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7 Ways My Minivan Saved My Sanity on Our Family Road Trip

Thanks to Honda Odyssey for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion. #StartSomethingSpecial

Holidays are stressful because — FAMILY. You know what I mean, family is awesome, but no one can push your buttons quite like someone who shares your DNA. It goes without saying that a road trip with family to see family is pretty much the ultimate in holiday stress — and something my family just faced last month at Thanksgiving. Thankfully, Honda let us test-drive the new Odyssey for a week so we made the trip in the minivan, which my three-year old Annie decided for some reason to name Uncle Ollie. I wasn’t crazy about the name (because the last thing we needed was ANOTHER family member along for the ride), but as opposed to some uncles who drink too much and rant about politics, uncle Ollie the Odyssey only made our lives easier! Here’s how:

  • Tons of room means no one has to touch (and catch cooties) if they don’t want to 1 of 7
    roomy2

    Our seven-plus hour drive found me and my husband trading off sitting in the back with our kids. Normally, we'd fight over who has to be squished into the middle seat between the kids, but Ollie the Odyssey had tons of room in the middle row. We could even slide the seats out to make the row WIDER, which my six-foot-three husband really appreciated. But, we were still close enough that I could steal my daughter's french fries with little difficulty.

  • The Cool Box meant we always had a cold drink on hand 2 of 7
    chill box

    I'm a stickler for sticking to the schedule, but my daughter and husband are always: hungry, thirsty, or a combo of the two. I packed a large bag of snacks, but the Cool Box kept my husband's precious Diet Cokes at the perfect temperature, which saved us from many stops by the drive-thru for drinks (it did NOT, however, prevent bathroom breaks...).

  • The giant trunk meant nothing was left behind 3 of 7
    giant trunk

    It's amazing how much stuff kids need, especially babies. Normally when we take a road trip I have to be incredibly strict about what everyone brings along. Inevitably, this leads to a meltdown from my daughter because I won't let her bring her bike, or her giant rocking horse, or whatever crazy item she  HAS TO HAVE.

    Uncle Ollie the Odyssey's trunk was so large that even after packing a portable crib, a bouncer, a stroller, two suitcases, a small high chair, and other small items, there was plenty of room for my daughter to bring along her astronaut's helmet. Which she didn't even play with.

  • The navigation system kept us on the right path 4 of 7
    navigation system

    The number one thing my husband and I fight about in the car is directions. We each have a different idea of how to get somewhere the fastest, and one of us (cough, cough, Mike) is not the greatest at being the navigator. Uncle Ollie's easy-to-use navigation system got us everywhere we needed to be, and we never got lost.

  • The entertainment system meant we never had to hear "I’m bored." 5 of 7
    entertainment system

    My daughter thought Uncle Ollie's built-in DVD screen was, "the most magical thing I've ever seen." We've never had a car with that feature before, so even though she'd seen all the movies we brought along approximately 1,000 times, the novelty of the DVD system had her as rapt as the first viewing.

  • The in-car Vacuum meant I wasn’t constantly screaming "PUT A NAPKIN UNDER YOUR CHIN!" 6 of 7
    vacuum

    I just ... CRUMBS EVERYWHERE, YOU GUYS! My husband is so messy! Also my daughter. 

    photo courtesy of Honda
  • The zone climate controls let everyone ride in the perfect temperature. 7 of 7
    climate control

    I am always hot, my husband is always cold, and my daughter fluctuates wildly in between. The ability to personalize every zone of the car (driver, passenger, and back seats) eliminated the "I'm so cold/I'm soooo hot" fight we have on the regular.


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