Our trip was stressful at times, but I was thankful for the way we did some things.
Here's our list so maybe we can help you on future trips.
- We ditched the cloth at went for disposable diapers. (I didn't want to have to lug the dirty ones around or figure out how other washing machines would work - cost about $40 for enough to take but it was worth it.)
- Baby food pouches. I wasn't sure we would be able to find enough finger veges at every restaurant we went to, so I just stocked up on organic veg pouches to make sure I wasn't stressed about the baby food.
- Only have each person take 4 or 5 days worth of clothes. Who has room for 14 days worth of outfits for each person? Who even has 14 days worth of outfits??? We decided 4 or 5 would be perfect and we'd stop to do laundry 2 - 3 times. That worked WONDERFULLY!
- Pack each outfit in plastic bags. Including underwear, socks, hair pretties..... Every morning, each person just picks out a bag of theirs and there is no coordinating outfits, digging through stacks.... Saved SO much time!
Loading the car
- Each kid got their small shoe box sized bin to fill with things to do, plus we had a basket of toys for baby. We have one that would take everything she owned and one who would bring nothing. By filling a bin, it had a limit on what to bring and a place to put it all away every time we left the car.
Things stayed to much neater.
- Ditch the suitcase and throw all your baggies in bins. They stack nicely in the car. You don't need to have one for every person. They are easy to carry into a hotel.
- We bought Melissa and Doug's car bingo. It is really cool and has multiple types of bingo sheets to suite whatever terrain you are traveling.
- We bought a book of massive dot to dots. This was so amazing that the kids were FIGHTING over it. Most of the puzzles go up to 1000 or so, so they take quite a while.
- Ginormous book of where's Waldo's. This wasn't as popular as I had thought it would be with our two. Dylan didn't even touch it and I thought he would like it the most. I still think it is really cool.
- I brought prizes for winning bingo and Jimmy would randomly ask trivia like - how much is our bill? and - how many miles have we gone so far? for a prize.
- I filled Easter eggs with fun treats. When we got back in the car for a long drive, I would give them each one. I had them numbered so they would get the same treat at the same time. Everyone loved these so much!
- Our favorite entertainment was books on CD that we rented from the library. We listened to BenHur (we thought this was way more interesting than we had previously given it credit for, and now want to see the movie!), The Hiding Place (such and AMAZING AMAZING true story! I highly recommend.), and nearly the entire series of Narnia. We all loved it. Since being home, we have ordered the movies and plan to have a marathon movie day!
- Ask each person in the family something that they would really like to do on the trip. Lexi wanted the Titanic and to see something about Lindbergh. For Dylan, it was Guitar Center, Converse, and Cedar Point. Jimmy was dying to go to the Titanic and was very excited for Cedar Point. For me, it was mostly picking a couple things up I really needed from Ikea. We all checked these things off our list, so we all had fun!
- Don't over schedule. Some of our best times were down times. We loved to just pick up snacks and have a relaxing night in once in a while. Especially on big driving days.