Thursday, July 17, 2008

How I'm planning for the trip

We're gearing up for a major two-day, 600-mile road trip and our backseat will be full of two 2.5 year olds and not much else.

Even our car is not ready for this kind of a trip.

And, for two people who have had trouble going a half-hour to the outlets to shop, a road trip that will span at least six states is a bit of an undertaking.

But, the time is now, and we're ready. In fact, other than knowing I will not get my usual weekend kid-free breaks, I'm excited for this trip.

What's that saying? Plan for the worst; hope for the best. That's my philosophy.

I've been reading and researching and thinking about everything. Overthinking, as the husband might argue.

"Did you call and make reservations for Olive Garden?" he asked last night.

"You don't need reservations for Olive Garden," I said, not getting his joke.

We'll do half hour gift bags filled with something new and special, and some other prized possession that should bring a smile or two. (Same for the ride back.)

We'll have various, very special snacks to offer at certain intervals -- things they don't normally get like a cool mix of cereals, toddler trail mix and fruit roll-ups.

We'll stop every two to three hours, depending on the mood levels.

We'll pack lunch, and probably serve it in the car and let them run at rest stops and other open spaces to let them blow off some pent up energy.

We'll stay over night at a place with a pool so we can wear them out in the water and, hopefully, watch them crash quickly in the hotel.

We'll have games planned, activities ready and toys and books within reach for those cranky moments, and just to help them let off steam vocally, physically, artistically and by laughing.

And, we'll have a portable DVD player for the desperate -- and much-needed quiet -- times as well.

Whatever happens, hopefully it's not too brutal. After all, it's supposed to be a vacation away from home. Then again, isn't there a saying about there is no such thing as a vacation with kids -- just trips.

Still, it will be new scenery, a change in the mundane routines -- especially bedtime routines -- and a time to let go of the stress of only healthy meals and snacks and strict nap times.

In other words, a week to say yes, yes, yes, instead of no, no, no.

Any road trip tips you want to pass along?

This is cross-posted at How Do You Do It?

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Threeundertwo said...

All great plans. You should be fine. I would add that we pack extra drinks on road trips. Something about sitting in a car just seems to dry everyone out faster.

Don't forget healthy snacks and water bottles for the adults. You might want to keep driving while the kids are sleeping, even though you're hungry.

We always get books on tape from the library, and when they were younger, sing-along songs. There are a lot of Disney books on tape with the real actors voices and music from the movies. My kids used to really like those.

Good luck! You'll have fun! Can't wait to hear about it!

Dana a/k/a Sunshine said...

I think you've got it well under control. We just got back from a 6,000 mile two week road trip! Granted, it wasn't with toddlers. It was with my parents, my sister and my 13 year old son...but it was fun!

For a little older kids- playing an alphabet game where you are looking at signs and anything going past for letters of the alphabet to see who can get from A to Z the fastest. But like I said, probably more for older kids. It does make the time pass more quickly.

And I agree with your previous commentor - if they are asleep, try to keep driving!!!

Claroux said...

we took the girls down to Baltimore to stay my aunt, uncle and five kids. we thought it would be safer to stay with family as opposed to going to a hotel and just sitting in the dark after the girls went to sleep at 7 PM. We planned the car ride much like you have yours planned (sans DVD player) and I have to say the car rides there and back went flawlessly. As long as you're prepared (and it sounds like you are) you should be fine. Granted out trip was only three hours but had it been longer we just would have made an extra "steam burning" stop. We also planned the trips to leave right at typical nap time so they would sleep for a good two hours into the ride. I'll say it again - car rides were fantastic. staying at a relatives house....not so much. we were longing to be someplace where our kids could be themselves and breathe. They were freaked out about staying in a strange house but oddly enough they slept through the night. J & I however, didn't sleep at all b/c we were so keyed about the girls. Live and learn. Regardless, you sound like you are prepared above and beyond ( but then again, aren't we twin mommies ALWAYS over-prepared?) Good luck, have a wonderful time and I can't to see some pics!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I hardly ever travel with the kids (and at some point, like everything else, I plan to blog about it), so no tips. But I do hope you all have a good time!

Shelli said...

Maybe your girls will surprise you like my little one did and do quite well on the road trek! Hope it's going well.