Recently my family of four packed into our SUV for a 7 hour trip to Orlando. I have had several people ask me how I did it. I’m not always sure how to answer that question. Since (a) They are too young to stay home alone (b) Gas vs. (4) Plane Tickets is not really a comparison (c) We do what we have to do. That being said, if the destination is not somewhere I really really want to go (as was the case this trip), I would most likely opt to stay home.
All that aside, just like everything else I have a process.
1. Plan Plan Plan – which for me translates to list list list. Which brings me back to Springpad (A SP Fave App). I have a running list of what each member of the family needs for trips, this way I don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel. I pull up that list. Add or Delete depending on the length of the trip, conditions, etc. Then print each list and use it to pack and prepare.
2. Matter – Things that Matter – when traveling with little ones you need stuff. Toys, Books, Crayons, Markers, DVD’s, Pillows Blankets, Tablets, iPads, Mobile Hot Spots, etc etc. Even if you pack what you think is an arsenal, at some point be aware that the novelty of all these items new or old will wear off. And, if you have children like mine you will have to deal with some bickering, whining and maybe even some tears. Disclaimer: My little ones are 8 and 3.
3. Bathroom Prep – I so love this subject, NOT!! Let’s face it Public Bathrooms generally SUCK. Hubby and I have talked about creating an App just for this very reason. But, since I have yet to find it, if its a route you have traveled before make note of the cleaner more pleasant bathroom stops. And, then BE PREPARED. I always travel with Lysol, Wet Wipes, Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Garbage Bags. I wanna add gloves but, I don’t want you all to think I am OCD!! Even if I am, a little.
4. Snacks and Drinks – Last. but not least, because this is the most important part, sometimes the only way to get some silence is to put food in their mouths. Think ahead, try to get the snacks that will create the least amount of mayhem and mess. Use your own discretion, I go for Individually packaged snacks, snacks lower in sugar, drinks lower in sugar, and smaller fluid oz, so as to avoid several bathroom stops.
It is by no means, the Road Trips of yesteryear with your girlfriends. But, even through the tears, you are making memories just the same.