Smart(er) Road Trips


It’s amazing how many miles you can log traveling without even owning a car. But I think that’s the thrill in it – finding out what we will get to drive next and seeing which vehicles I love most. I admit it, I am still and always will be the Hummer fan (and still miss it dearly) I was in 2008, but with age comes knowledge and practicality. Sometimes oversized trucks just aren’t needed – unless you’re living in the mountain and might get stuck in a snow drift or two (has happened and yes, we had to have a tractor come tow us out at 1am!).

Smart tip #1: Save on gas


Paying too much for gas is so 2008. So when we make our little weekend getaways, it seems only normal to use a smaller, eco-efficient vehicle (and woah is there a different with gas mileage on the highway – remember when gas was over $4/gallon? Yeah that’s when I owned a Hummer). This Hyundai Elantra gets up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway. 

So our latest trip took us to Baltimore and then Pittsburgh (which honestly was awesome at breaking up the trip distance wise). We stopped to visit a sorority friend and her daughter mid-afternoon after leaving NYC.

Smart tip #2: Don’t text and drive

car play

Now, I get it, technology has advanced – and I’ll show my age here – but voice-to-text messaging with Siri is life changing. The Hyundai Elantra we had came equip with Apple CarPlay, which means when you plug in your phone – all the features automatically function through the car dashboard. I took phone calls, would voice to text friends messages and could even put that song from Trolls on repeat for Max until he fell asleep. 

It may seem like a simple feature, but I think safety and children on the roads is hugely important and there is still so much texting and driving and bad accidents that it’s unacceptable. This feature comes equip standard in all Hyundai vehicles now allowing you to focus more on the road – and still answer that call/text if it’s super important. 

Smart tip #3: Blind Spot Assisting


Another simple yet life changing feature? Blind spot alerts. It’s so much easier and safer to have a little light pop up on your side mirrors when there is a car there then to be twisting to look behind you every time you want to merge. It will even BEEP at you if there is a car there and you put your turn signal on to merge. They professionally call this “Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.” I call it worth every penny on a 7-hour solo drive. Especially when it’s been downpouring the entire trip through the mountains, it’s dark and you’re then stuck in NYC traffic at midnight.

So until our next road trip in May – stay safe and drive smart, America!

By | 2017-11-18T06:14:34+00:00 April 21st, 2017|be a better parent, Brand collaboration, Favorite Things, Motherhood, Travel|Comments Off on Smart(er) Road Trips

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for