Of course, driving with kids – without driving yourself crazy – also entails embracing chaos. And mess. Growing up, my dad’s car was so clean you could eat off any surface, most likely because we weren’t even allowed to chew gum in there.
My car, by contrast, is a trove of half-consumed snacks: petrified cheese sticks, fossilized PB&Js, mud-encrusted fruit roll-ups. I recently discovered an un-popped bag of microwave popcorn in the center console. Odd. Last time I checked, Subaru doesn’t offer a microwave even in its most premium options package.
But even I have my limits. The other day, our car started to smell, and I mean like death. The culprit: a rotten banana pressed between the floor mat and the floor mat protector. (Meanwhile: nice job, floor mat protector – how’d you let a whole banana slip past you?)
Lucky for me, I’d honed my skills at removing car odor in college – thank you very much, designated driver duty. Anyway, now the Forester smells like piña colada (with only the faintest undertones of death).
Point is, next time you hit the road with your family, keep this in mind: With all it entails, it sure beats air travel, any day.
Food that doesn’t spoil easily and is less messy:
- Nuts (consider possible allergies)
- Fruit – fresh or dried
- Granola bars
- Veggies (baby carrots, celery)
- Cheese – string or curds
- Trail mix
- Pita sandwiches
- Juice boxes, water bottles