Summer is (finally) here, which means: road trip season! These tips, tricks and activities will help maximize the fun, minimize the whining—and keep you sane.
1. Pack Kid-Friendly, No-Mess Foods
Save money—and help nix between-meal crankiness—with easy-to-pack foods to go. If you don’t happen to drive a super-family-friendly Ford Flex, with an available built-in refrigerator (yes, that’s a thing), bring a small cooler. Use plastic snack bags for berries, grapes and baby carrots. Pack individual containers of hummus, milk and juice. For items that don’t need to be chilled, buy a clear plastic food-storage container with a lid and sectioned compartments. Fill each compartment with a small amount of a different treat—try cereal, cheddar crackers, small pretzels, granola, nuts, raisins, and slices of dried apple, banana or mango. For a sweet addition, add mini-marshmallows or candy-coated chocolate. Make sure to take lots of water for the whole family, as well as reusable bottles to fill up at rest stops. And throw in some wet wipes, paper towels and a small garbage bag for quick clean-ups.
2. Create a Surprise Travel-Activity Bag
The dollar or discount store is your friend here. Choose puzzle and hidden-picture books, coloring books and crayons, kids’ mini binoculars, a deck of cards, comic books, fill-in-the-blanks books or magnetic games. Some parents like to dole out the surprises throughout the road trip, giving the children something new whenever enthusiasm wanes; other parents prefer to hand over the entire bag of loot at the beginning of the trip. Another fun twist: Wrap each item in inexpensive tissue paper to make it feel more special.
3. Control the Clutter
You’re not going to want to have to stop and root through your luggage every time your child asks for something. Keep snacks, napkins and other light-weight items within your children’s reach by hanging multi-pocket storage units on the back of the front seats. (Make sure they don’t impede your supplemental restraint system.) Store extra goodies in a secured compartmentalized cargo organizer in the trunk, then replenish as needed. For the space between kids in the rear seat, you can use a storage unit that attaches securely to the seat between two kids. Never put heavy objects untethered in a mesh storage container, just in case you have to stop quickly—you don’t want anything flying through the air.
4. Create a Trip Journal
Road trips are a great time to teach children about geography, local customs and the beauty of nature. Buy a simple paper journal. Encourage older kids to take photos on the trip, write journal entries or draw pictures of the places you visit. They can also collect maps, brochures, paper menus and other memorabilia to include. Give kids a small amount of spending money to buy “flat” souvenirs (stickers, a collectable pin, a patch, etc.) to add to the trip journal. Adding something as simple as a feather found on the ground, or a silly postcard purchased at a souvenir shop, can bring back fun memories for years to come. Pack glue sticks, tape and markers. Each evening when you stop for the day, encourage kids to journal and add the mementos from the day. Leave space to add photos when you get them printed.
5. Listen Up
What’s your destination? Podcasts on everything from Yosemite National Park to the Alamo to the Statue of Liberty are available for free online. Listen to audio books the whole family will enjoy. Take turns letting each family member choose the music. Before the trip, take time—maybe with the kids’ help—to create fun playlists for the trip. Goofy songs could include “Gangnam Style” or “La Macarena.” Or you could make a list of songs from your children’s favorite movies or those that mention different states, such as “Midnight Train to Georgia” or “Nebraska.”
6. And Don’t Forget the Electronics. (As If You Could.)
Chances are, your children are going to be clamoring to use tablets, smartphones and portable DVD players while you’re on the road. These gadgets are great—in moderation. Encourage kids to play age-appropriate electronic games and local-player games that can be passed back and forth. And bring a stash of movies and cartoons—along with all the chargers you’ll need to keep the fun going. Don’t want to overhear the scenes from Frozen one more time while driving across Texas? Bring along headphones for the kids. If you’re headphone shopping, consider those with volume limits to protect young ears.
Available in Los Angeles at Sunrise Ford of Fontana
If what you seek a full-size utility ride that is fast, safe, comfortable, smooth and roomy, the 2014 Ford Flex says it all. The Flex is a capable full-size car that can comfortably accommodate seven occupants inside its appealing interior which is fully-integrated with the latest technology. The Ford Flex is delivered in different trims which include SE with the FWD, SEL with the FWD, SEL with the AWD and Limited with the AWD and EcoBoost engine. The 2014 Ford Flex is enhanced to provide great family road trips. This innovative vehicle has a 2-3-2 seating configurations which is standard for seven passengers. Auto journalists said that the Flex offers the versatility of an SUV and roominess of a van. Test drivers called the 2014 Ford Flex as a superb crossover of both into one exciting utility vehicle.
Most notable for the Ford Flex is the revised 3.5-liter V6 powertrain that is equipped on the Flex SE and SEL as the base engine. This V6 delivers 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque tested at 4000 rpm. The EPA rates the V6 at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The new V6 has been enhanced with the new Ti-VCT or which Ford calls as the Twin Independent-Variable Camshaft Timing.
Powering the Flex Limited is the dazzling twin-turbo 3.5-L EcoBoost V6 engine that provides 365 horsepower plus 350 pound-feet of torque. The Ecoboost V6 is estimated to acquire an EPA mileage rate of 16/23 mpg.
The 2014 Ford Flex is like a stylish box with a flat roof and long hood. Its windshield is relatively straight, with flat rear/side glass and sharp corners. Its boxy shape suggests that the Ford Flex has ample interior space ready for utilization.
Available in Los Angeles at Sunrise Ford of Fontana
Remember the station wagons of the 60’s and 70’s? They were really reliable people carriers back then. As vehicles gave way to aerodynamics, maximum capacity, and technological features, stations wagons faded away and retired into the sunset. But today, Ford brings you its SUV with a twist of the classic and very lovable station wagon. They give you the 2014 Ford Flex. Looking at the 2014 Ford Flex, you will immediately why the station wagon comes into mind. With a squared-off frame and flat sides, the Flex really looks like a station wagon, albeit a more modern one.
It can accommodate up to seven passengers. And because of the boxy shape, the Flex provides plenty of cargo space. You have a maximum cargo capacity of 83 ft3, even more than that found on other SUVs. You will find it very easy to fold the second and third row seats, whenever you need to increase cargo space.
There are three available trims – SE, SEL, and Limited. The Flex offers interior features like keyless entry, air-conditioning, heated front seats, powered driver seat, cruise control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and electronic features like Ford Sync, a navigation system, and a 6-speaker audio system with auxiliary audio jack.
The standard powertrain of the 2014 Ford Flex is a 3.5L V-6 that produces up to 287 horsepower and 254 lbs. of torque. A second powertrain choice is the EcoBoost turbocharged 3.5L V-6 that produces 365 horsepower and 350 lbs. of torque. The Ford Flex is available either as front-drive or all-wheel drive. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and can tow loads weighing up to 4,500 pounds.
On the road, the 2014 Ford Flex is a great vehicle to drive, very easy to maneuver and handle. The cabin was pretty quiet, and the Flex easily handled itself even with a full load. If you want ample power and additional speed, we suggest getting the EcoBoost powertrain.
The collections of three-row crossovers in the auto market have desirable engines and features. But when it comes to the competitive edge, the 2014 Ford Flex as an all-around crossover SUV surely provides a great edge over others. The Flex has list of impressive equipment and roster of available safety features making it a class vehicle on its own. Two engine choices are available for the 2014 Ford Flex which includes the V6 engine and a twin-turbo engine which both have a reasonable amount of fuel efficiency, test driver says. The available engine of the Ford Flex is connected to an automatic six-speed transmission available with paddle-shifters. The standard base V6 engine at 3.5-liter can generate 254 lb-ft torque and 287-horsepower.
Fuel economy rated by the EPA for this base engine on 2-wheel drive is at 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway. On all-wheel drive the base engine is EPA-rated at 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway. The Limited trim of the Ford Flex turbocharged with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 twin-engine is rated at 350 lb-ft torque and 365 horsepower with an EPA rate of 16/23 MPG city/highway.
What is there to like with the 2014 Flex aside from its engine? These include the elegant interior, upscale features and electronics, interesting exterior appearance and comfortable driving.
The 2014 Ford Flex is forwarded in three gorgeous trims: Limited, SE and SEL. The SE trim has 17-inch aluminium wheels, reverse parking sensors, SYNC voice command thru Bluetooth, auxiliary audio input and power driver seat. The SEL has 18-inch wheels, MyFord System, fog lights, faux-wood dashboard trim, climate control, heated mirrors and satellite radio. The Limited has 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, keyless ignition/entry, 12-Speaker system, voice-activated navigation system, xenon headlights and other impressive features.
With all its new features, you will never find the new 2014 Ford Flex boring at all! Although it is not the best seven-seat crossover SUV in the market today, the Ford Flex still has something unique to offer its buyers– it has the capability to function beyond your expectations. The Ford Flex is one of the safest and most affordable crossovers today. With its comfortable interior and unique infotainment systems, every driving experience with it will be a memorable one. The 2014 Ford Flex features a good handling and powerful performance. Its base model has 3.5-liter V6 that makes 287 horsepower. But the most noticeable upgrade that it has is the turbocharged, 365 horsepower EcoBoost Flex that runs off up to 60 mph under just seven seconds. This lightens up the footwork of the Ford Flex, which makes it faster compared to anything in its class.
It has a new electric system for power steering, a steering unit locked into the subframe, and a faster ratio. The steering feel is now more exact, while other improvements has improved the harshness of the ride, keeping the cabin quieter from the noise while on the road.
The 2014 Ford Flex is one of the safest vehicles that you can drive on a rough road. It has a comprehensive safety package that includes anti-lock brakes, anti-roller technology featured in its stability control, and six airbags. It also has parking sensors and a rear view camera that is definitely helpful when you are parking. Aside from that, the 2014 Ford Flex has blind-spot warning system that helps in keeping your car in the right lane when parking backwards. It is coupled with the adaptive control system for greater safety precautions.
The whole point to getting the kind of vehicle that you are going to be happy with is with regards to the kinds of awesome activities that you could then do more willingly as opposed to when you are driving the sort of vehicle that only acts to make you exhausted. As such, you would do well if you are making the vehicle into something that you can really connect with as opposed to the kind of vehicle that you are going to view as nothing more than a hindrance. This will then lead to the results of you getting vehicles like the 2014 Ford Flex if class your thing. If class is indeed your thing, you will probably enjoy the 2014 Ford Flex in that it certainly has that appeal in terms of good looks that oozes class as opposed to simply being made to look good without much substance behind it. This means that even though this vehicle has an amazing exterior that lures the eyes of onlookers, it does not lose its appeal after five seconds have passed as is the case with so many others.
Just to reinforce the idea of the 2014 Ford Flex being a classy vehicle, one can look at the interior and arrive at the conclusion that what the people behind its design wanted to give was a lot of space. And lo and behold, they managed to do so with a great deal of excellence thrown in to the design.
Controlling the 2014 Ford Flex is not going to present any problems what with it being such a classy piece of machinery, but what many might be worried about is with regards to the power. A V6 engine can end such qualms though since there is certainly more to this engine than you could expect.
If you have heard of “three is a crowd” then let Ford change your mind with seven is a crowd with the all-new 2013 Ford Flex that comfortably seats seven people. A vehicle that has put big into a whole new level the 2013 Ford Flex is true to the promise of making each journey as comfortable as it gets. Worry no more when you need to travel as a big crowd – perfect for the soccer moms, the outdoor dads and even the outgoing teen – the 2013 Ford Flex can clearly provide enough space for everyone who needs a lift. Size has never been this dramatically improved with the 2013 Ford Flex and its Spacious Seating for Seven and PowerFold 3rd-Row Seat with Tailgate Feature enough proof that relaxed traveling can be achieved.
Everyday driving is definitely made more comfortable with the 2013 Ford Flex and its refrigerated 2nd-row console plus cargo and storage as well as its heated and cooled front seats, both making you at ease each time you travel. And turning your driving experience from regular to unique, the 2013 Ford Flex features its Power-Folding Mirrors, Power-Adjustable Pedals with Memory plus its Powertilt/Telescoping Steering Column all in aid for your driving pleasure.
Running on its 3.5 liter Ti-VCT V6 EcoBoost engine the 2013 Ford Flex pushes you on the road with power and strength that also prioritizes nature and your money. With high technology that works with versatility on the road the 2013 Ford Flex is also designed to take care of the environment and watch out for your budget.
Turning your driving range and fuel economy from better to best, the 2013 Ford Flex gives you both size on the road and size on your pockets – definitely a vehicle that hands you value for your money.
To own an expensive looking car with an affordable price is not impossible nowadays. Thanks to Ford for introducing us to the 2013 Ford Flex. An expensive looking car but very affordable price in relation to its gas mileage, that’s definitely worth to drive. 2013 Ford Flex can offer you a bold style and a spacious seating. The interior of this vehicle can comfortably seat seven people and you can still have a lot of room to move. An interior ambience that feels like being in a very luxurious car from its leather trimmed seats to unique trimming inside and out. You can also have a very versatile Vista roof and enjoy the feeling of being outdoors.
The comfort that the Flex can offer is one of the best in the market. It has a Powerfold 3rd-row seat allowing you with just a touch of a button to have an extra space to suit your need. It also offers a refrigerated 2nd row console that will be best for times when you are on a long drive or stuck in traffic and needed something cold and fresh.
The technology that 2013 Ford Flex gives is like no other – a 3.5 Engine with a good gas mileage both within the city or hwy. A navigation system, GPS and the very best SYNC with MyFord Touch that is voice activated so you can keep your eyes on the road while listening to the new or anything that you may like. It features a hands-free calling which is convenient for not missing any calls or text and, last but not the least, the 911 assist that will be there for you when you needed it the most.
2013 Ford Flex is how a high end vehicle should look and feel like without breaking every penny that you have.
There are many times when you should show a little dominance when dealing with certain matters, but probably one of the best means of doing so would be the kind of vehicle you are driving at the time that totally shows some muscle worthy of flexing. This trait can be found in a number of models that have muscle and size as their main points of selling, though they vary in both respects as well as in the price. But for a model that balances them all out, the 2013 Ford Flex provides some nice aspects that really bring the game.
In sheer size alone, the 2013 Ford Flex carves a pretty impressive portion for itself in the world of vehicles, but you would be mistaken if you think that size is all that it can offer. To be sure, you would also be getting plenty of that classy style that gets you to places you want. On top of that, the frame provides some nice security in its impressive and completely reliable property of durability.
In terms of accommodation, the 2013 Ford Flex does not disappoint with a space that passengers will definitely like in that they will not have to worry about how much to bring and which person to leave behind. Of course, there is the comfort that the interior design itself provides along with the excellent materials that makeup the amenities within.
The 3.5L V6 engines are known for giving drivers two things. One is that you will have the kind of power that gets all sorts of things done and the other is that you get efficiency where efficiency is due. Both can be had from the 2013 Ford Flex.