jon: She gets thankful on the second glass of wine, just so you know

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