Updated on July 12th, 2018
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shell and the Fuel Rewards® Program, in which I was compensated. All opinions are my own.
Last year we drove across the country from Phoenix, Arizona the long 30 hour drive to Raleigh, North Carolina. We arrived on December 20th, just days before Christmas, with a moving truck and two cars transitioning to our new home. It was a whirlwind experience that was both exciting and exhausting. We completed that 30-hour cross-country drive in just 2 days. Arriving just before the holidays made everything feel magical. It’s not the first time we’ve made a long road trip for the holidays, and it won’t be the last. We are already talking about heading back the other direction to visit friends and family in Phoenix this year for Christmas or New Year’s!
Driving to your destination is an affordable way to travel, but you can save even more by being loyal to your favorite savings program for extra savings every time you stop for gas.
Holiday Fuel Savings Made Easy
Before you leave for your holiday trips, take advantage of the savings you can find along your route with this one simple sign-up. You’ll be able to save every time you fill up at a participating Shell Stations across the country by joining the free Fuel Rewards Program with Instant Gold Status. Now through the end of the year, when you join the Fuel Rewards Program you’ll be upgraded to Gold Status to automatically save 5c/gal (up to 20 gallons)! You’ll keep your Gold Status, and extra savings, for 3-6 full months. Then, to retain your Gold Status just fill up at least 6 times during your qualification period.
You can save even more by shopping online, linking your card for dining experiences, booking your travel through the Fuel Rewards Program, and even for referring friends! It’s as easy as sharing the Instant Gold Status promotion with your friends and family so they can save, too! You’ll send your unique referral link for them to use when signing up. Then, you will earn a 25c/gal (up to 20 gallons) reward the first time your referral uses their card to fill up and activate their own savings (up to 20 gallons)! It’s the perfect way to save big for your holiday travels.
Join the free and easy to join Shell Fuel Rewards program today to start your 5c/gal savings today!
How to Survive a Road Trip for the Holidays
1. Drive in the Evening – We like to start driving around 3 or 4 in the evening. That allows everyone to have most of the day out of the car, and the whole trip seems to go better if we can aim for the evening hours. The kids will start to fall asleep somewhere around 8 or 9 pm giving you quiet to get extra miles behind you. We’ll usually drive until around 1 or 2 in the morning, before the dead of the night where it’s difficult to stay awake. This lets you get about 10 hours down the road before stopping and breaks up the long drive.
2. Swap Drivers Often – A great way to break up the monotony of the drive is switching drivers every couple of hours or every stop. Driving for 2-3 hours before switching is a good block of time to aim for. It lets the passenger rest, read, or just get a chance of keep their eyes off the road while the driver stays focused.
3. Make Fill-ups a One-Stop Answer – We optimize our stops by checking off as many of the current needs as possible. This really helps avoid wasting time with unnecessary stops and keeps us on the road heading toward the destination. We’ll stop at Shell Gas Stations along our route to grab snacks, drinks, rotate drivers, and use the bathrooms. Of course, while we are there, we’ll fill-up the tank and take advantage of the Instant Gold Status promotion to save us 5c/gal (up to 20 gals) every time we fill-up!
Anyone can sign-up to join the Fuel Savings Rewards program to immediately earn Instant Gold Status and extra fuel savings through the end of the year. It’s completely free to join and easy to use. You’ll be able to link your phone number as an alternate ID to make filling up even easier once you get to the pump!
4. Play Road Trip Games – There are lots of games you can play in the car without any pieces to get lost. Having a list handy with road trip games to play can be a fun way to pass time and give everyone a break from their tablets, books, or devices. Some of our favorites are the traditional license plate game, ABC’s, and I Spy. We also like to play Storyteller, where one person will start a story and leave it on a cliffhanger for the next person to continue. It goes around and around the participants until the story comes to an ending. Another easy and fun road trip game is what we call Alphabet Categories. You’ll pick a category (like animals) and one person will start with the letter A and need to name something within that category that matches. Play continues around the car until you get to Z.
5. A Variety of Activities for Everyone – After a few hours of your favorite activity, you’ll likely want a chance of pace. Bringing along a variety of activities can help the road trip seem more fun. Some of the different activities we’ve packed along before have included:
- Laptop to get work done
- Art supplies / paper
- Army men
- Sticker books
- Activity books
- Name that tune
- Brain teasers (handheld puzzles for non-drivers)
- Get to know you questions
6. Take Advantage of Rest Stops – Another place we love to take an en-route break is at rest stops along the highway. Since we have young kids along for the drive, we’ll ask at most of the rest stop signs if anyone needs to use the restroom and if so, we’ll pull off for a quick stop. Rest stops are clean, really fast and easy to access, and have no extra amenities meaning you won’t waste any extra time than needed. It’s perfect for a 5 minute bathroom stop and to move people around the car and quick stretch.
7. Give the Kids a Map – A perfect way to teach kids about where you’re headed and how long the drive my take is to hand them a map. There are lots of books with kid-friendly maps. Let them mark your route and follow along looking for cities as you head towards your destination. They may even start to notice what’s ahead, like the state lines or landmarks!
8. Stop in Each State – If you’re crossing several states, you can make your road trip fun by planning a simple stop in each state you go through. This doesn’t have to be a long or elaborate stop, but something like stopping for a food the state is famous for or to check out a landmark that’s along your route. We made it a point to stop at every state we went through and it was a really fun way to experience the states, even in a whirlwind fashion.
9. Bring Snacks – Snacks are an essential part of road trips! We like to bring along our own including healthy options like fruit, nuts, craisins or raisins, jerky, or other items that preserve well in the car. We still always stop for fun snacks along your route like chips and candy, but the variety is really helpful for keeping the road trip interesting.
10. Pack Pillows & Cuddle Blankets – Sitting in a car for a long time can be uncomfortable. Bringing along a pillow and a soft cuddle blanket gives you flexibility to nap, sleep, relax, or change positions while still staying safe in your seat belt. A blanket can be invaluable if the driver wants cold air to stay alert but it’s too cold for the passengers.
11. Throw Away Trash at Every Stop – Don’t let clutter pile up, ditch the trash at every stop you make. Have everyone pitch in to collect all the trash in their own spot in the car. Getting rid of the trash helps keep the car manageable, even with a packed car!
12. Traveling with Gifts – Heading somewhere for the holidays brings the extra task of figuring out how to manage gifts. If you have big gifts in mind that you won’t be able to easily pack home with you, instead leave the large gifts at home under the tree for something to look forward to when you arrive home. Smaller gifts can be hidden as the bottom layer of your suitcase so your kids won’t get suspicious. You can even have some gifts ship directly to family and friends where you are headed so they are ready to wrap when you arrive.
We just got home from a 9 hour drive to Florida for a family vacation and these tips made the road trip easier on everyone. We even made it a game to find Shell stations along our route. It’s nice to have a specific station you are used to so you’ll know what to expect, where the bathrooms usually are located, and what kinds of drinks and snacks you might find inside. The kids even got in on the fun hunting for Shell signs along our route.
Don’t wait to activate your fuel savings! Head over to Shell’s website to join the Fuel Rewards Program and claim your Instant Gold Status today! Then, you’ll be ready to share the savings with your friends and family to give you even more savings before your holiday savings when your friends join!