Before Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I (who have been together 17 years and married for 12) had not been on a roadtrip sans kids since 1998. I don’t count the four-hour drives between New York and Central Pennsylvania that we took to see his family or the three-hour trip to a B&B for our 5th anniversary, because if you don’t have to switch drivers or rest, it’s not really a roadtrip. But last month we had a wedding to go to 15 hours away, and the kind folks at District Drive loaned us a beautiful 2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist to test drive for a week. Along the way, my husband and I spent uninterrupted hours together without our three children, and we came up with a list of ways to reconnect on a romantic roadtrip.

 Lacrosse E-Assist

1. Ditch the family car: Maybe you already have a cool, sporty or luxury sedan as your second car, in which case obviously take that car on your roadtrip. But we have a minivan and a station wagon, and although they’re both great cars, neither is a particular “treat” for us to drive alone. Needless to say, we were excited to drive a shiny red luxury sedan. Um, that’s not my husband, it’s my father-in-law, but he and my mother-in-law were watching our kids while we went on our trip, so it was only fair my FIL got to sit in the car. “Very fancy,” he said. “Everyone in China has a Buick.”

2. Keep it clean and 3. Stop whenever you want or not at all: One of the best parts of having a loaner car for a week was that it was completely spotless. When you have three kids, your car ends up full of junk: Lego bits, scrap paper, melted Crayons, and juicebox straws. So while we had a car to ourselves, we kept it nice and tidy, using the huge trunk for storage and not cluttering up the front with anything but our phones and my purse. And of course, another perk of traveling as a couple is that we weren’t beholden to our kids’ appetites or bathroom needs. We stopped at a Starbucks drive-thru (thanks to the On-Star navigation) — something we wouldn’t have bothered to do with the kids in the car. My caramel macchiato and my husband’s espresso got us through a long leg of driving.

roadtrip 4. Visit friends: When we travel as a family, we tend to stay at a roadside hotel if we need to do an overnight during a long drive. As a party of five, it always feels like too much of an imposition to crash at a friend’s house. But since it was just the two of us, we were able to stay at a child-free couple’s house without worrying that we weren’t going to fit, or that the kids were going to make a mess. Our friends, young newlyweds, were so sweet, they even gave up their bed so we wouldn’t have to sleep on their pull-out couches. They took us to dinner, saw “Star Trek 2” with us, and even invited us to stay at their place on the return trip, so we could join their Netflix marathon of “Arrested Development.” We did, of course, and it was so much fun. Sure, we could have met up with them had we been with the kiddos, but I doubt we would have felt comfortable asking them for a place to stay.

car radio5. Take control of the radio: Thanks to the comprehensive My Link radio, we had countless choices for our entertainment: Pandora, Sirius-XM, our iTunes library, and our Audible audiobooks. We listened to the novel “Gone Girl” together (definitely not a kid-friendly book), and took turns playing DJ without once worrying about lyric content or having to play the same 10 songs over and over again to please our little ones.



Ultimately our roadtrip to a dear friend’s wedding was made affordable by driving instead of flying to a second-tier airport. We saved hundreds of dollars by driving a fuel-efficient sedan, and because it was just us, we had a great time talking and listening to music and just being together the entire long drive. Thank you District Drive for the opportunity to drive the Buick LaCrosse!

wedding selfie

Sandie, The DC Editor in Chief, blogs about Young Adult literature at Teen Lit Rocks and reviews movies and books at Common Sense Media.