How to keep your whole family happy on a long drive

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Updated: June 17, 2019

The family road trip, or even the every-weekend drive to the cottage, is a prime opportunity to connect with each other, enjoy new experiences, and stow your mobile devices for some screen-free fun on the way. You’ll travel comfortably and safely in Kia’s 2020 Telluride, with room for eight people in three spacious rows of seats, but keeping everyone in the back engaged and happy is a different challenge. Here’s how to keep everyone in your family happy and sane the next time you pack up and hit the open road.

Pack for convenience

Fill a backpack or purse—one for each child—with a few books and toys, including a new (inexpensive) surprise for the trip. Pack a change of clothes in a resealable plastic bag, and pop it in the backpack too. If there’s a spill or worse, it’s ready to go. If not, your child has an outfit ready for tomorrow.

Bring a backseat “desk”

Cookie sheets make handy laptop desks for colouring, postcard writing, or holding magnetic travel games. They corral snacks, pencils, and other gear and can easily be stacked and stowed away in the Telluride’s seat-back pockets.

Combat snack attacks

Bored kids eat quickly. Spread snacks out over the trip time, use favourite landmarks as signals to eat, or just hold back a treat for the right moment. Pack healthy bites like edamame—squeezing the beans from the pods is fun; just remember a container for the empties. Or prepare mess-free veggie-hummus jars for each passenger. Spoon hummus, or another favourite dip, into the bottom of a mason jar, and add veggie sticks—carrot and celery, of course, plus zucchini, fennel, mini-cucumbers, peppers, or other vegetables—all placed upright in the jar so one end is planted in the hummus.

Talk a good game

The true object of classic car games, like I Spy or Twenty Questions, is to spark family conversations. Even better is a game of What If, where everyone discusses questions based on silly or thoughtful hypotheticals. Need inspiration? Listen to the “What If World” podcast. Young children ask questions and the storyteller host responds. Even adults will enjoy episodes like “What if trains were made of ice cream?” or “What if crabs could dance?”

Build those listening skills

With a podcast playing over the Telluride’s optional Harmon Kardon sound system*, everyone can be entertained while still experiencing the passing scenery, screen free. There are family-friendly science and nature podcasts to engage adults and kids. BBC’s The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry investigates science mysteries; Every Little Thing explores everyday objects including forks, bubblegum, and lottery scratch tickets; and HumaNature tells stories of encounters between people and the natural world. Or, if science isn’t your thing, listen to a favourite audiobook or sing along to the soundtrack of your favourite musical.

Grab their attention

On a long family trip, every driver occasionally plays tour guide or referee. The Telluride’s Driver Talk function lets you amplify your voice through the rear speakers, so you don’t have to yell or turn around to authoritatively point out a roadside attraction or call off a game of Punch Buggy.

Check for hazards

Kids are often eager to hop out at stops, and they don’t always check for passing traffic. If a hazard is approaching, the Telluride’s Standard Safe Exit Assist** locks the rear doors and doesn’t let passengers out until its safe. Telluride has your back.

Skip the truck stop

Instead of a highwayside fast-food lunch, bring a simple picnic and pause at a rest stop with some green space—where you can truly stretch your legs. Take a short trail walk, practise your soccer or frisbee passes, or just grab a skipping rope for an aerobic fitness break in the parking lot. Everyone will feel refreshed back on the road. About 20 minutes after lunch, though, small children will probably need a washroom break.

Embrace nap time

A favourite blanket or stuffed toy helps small children sleep on the trip. Telluride’s sound system features Quiet Mode, which silences the second- and third-row speakers so the driver can continue listening while your passengers nap.

Stay charged up

Don’t worry if a long trip isn’t completely screen free. Many passengers, young and old, enjoy some time zoning out their surroundings. The Telluride has them covered too, with six USB ports, spread through the interior, and wireless phone charging.

Hitting the open road for an adventure with your family this summer? Visit Tales from the Modern Family, our roadmap to reconnecting families through authentic weekend experiences, brought to you by the all-new Kia Telluride.

* Harman Kardon and Infinity are registered trademarks of Harman International Industries, Inc. Lexicon, the Lexicon logo, Logic 7 and the Logic 7 logo are registered trademarks of Lexicon, Inc., a Harman International company. All rights reserved.

** Please note that your vehicle may not be equipped with all features described. This also applies to safety-related systems and functions. None of the features we describe are intended to replace the driver’s responsibility to exercise due care while driving and are not a substitute for safe driving practices. Some features may have technological limitations. For additional information regarding the various features, including their limitations and restrictions, please refer to your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual.