Forget the long flights, exotic resorts and spa pampering: Kristen Bell is all about the all-American road trip.
In fact, the actress tells PEOPLE she and her husband Dax Shepard probably take eight or nine family road trips a year.
“We both grew up in lower-middle class families and did a lot of road tripping with our parents,” she says. “We did a lot of camping, too — that’s a very Michigan thing to do, to get in the car and head upstate to go camping. So it feels nostalgic to be in the car.”
“It’s also really fun to get outside of your bubble and explore other states, other cities — the way other people live,” she adds. “We will often get in the car and have an ultimate destination, but along the way stop at a bunch of random cities and just experience life. I also enjoy being in a contained, small space with my family. It forces us to talk, and relate to one another. It’s just a more intimate of spending time together while having an adventure.”
Considering her love of hitting the road, it makes sense that Bell, 37, is partnering with Enterprise once again, starring in the company’s 2018 ad campaign to offer viewers her own hilarious glimpse into the future of transportation — and all the ways that Enterprise is there to help.
“Our family personally uses Enterprise and rents one of their vehicles for almost every road trip we go on,” she says. “They’re very collaborative — they listen when I pitch jokes for the commercials, which makes me feel wonderful. One of my favorite things to do is poke fun at myself, and the irony of this is I’m not a very good driver. It’s just an all-around good time in the hopes of letting people know that whatever transportation need you have, whether it’s renting or buying or sharing, that they can cover all of it.”
“They’re very well behaved,” says Bell. “They love road trips, because it’s all they’ve ever known. And taking a road trip with a kid in the 2000s is a lot easier, because you can turn on those televisions in the back when they’re going crazy and screaming. So there’s a lot of technological advances that make things easier for a road trip now than it was 30 years ago!”
“And you can pick what they watch — you make it learning programs,” she adds. “But at least it allows you and whoever is driving to listen to a nice podcast. Entertainment in a car is very important. My husband and I will download a dozen podcasts that we’re dying to listen to, and we’ll put the TVs on in the back.”
Bell also insists that it’s “paramount” to have a cooler full of “yummy, healthy snacks.”
“Because you will regret having to eat gas station food on the way,” she says. “You just don’t want to put yourself in a position where you have to eat potato chips on a road trip, because I’ll do it — believe me I’ll do it. But I’d rather have some nuts or some dried mango or something.”
One road trip that is quickly becoming tradition for the Bell-Shepard family is driving up to Mammoth, California, to stay at an Airbnb with friends.
“We have a few families out here that we’re friends with, all people our age that now have kids. And when you don’t get to see them over the holidays, you kind of want to have a friends Christmas or holiday celebration,” she explains. “So we rent a place with three or four of our friends and nine or 10 kids — honestly, I don’t even know how many kids. It might be over a dozen at this point.”
“We drive up and explore the snow with them and go sledding,” she says. “We play games every night and light a fire. It’s close enough, because it’s only a few hours away, so it doesn’t feel like a giant trip — but it is a nice way to reconnect with your friends after the holidays. And that’s something I think we’ll continue to do every year.”