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Little Red Car – Big Road Trip!

I want to share some of our road trip experiences as a family of four. We have been regularly traveling for the past 12 years, from Winnipeg Canada to the beaches in FloridaBIG ROAD TRIP – with our two young girls… in our SMALL RED CAR.

So you may not think much of that, or you may be asking yourself so what’s the big deal about that? Well, our car is a hatchback two-door 2009 Toyota Yaris.

This car is great on gas and super reliable. It is solid and a fun vehicle to drive, especially in the city to get around quickly!

ketchup bottlePrevious to this LITTLE KETCHUP BOTTLE CAR, we had a fully loaded, leather, heated seats, automatic opening and sliding doors on a brand new 2007 Honda Odyssey van, driven right out of the showroom (big financial mistake, but that’s not the story I want to talk about today). 

The luxury vehicle

We took our first trip to Florida when our kids were 1 and 3 with this spacious luxury vehicle. We had in tow many necessities for a trip with young children, including:

Porta-potty in the car!

Oh, I can’t forget to mention the kids’ potty which was on the floor in front of the kids’ seats! My husband doesn’t make stops unless absolutely necessary! All the space in the van on this trip was a luxury we would soon have to put behind us!

ir?t=mylifediversi 20&language=en US&l=li2&o=1&a=B07DP9DT35We loved that van but we realized quickly that it wasn’t sensible to pay the lease on this vehicle any longer, so we cut our losses and got an economical little car. The first time we drove to Florida in our LITTLE RED CAR,  our girls were 3 and 5. This was a 3 day, 2100 mile drive, 10-12 hours per day on the road, stopping only at gas stations and drive-thrus. We really were anxious to get there.

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Let’s just get there!

Well, I always wanted to make road trips about stopping along the road and dawdling, sightseeing, taking pictures, perusing quaint little shhighway trafficops, talking to the locals in those funky little diners… but that wasn’t my husbands plan… just drive like a trucker till we get there, or till the kids (or mom) get too vociferous.

Our planning, packing, and also spontaneity, is what made this, and every consecutive trip as a family, a true adventure! Our family and friends scoff and laugh at us, traveling this way… we even get funny looks on the interstates sometimes! LOL! Well, let them look, we will NOT be intimidated! 

resortSadly, some people don’t ever travel for fear of so many things. Also, some wait to go on that perfect planned trip, to an all-inclusive resort. A once in a lifetime trip, that they will save up a year’s salary to go to for 7 days. There is nothing wrong with these trips, they are just wonderful, and I have been on them myself. But now, we can enjoy multiple trips a year for a fraction of the cost! As a family of four, it’s a win for us.

small car pulling full trailer

Quick travel tips

  • travel light – remember you can buy things you need as you go, you don’t need to bring everything you THINK you MAY need. We usually bring much more than needed, taking up excess space.
  • bring less clothes – you can plan to do laundry more often.
  • bring lightweight thin clothing – not too many bulky items.
  • share a suitcase – try putting 2 people per suitcase (possibly 1 adult and 1 child per suitcase).
  • pack in duffel bags – they are squish-able, therefore space-efficient.
  • purchase food items on the road – purchase the items needed for food for the day. One day at a time.
  • soft cooler bag – if needed, bring a small collapsible food cooler with an ice pack, to keep items from spoiling in a hot car.

You can do this too, with kids, with pets, with Nana, towing a boat, towing a trailer full of supplies… yes, we’ve done it all!!

For more travel tips, check out my post on Tips for Vegan Road Tripping with Kids!

Big Roadtrip Small Car

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