Thursday, August 25, 2011

BP: Making The Commute A Little Better

Hooray for back-to-school! While I'm thankful to send my girls off to fill their brains with knowledge and let me get some sleep during the day, I'm less excited about the daily trips for preschool drop off and the increased traffic during morning and afternoon drive times.

I recently had the opportunity to attend an informational session with BP for their Commute Better program. Locals here in Columbus might have heard some of their commercials on the radio recently featuring tips on making the daily commute a little less painful as well as the Commute Better team out at local BP stations handing out commuter essentials.

A recent survey commissioned by BP said that eighty-six percent of Columbus drivers have a specific route they follow for their daily commute, even if construction leads to traffic jams on that route. I was a little surprised by that number, thinking these people must be recent immigrants to our fine city, because I was certain that most residents live by the rule that you need to know at least three ways to get anywhere in this city, since one of those routes will surely be closed or blocked.

Personally, I'm a master at alternate routes, making last minute decisions to take a side street or hop back onto the highway to avoid any stops in traffic. My husband is just as savvy - listening to us weigh the pros and cons of which route to take based on past history of traffic patterns and current traffic reports can be very amusing.

Tip: be flexible with your commute. Listen to the traffic report before you leave the house and plan accordingly. Leaving 15 minutes earlier than normal can sometimes make a big difference as well.

I also learned that not all gasoline is created equal, and that BP includes an additive called Invigorate that can help prevent damaging build-up in your engine or scrub away any current deposits that may be threatening the health of your vehicle. (And wallet.) Keeping your engine clean can lead to better gas mileage and fewer repairs.

Other useful commuting tips include mapping out your day to reduce the amount of driving between stops, avoiding school areas as much as possible during peak times, keeping your car maintained with regular oil and air filter changes, and keeping a basket of car toys to entertain your kids and reduce distractions.

My luncheon ended with receiving an awesome car organizer filled with everything I could think of to make my commute a little bit easier.

For more information on the BP Commute Better program, check out their website. Even if you're not in Columbus, the website has plenty of tips to make the drive easier regardless of location. 

Giveaway!

BP is sharing the love with one of you as well! I've got an extra car organizer available to give away to one lucky reader.


What's in it, you might ask? Well, beyond being the perfect size to place between two booster seats, this organizer has pockets to hold everything your kids might need, including drink holders! Also included is a travel coffee mug, a tumbler, umbrella, sunglasses, air freshener, tire gauge, hand wipes, sunscreen, band-aids, tissues, a flashlight, lotion, a notepad, pens, crayons and a coloring book. Oh, and a $10 BP gift card to help with gas while you're on-the-go.

To enter: you must leave a comment below sharing your best tip for keeping kids happy in the car on a long drive. How do you avoid the sibling fighting or the endless "are we there yet?" questions? Share your tip and be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Entries will be accepted until September 1, 2011 at 11:59pm (Eastern Time). One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries and contacted by email. Winner will have 3 days to confirm acceptance or a replacement winner will be chosen. US mailing addresses only.

Good luck, and stay safe out on the road!

Full disclosure: I was invited to a luncheon sponsored by BP and given a car organizer kit while there. I received no compensation for this post and giveaway, and no promise of a positive write-up was promised or expected. All opinions expressed here are my own honest opinions and, just because it's funny to say in a post about driving, your mileage may vary.

51 comments:

kygirl said...

My best tip for happy kids in the car are toys, coloring books and small handheld games.
stanleybilly(at)bellsouth(dot)net

mar said...

I keep my little ones happy in the car that is a long drive by starting the trip when it is there nap time. They sleep through most of the trip and when they awake they have books to look at.

LWons@HotMail.com

deb126 said...

Since I dont have little ones any more I'll have to think back to what we did, I always gave each of them something new to play with, like puzzles/books that kept them busy for little while & bring their etch a sketch,& Rubik cubes also would keep them busy for long time, and having their own personal dvd players worked great, they were able to watch & listen with head phones and that always worked well (unless the child is very young) also have plenty of snacks and stopping often to stretch their legs and do bathroom breaks, sometimes it was inconvenient for us but helped to break up the trip time and get them out of the car for few minutes and it was fun thinking of new games to play too, we would be on the lookout of certain types of cars & colors of cars keep scores of who seen it first, then award a prize afterward.
Thanks for the great giveaway

debis126 at yahoo.com

LissaL said...

My best tip is to have a meditation cd to play in the car when they are tired & cranky, they just drift off to sleep. That keeps both kids & parents HAPPY!

leapnlissa at yahoo dot com

hale2005 said...

Tip:

Bring some game machines along for the ride.

hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

snowluvnferret said...

I bring the laptop and lots of DVD's to keep them entertained

rugerpuppies at hotmail dot com

buzzd said...

We bring dvds, games and lots of snacks to keep everyone happy

tatertot374 said...

I like to hit the dollar tree and get a bag full of new goodies for each child. A coloring book, crayons, pencil, notebook and a few lil toys. They love it!
thank you
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

sustahl said...

I only have one child, but we have always let him know an expected time of arrival and that he shouldn't ask us when we are going to be there until the numbers on the clock matched what we told him.

My son has always kept himself entertained well. If he starts getting bored, we play the sign alphabet game or the spotting license plate games.

prizeentry @ wesharewithyou dot com

llinda29 said...

best tip for keeping kids happy in the car is stop more often for fun activities

Saving4Five said...

We bring DVD player and play I-spy! The kids and I also drive daddy nuts by playing kids music and singing really loud!

Jen H said...

I bring along coloring books & the kids ds's If its a really very long trip we may do dvd players. As long as everyone has the same items (coloring books, crayons, games, snacks) there isnt too much fighting. Plus we LOVE to sing to the radio so we do that often :)

Deb said...

My little ones are my Grandchildren and I do the same as I did for their parents. We play games like I went on a picnic and took A: Apple, B: Baby etc. Car Bingo and so on.

mogrill said...

I go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of little toys and crafts and hand them out along the journey, they dont last long but are great for their purpose of keeping bored kiddos happy for a bit.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill12@gmail.com

katfam95 said...

My kids have to bring some sort of entertainment in the car if we'll be driving for awhile. They like Roadtrip Bingo, Mad Libs, books on CD, etc.

katfam95 at aim dot com

buzzd said...

Games, toys and dvds if they start fighting distract them with a game.

Erin E said...

My tip is to bring along their favorite toy or activity - Keeping them occupied means less stress on Mom! Thank you for the lovely giveaway.
sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

bleush said...

read a book or listen to music

Gayle C said...

Separate DVD players and headphones. It keeps the peace on so many levels.

chrisdeglen(at)gmail(dot)com

KowgirlsRule said...

My best advice is to invest in an in-car DVD player. Amazing!

blue65829 said...

My best tip is to play a road game like I spy or bring along a portable DVD player for emergencies!

jsc123 said...

Before going on a trip I pack each of my children a backpack.
Depending on which child the backpack belongs to it might contain a book, blanket, small pillow, game, favorite toy, snacks, coloring books and crayons etc. I also include a couple of surprises.
It makes travel so much more pleasant for everyone.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

Gina F. said...

The best tips are games, toys and dvds for the long road trips.

ginaferrell3 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Things to color and dvd's always help us.
shawnac68@hotmail.com

Brittney said...

I always take plenty of books and my daughters ds on car trips. We also have cds of her favorite songs that we sing along to.
brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

Erica C. said...

We bring a lot of snacks and a lot of activities to keep the kids entertained.
ericacarnes(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie said...

we take DVD players along to keep the kids occupied....one kid sits in the front with Dad..the other in the back with me to avoid conflict.lol
sometimes it worksl :)
aunteegem@yahoo.com
thanks

abfantom said...

Pack all the kiddie's electronics in the car: my daughter's DVD player, Nintendo DS and books keep her VERY busy during long car rides.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

Tammy said...

We bring a variety of solo toys and sharing toys!

Jennifer M said...

Lots of snacks, books, and a portable DVD player for long trips.

April said...

Give them some kind of contest so they can play against each other.
april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com

Kim said...

My tip is to provide plenty to do and make sure the kids have plenty to snack on.

dddiva said...

My best tip is to let them each pack a bag of non-messy things to do (think Etch A Sketch, Rubiks Cube) and stop every couple of hours to stretch out legs, have a snack & potty break, etc.

discriminating_diva at yahoo dot com

Janine B. said...

I have games for my kids on the ipos. It's been a lifesaver! Thanks for the great giveaway! janeener (at) gmail (.) com

Harriett said...

My best tip is to bring a few things along that they enjoy doing. Something that they can have all to themselves.

Becky said...

We usually have a bag of stuff for the kids to do and movies to watch...and play Car Bingo.(usually bought at Cracker Barrell)

amyd said...

dvd player and lots of movies,healthy snacks and drink
ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

mail4rosey said...

We give my son the iTouch when he gets too antsy. He loves it and there are kid-friendly apps on there that make the trip go faster (for everyone!).

msurosey@yahoo.com

Chisum Crew said...

My best tip is music, hand held games and books to keep them occupied. trinitygsd at yahoo dto mc

carolpie said...

DVDs, music, family games, all involved, and most of all some new toy or toys and treats to keep them busy. Gotta make it fun!
spencer1953 at gmail dot com.

Kim said...

I like to keep plenty of games and snacks in the car to keep them busy.

latishajean said...

I would say bring some games to play in the car and portable DVD player is great for hours of driving! great giveaway thank you.
tishajean@ charter.net

yadgirl said...

Keep kids comfy by having snacks and pillows on hand.

Unknown said...

We love to have singalongs on long trips! Always cheers the little ones up when they start to get cranky ;)





cassia.money@gmail.com

Amber said...

My tip is to keep good snacks like almond or apples with almond butter on hand!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

My tip is to create "treasure boxes" filled with new dollar store items!!

Meghan
meghan_l_p@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

My Best Tips:

We listen to story audio Cd's. Everyone gets into the story we forget how long we have been in the car.

Singing good songs, jokes and good food. lol!

Thank you,

Crystal

email: minercrystal@ymail.com

Tabathia said...

My older kids are big readers, so they bring along plenty of new releases (books or audio) and their set and for the youngest member I bring along a portable dvd player for the wiggles, yo gabba gabba and barney
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Sheba Toliver said...

My son passes out as soon as we start moving, but my daughter is easily entertained with her Nintendo Ds.

brianpiero said...

Thanks for the giveaway...we rely on dvd's & cd's to occupy the kids on long trips; we read to them also i.e. Harry Potter !

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

slehan said...

We played a lot of looking games: Cars, signs, animals. Books, etch-a-sketch (long before DVDs). Singing.
Thanks for the contest.