Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Road Trip Tips: part two- Navigating, Saving Money, Items to Bring, and Memories

I have been working hard on some crafts around the house I can't wait to show you guys!

Today is the second installment of traveling tips. See the first post here.

Navigating:
We brought 4 different types of navigation and we used them all. Most of the time at least two at the same time. Of course we brought our trusty GPS. We put our final destination (going and then returning) so we could keep track of how long total we had to go. We also used the Google Map app on our iPhones to give us the best directions and update us of traffic conditions (which we hit a TON of in Arkansas, boo!). We used an atlas. It gave us distances between cities and and broader view of where and how we were traveling. Last, we used pre-printed paper directions of the whole trip. 

Stopping:
We tried to get as much done as possible when we needed to make pit stops. Gas, potty, food, and nursing the baby and we were back on the road. We had a sheet that we used as a picnic blanket in case we wanted to eat outdoors and let the kids run around. We had a pretty set schedule of when we stopped which coincided with meal times and my usual nursing schedule. For staying the night we used apps on our phones to decide. Mid-afternoon we would decide where we would try to make it to and I would begin my research into where to stay. I used the Expedia and Trip Advisor apps which I will talk about more below. 
Picnicking on a beautiful day
Money Saving:
Gas: So there is no app available on the iPhone for this (only Android) so I had to look at their website but I used FuelMyRoute.com . Once we had about a 1/4 of a tank I plugged in our current location and about where we could make it to and found the cheapest gas. We frequently found that at Sam's Club which is lucky my mom has a membership! If we were close to where we wanted to get gas I used the Gas Buddy app. 
Hotels: As I mentioned above I used the Expedia App. It is super user friendly and I found a promo code the first day to save the first time I booked on the app. We also used the TripAdvisor app to look at reviews of the hotels. There are reviews on the Expedia App but I just like to double check there to make sure.

General Tips for things to bring:
  • First Aid kit with (at least) bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, and stomach, headache, and allergy medicine. 
  • Strings, paper, tape, scissors, and pens. Trust me in case you need to fix something or make something stay in place. I created a paper towel holder with the string and we tied it onto the handles on the back of one of the chairs.
  • Air freshener. Trust it will get gross smelling especially if you were lucky like us and had a puker on the first day!
  • Grocery bags for trash or other carrying needs. Both the paper towel and the trash hung by a baby toy chain link.
  • Sunscreen 
  • Camera (which is easily accessible)
  • Single dollar bills for tolls
  • Pillows for kids and adults
  • Sheet- as mentioned above we used it as a picnic blanket and we also put it over the baby when she napped so she could have some darkness and peace.
  • Gallon sized bags to put snacks once they get opened and all different sizes of baggies.
  • Club membership cards. 

Memories:
Along our trip we did a few things to remember the fun times we had. I made a calendar of our trip. It gave us a visual of when we needed to leave and how long things had and would take. Each day we also wrote in box where we went, funny, sad, and fun things that happened. On the back we wrote our memories about each state. We also took a picture of each state welcome sign. 

I have one more post to write about traveling with kids! Do you have and tried and true methods of traveling?!


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