We made it back all in one piece from our incredibly long family road trip. We clocked 3000 miles, over 60 hours in the van and more potty breaks than ever thought possible! We did more fun things in a short amount of time than probably ever should be attempted and the kids had a blast. We are on day two of being home and I still feel like a truck ran over me. Oh the joys of "family" vacations. :-) I'll be back to my normal blogging schedule this week. Today, I thought it would be fun to share some random tips that might be helpful the next time you decide to hop in a van with your kids for an extremely long amount of time. Enjoy! :-)
1) When your toddler says 15 minutes into your trip, “Mom, this is taking a looooong time!” just laugh and say, “yes honey, it sure is.”
2) If your two year old wakes up screaming in the middle of the night your first instinct might be to panic because he is going to wake all of the other children up. You discover that he simply wants some water but you know that the last bottle of water was just consumed a few hours ago. Don’t fret, remember that cooler that is empty also has Ziploc bags with melted ice. The trick is trying to pour the water into a water bottle as fast as possible…in the dark…in the moving vehicle and without giving yourself a bath. Once you figure that out…silence attained! Pat yourself on the back for thinking of that one.
3) When you are driving down a dirt road and see a black snake lying across the road, use it as a learning experience, after all everyone is safe inside. I don’t recommend beeping at the snake because apparently it won't make it move but go ahead and just move forward slowly. It is JUST like going over a speed bump and your kids will have great fun watching it slither away out the back window.
4) Take your CD case out of the bag that you packed it in ahead of time (before it is covered with other bags) so that you aren't stuck listening to the same cd for hours and hours. Your kids might loath you.
5) Large fields…find LARGE fields and let them run.
6) Never, I repeat never, leave your house without a portable dvd player when you are traveling more than 50 hours in a van with multiple children. This will especially help keep you sane when you are driving by yourself with them for a five hour leg which instead turns into eight hours going through D.C. traffic. Those movies just might save your lives.
7) Pack lots and LOTS of snacks for the van ride…perfect to have on hand when multiple little voices say in unison, “I’m hungry.” Don’t worry, your throwing skills will improve by the end of the trip. Now you've got it down and can toss each one their selection from the passenger seat without hitting someone in the head.
8) The makers of those I-PASS things…genius! Avoid having to stop at tolls and having to roll down your window (most likely waking everyone up in the van) by just buying an I-Pass (or borrowing one from a friend)…it will literally save you money, time, and keep children sleeping.
9) Make the most of your quality time on the road with your husband and play the alphabet game, just the two of you. The competition will keep you both awake and alert. However, when you hear your husband say, “Z for Burger King” then you might want to start listening closer to where he is getting his letters from. He might just be trying to see how alert you really are.
10) Finally, being in a van for over 60 hours with your family is kind of like child birth. At the end you have something great to take home…the super fun memories (and pictures) of all of the AMAZING things that you did together! Life couldn’t get any better in those moments. However, you hope that soon the horrible memories of the van ride will fade away (and that the fun memories will motivate you) and maybe in a few more years you will try it again…maybe.
Do you have some fun family road trip memories? A funny story you want to share? I would love to hear about it!
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