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21 May 2011

Do car trips and sanity go together?

I make no claims to being an expert on this subject.  While we've gone on many day trips and a few weekend getaways, our upcoming beach trip is the first week long excursion since having kids.  Our longest trip with the kids was a 6 hour drive last summer.  And we had Mammaw & Pappaw with us to help.

I have, however, gotten good at the art of distraction.  Frequent leg stretches, bathroom breaks and change in activities go a long way for a more peaceful trip.  I've also learned from this picture, that seating arrangement matters...A LOT.  It's best when we can't touch each other. 

So here's my travel plan.
  • Leave at the crack of dawn - hopefully around 4am, so they sleep for a few hours.
  • Stop at a restaurant for breakfast and move around.
  • New DVDs -  I have 2 new Super Hero Squad and 2 new Signing Times that I'm saving for this trip, plus a Charlie Brown about the Wright Brothers, 'cause you know this is all going in the portfolio. 
  • Old DVDs - some of their favorites like Megamind, Cats & Dogs and Phineas & Ferb.  I'm taking a big selection so we have some in case it rains at the beach house.
  • Charged DS's - they only get to play these for 30 minutes each day on a regular day, and then only if they've stayed in their bed the night before and finished their school and chores.  I'm counting on this being a great time filler on the road.
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks  - breakfast cookies, cheese sticks, graham cracker goldfish, apples, bananas and  Airheads.
  • I also have "junk" that I've been gathering.  My mom loves to buy them little activity books, dot to dots, stickers....things like that.  I've been saving them and have put them into brown paper lunch sacks.  I'm going to hand out a different bag every couple hours. 
  • To save our sanity, I invested in some wireless headphones.  I've never used the ones that came with the van because I was worried about damage to their ears from the volume.  I found kiddie ones on Ebay with volume control and dual channel.  Now they can listen to their movies and we don't have to.
  • We also have our USA map.  It's a place mat that I picked up last year from Walmart.  We put a sticker on each new state that we visit.  They're excited to add a couple of stickers on this trip.
  • I'm hoping for a nice rest area for a picnic lunch where we can run in circles for a while.  If not, I'll settle for a fast food place with a play area. 
Let me know if you have any other travel tips.  Just don't include reading - I have terrible car sickness.  I love the idea of reading together while driving, but I'm pretty sure I would lose it. 

Wish us luck!

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