Friday, August 8, 2014

General Roadtrippin' Tips part 1

So last fall ( I believe when I was still pregnant) my mom said "Let's take a cross country road trip!" Well her plan came to fruition and we took a 17-day road trip that was over 5,000 miles! You may be thinking "wait-don't you have a 9-month and 3-year old? Are you crazy?" Maybe we were a little but it actually turned out great!

Here are some stats about our trip:
We stayed with 5 different family members' homes
and 5 different hotels
We traveled through 17 states
In one day saw 9 LDS temples
My girls saw all 20 cousins in the same week (from both sides)
Total number of hours caught in traffic was 6- big UGH!

We made tons of memories and we are actually considering making this a tradition. Today I have some general tips that I found while roadtrippin! I have another post coming up with tips for traveling in the car with kids.

Packing:
There was no way we could fit enough clothing in the car for the length of time we were going to be gone and it wasn't worth taking up the space. I picked out 7 outfits for the adults and 9 for the kids. I picked up some crates for less than $3.50 each that would fit in the back and could stack. I used one for each adult and the two girls shared one. I packed their socks and bows in baggies. The fourth bin was shoes and other things like my purse (since I usually use a diaper bag), socks, and belts. I then had an over night carry-sized bag that I kept our toiletries in. Every night when we got to where we were staying (except when we got to our final destination and brought it all inside) I put in outfits for the next day and pjs for each person that way I didn't have to lug in big suitcases each night. I would suggest putting a list on the inside of the bag because I think I forgot socks for my husband at least 5 times. 

Food:
Bring non-messy stuff. That should go without saying but I didn't heed my own advice. We brought along peanut butter and jelly and stopped a couple afternoons for a picnic lunch. Other things we really enjoyed were Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, MnMs, nuts/trail mix, Cheezits, grapes, pretzels, and my hubby really enjoyed sun flower seeds while driving. My mom has an awesome soft sided cooler (similar to this) that we kept our waters, fruit, and any melting candy in. We brought a bunch of bottles of water. When we were at family's houses we filled them up- hotel water is just too sketchy for us! At night we would freeze the water for the next day. 

Organizing the Car:
When organizing your car use as little of the floor space as possible. In our car since we had one in an infant seat she was in the middle and the floor space of her seat was where we kept out food and all the things we needed on hand. In between the front two seats we put a narrow three-drawer cart. We took off the wheels and it fit perfect.  (see picture) We had a place for all electronics. It was just out of site from a snoopy person but accessible to the front and middle seat passenger. We had a charging station for all electronics. My hubby bought this car charger spliter and we always had plenty of outlets. Speaking of charging things my mom brought a bag just for chargers that worked out great. Wherever we were we knew where our chargers were (in the hotel, at our family's house). I bought various sized plastic bins at the Dollar Store. I used one to slip under the backside of the front seats and some for storage of the kids' things (which I will talk more about in the post about traveling with them). We brought various sized plastic bags. Instead of keep around the boxes of food we put them in gallon- or quart-sized bags. The snack and sandwich bags came in handy as well. I liked to used structured organizing supplies (the bins and drawers) much more than the bags.

I have more tips in part 2 which will include tips about:
Navigating, saving money, and general what to bring

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