Thursday, August 04 2016 09:49

Five Essentials for a Late Summer Road Trip...

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias


In just a few weeks, the school bells will be ringing as kids prepare to rock the halls for another year of learning. While that means that the Back-to-School season is officially upon us as families shop for school supplies and new clothes for fall, it also means that we're just about to "the dog days of summer" - a time when families will be out there rockin' the road once more for a late summer road trip. Whether it's a far-off locale or a quick weekend run to a fun spot just hours away, it's always important to hit the road prepared - both the family and the ride. For me, that means a trip to the Walmart Auto Center for an oil change

Oil Change: Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® for folks like us (over 75K miles), Pennzoil Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology for vehicles under 75K miles.

I have the opportunity to drive a lot of different vehicles every year as part of "Rock Father Rides," but our daily drivers are a lot more modest. Both my wife's Chevrolet Equinox and my Scion xB are high mileage vehicles, with over 100,000 miles on the Chevy, and a whopping 154,000+ on my Scion. I've sung the praises of Pennzoil Platinum in the past, but Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle is where it's at for our cars now. The High Mileage oil is specially-formulated to help clean out the gunk that lesser oils can leave behind, keeping new and late model vehicles with over 75K miles running clean. Now through September 28, 2016, High Mileage oil changes are on Rollback from $39.88 to $35.88 so you can get it changed at Walmart while you're shopping for road trip supplies... or school supplies.

Oil Change

Music: Every proper road trip requires an equally proper playlist, and I've got you covered!

THE ROCK FATHER presents Rockin' the Road Vol. 1: A Rock Father Rides Road Trip Playlist was curated by yours truly and is available exclusively on Spotify. Featuring 45 songs from the likes of Aerosmith, Teddybears, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Product of Hate, Lindsay Buckingham (from National Lampoon's VACATION, of course!), Panic! At The Disco, Jerry Reed, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Muppets, Social Distortion, AC/DC and more, there's something for everyone in this high-octane collection of tunes that's available to anyone using the Spotify App. Want a preview? Check the player below...

Rides for the Kids:

It's fairly common to find some diecast cars stashed in the backseats of our cars here at Rock Father HQ. The girls want in on the automotive fun as well, and with a basic assortment vehicles starting at just $0.94 at Walmart, it just feels right to let the kids pick out some fresh rides for the road trip. In fact, at ages 4 & 7, they already have a significantly larger collection than I had... for my entire childhood.

Hot Wheels

Reading Material: Comics for the Kids, Magazines for the Grownups

Having fresh reading material in the car is essential, though I find magazines for grownups and comic books for the kids work better than novels and chapter books.  The Rock Daughters™ current comic book interests are just as diverse as you'd expect - from superheroes to supernatural.


A Destination with Room to Explore:

One of the most important things about a road trip that some people forget is that it's not just the final destination that matters. Leave yourself time to get off the main drag and to explore! There's so many cool things you might miss, so even a quick stop at an unfamiliar exit may yield treasures in scenery that you may not have even known about or seen had you not taken a detour. Things like this big bike...


Where will the road take YOU?

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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