Thursday, September 6, 2012

Road Trips

It was another holiday weekend and our family was once again on the road.  This
time back to Ohio to see the family.
I would say we are pros of road trips.
Let me clarify, we are pros of road trips with children.  I would love to
be pros of road trips with friends across the country on our way to california, but sadly we aren't. 
(Not that I wouldn't be utterly prepared for that if that ever came up!!!)
But our road trips usually contain 4 tiny people.
From the day the kids walked into our life, we have been a traveling family.
Nate and I have had to learn fast how to do a 9 hour trip with 3 kids and not loose our minds.  After our first trip with kids included a side of the road bathroom stop, car trouble, and projectile vomiting, we learned what to have with you.
Rosie went through about 9 months of car sickness that we had to battle
but the key was to be prepared, not to give up on traveling.
 The keys to a successful road trip with kids is Be Prepared.
Coincidence that it is also the motto of the Boy Scouts?
First of all you need to have things for the kids to do, if not you will hear "Are we there yet?" before you leave the driveway.
I always have the kids pack their own little activity bags for trips.
They fill them with stuffed animals, books, toys, pencils and paper, etc.
It depends on the age what they will bring.
My almost two year olds backpack includes:
a doll baby
mini plastic toys
board books
Then we she gets fussy she has something to keep her mind of the fact that she is strapped into her carseat for a little while longer.
Also remember a blanket and their favorite sleepy (in our case her elephant).
Those make being away from home so much more enjoyable.
 For the older kids we pack:
their latest library book
pencil and pads of paper
ipod
DS (or any other handheld gaming systems)
barbies (for the girls)
star wars characters (for the boy)
and anything else they can fit in their bags
Seriously sometimes their bags are ripping at the seams.
The activity bags come in handy when I shut off Madagascar in the van and force them to do something other than watch the tv.   
 
Things I also pack in the van for all of us:
snacks (individually packaged snacks for easy holding and passing back)
drinks (usually more than one drink for the driver to keep them hydrated)
trash bags
medicine (Tylenol, Dramamine, puke bags)
socks (you never know when you are going to stop at a McDonald's Playland where you need socks)
movies (we keep certain movies only in the car for something new)
an extra set of clothes quickly accessible for accidents
blankets and pillows
{we have mini pillows and lap blankets just for road trips} 
Those are just a few of the things we use to make our road trips go smooth.  We may not use all the materials every time but remember to Be Prepared! 
Our kids now see road trips as an adventure and don't mind a few hours in the van. 
They get to play the Alphabet Game or Car Bingo, or get to watch Bambi (Gigi's favorite movie) and
before we know it we are pulling into Grandma Judy's driveway.
It looks like it will be awhile before we have another road trip, but be assured I will be ready!

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