What Do You Love About Roller Coasters?
There’s something about roller coasters. When we heard about the Dahlin family (dad is Kurt Dahlin, aka The Coaster Guy) and their Discover Coaster to Coaster tour to visit five Six Flags parks around the country, we had to ask them some questions. Michelle Dahlin (known as “mom” to Kyle and Aaron) answered a few of our most pressing questions. You can Tweet with the Dahlins at @CoasterTour.
How much road trip experience did you have before the tour?
Actually, we have quite a bit of road trip experience. Kurt and I both went on many road trips with our families when we were growing up but recently, most of our road trips have been along the west coast. We’ve been traveling with our sons since they were babies, and road trips have been just one of the ways we’ve done that. The Discover Coaster to Coaster Tour road trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we’re really glad to be able to have so much great family time together this summer.
How is it so far? Do you wish you could do something differently? Have you learned any tricks for traveling together?
So far, so good. Everything has gone really well with exception of forgetting about the time zone changes during my planning. We made dinner reservations in Albuquerque and were a little stressed when we realized we lost an hour in the morning that day.
As far as tricks go, I think one of the most important things we’ve learned so far is that we need snacks every two to three hours. It’s good to keep your blood sugar levels stable because hungry riders make for grumpy companions.
Also, never run too low on gas, especially when driving long stretches in the middle of nowhere. It’s better to fill more often than needed than to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Since gas isn’t cheap, another trick we learned is to use our Discover card for buying gas. From July – September we’re earning 5% Cashback Bonus on all of our gas purchases, so while we’re constantly stopping at the pump, we’re also filling up our bank!
Any favorite rides so far? What’s the one ride everyone was most excited about (whether you’ve visited that park so far or not)?
The roller coaster we were all most excited about was the New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas, and it did not disappoint. It was very fast and very smooth. While I liked the New Texas Giant a lot, my favorite is still the flying coaster named Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California.
What’s your first memory of a roller coaster?
I was six and at a county fair in Georgia. It was called the Mousetrap and it scared me pretty bad. My dad took me on it at night and I cried the whole time. I never rode another one until high school and I found out then that I absolutely loved them.
What’s on your bucket list for the future (road trips)?
We really want to take a driving trip through Colorado. We want to see Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado Springs. I’d like to get to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, too.
Do you use technology in the car or are you more old-fashioned?
Most definitely. The Ford Flex Titanium we’re driving has in-dash navigation, but it also has weather reports through Sirius satellite radio and Ford Sync. Those have been a huge help in detecting traffic problems and getting us through nasty weather.
For the boys, we make sure we’re able to keep their gadgets charged in the car using the power outlets and USB port. They’re teenagers and even though I might not like it very much, they are happier when they can watch a quick TV show or text their friends back home. We’re also using a wireless hotspot when we’re in the car so we can have a constant Internet connection. This allows us to tweet, upload blog posts and keep up with our followers from the road.
What’s your favorite road trip game?
I like looking for license plates from all the different states. We are seven days into our trip and have already seen 34 different state plates. Our goal is to see all 50. The boys like to play a game where they find letters of the alphabet, one by one, on signs as we drive down the road. Whoever gets to the letter Z first wins.
Is there something you really want other road tripping families to know?
I think the one thing I’d like to pass on is that even though it may sound like a big production, taking a road trip with your family is really a lot of fun.
As long as you keep the driving days no longer than seven hours total and make sure to make the most of your spending, road trips are a breeze. Breaking up the driving with a one or two day stays somewhere and stopping to see different things along the way will ensure everyone remembers a great trip.
To get the most value from your trip, look to your credit cards to help you save. We’ve been booking hotel stays using Hotels.com through Discover card’s online shopping portal, www.ShopDiscover.com. This way, we’re able to quickly find hotels in one place, earn 5% Cashback Bonus on each reservation and because hotel purchases are included in Discover’s July – September quarterly 5% Cashback Bonus period, we’re able to earn more rewards.