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It’s Time: Family Road Trip!

by Debra Bokur

Apr 18, 2018

Photo: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Had enough of the snow-covered view from your windows? We totally get it. Now that the sun is shining and the roads are clearing, it’s time to plan a family road trip.


Instead of getting caught between the desire for stylishness and the need for safety, opt for both with the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali. For superior safety, space, comfort and road credentials, the Denali delivers — with plenty of cool factor to spare.


I test drove one myself on both the highway and many miles of narrow, steep, twisting canyon roads in Colorado. Despite it being on the larger, family-friendly size, it handled like a dream, thanks to the 6.2L V-8 engine and newly introduced 10-speed automatic transmission. The hip new grille, which offers a greater degree of airflow to the radiator, features HID headlamps and LED Signature Lighting, adding to my sense of wellbeing.


kid on road trip

Photo: Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com


Highlights of the new design include Magnetic Ride Control for improved body motion control, automatic locking rear differential Active Noise Cancellation for a quieter interior, an eight-inch diagonal GMC Infotainment system with navigation that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, multiple USB ports and accessory power outlets (including a 110-volt three-prong outlet), wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats and heated second-row seats. Plus, it’s roomy enough for the whole family to travel comfortably — including the family pet, unless the family pet is a giraffe.


Pack These

Bringing kids? These car-friendly additions to your packing list will help keep everyone occupied (you thought we were going to say “quiet,” didn’t you?).



More than 10 times smaller than the average booster seat — but every bit as safe — the mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seat is compact and super portable. Foldable, durable, in fun colors and designed to fit three-in-a-row in even small cars, it can be transported in a backpack or suitcase. Meeting or exceeding US, NHTSA standard FMVSS 213 and European Standard ECE R44.0r, it’s also ideal if you’re traveling out of the country and will have a rental vehicle.


Planning to camp along the way? If safe, reliable drinking water is a concern, pack a LifeSaver Liberty water bottle for each family member. Equipped with a five-foot Scavenger Hose that allows water to be drawn directly from its source, it filters up to 2,000 liters (cartridges are replaceable) and removes impurities with activated charcoal, and without chemicals or electricity. Available in a variety of colors, the LifeSaver Liberty is free of both BPA and BPS, and removes 99.999 percent of viruses, bacteria and cysts.


Load up on snacks and drinks for the road and store them in spill proof, see-through Drink in the Box and twin-chamber Snack in the Box containers (eight- and 12-ounce sizes) from Precidio Design. Containers are made from eco-friendly Tritan and food-grade polypropylene, and are BPA/BPS and phthalate-free.

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© BTC Bars



In handy, individual, snack-sized bags, Good Zebra Spirit Animal Crackers are high-protein alternatives to between-meal hunger. They come in vanilla, lemon and chai flavors, each with 12 grams of protein and naturally sweetened with organic honey and organic coconut sugar. The 11 animal shapes include wolves, butterflies and horses and are artistically rendered — but they’re so delicious you won’t mind biting into them. Each bag holds about 20 cookies, and every one of them is baked in America.


BTC Bars

© BTC Bars

Need to get where you’re going? If there’s no time for a coffee stop, Better Than Coffee bars are the perfect alternative. Infused with 100mg of plant-based natural caffeine from South American maca and guarana, they’re available in Dark Chocolate-Coconut, French Roast, Dark Chocolate-Cranberry and Dark Chocolate-Mint. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are used, and the bars are gluten and GMO free, vegan, low sodium and free of dairy, soy and nuts (expect for the coconut). And — except for the coconut — they’re also certified kosher.



Mental Blox On the Go from Learning Resources for ages 5 and up is a portable puzzle set perfect for cars, buses, trains and planes. We aren’t certain about spaceships, given gravity-related challenges. Made up of 16 individual pieces and a puzzle book of more than 30 challenges, the game is highly transportable with its own sturdy carrying case. Inside are 10 puzzles that can be played by one or more players.


Release and nurture the creativity and funny voices of your crew with Utter Nonsense, a card game that has players mixing silly phrases with silly accents. Each player draws seven cards from a deck of 450 phrase cards. One accent card is turned over to reveal the accent, and players must perform their phrases using that accent. The game is available in a family edition, plus a version for players ages 18 and over.


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