Saturday, July 24, 2010

A post in which I solicit your help...


I alluded to it here...or, more, I blatantly told you there, that I was going to ask for your assistance on something.

I'm ready...are you?

Okay...so, what I'm needing your help on, is our family vacation! WAIT...STOP! Don't leave yet, okay?

Here's the deal...we'll be driving straight thru (and by straight thru, I mean 47 bathroom breaks, 3 stops for food, 2 stops at drive thrus for meals, 4 pull overs for discipline, 1 stop for gas [the Mr.'s--EVACUATE! EVACUATE!!!], and one stop to fuel up...so, yeah...straight thru) for what MapQuest tells us will be a 10 hour drive.

First...hints for traveling in a mini-van, for 10+ hours, with 5 children, a husband who tends to fall asleep easily, and a motion sickness prone me.

Let's start there...

I wanna keep my advice straight!

Next up...I beg for tips on our destination...

(PS--Did you come looking for 5QF? It's just below this post...and open until Sunday night! So, feel free to join in late, if you'd like!)


24 comments:

  1. bring a portable DVD player and lots and lots of snacks!! i went on an road trip up the coast before and it was quite fun! you'll have fun too...hopefully!!

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  2. portable DVD player for sure. how about a small plastic tackle box for the littler ones to pack some of their favorite things in... a pad of paper, crayons, a couple small dolls, a book.

    my hubby found an idea online... take a small cookie pan and get lots of magnetic things, like alphabets and stuff, so they can play with that too.

    if you have games that have trivia questions, bring a box of those.

    and snacks... lots and lots of snacks.

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  3. plan lots of car games to entertain the kiddos, leave at night so they sleep most of the way and provide lots of snacks.

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  4. 5hr Energy(grape. Only grape.), 1/2 of a dramamine, movies, backpacks full of toys within reach of the short ones(next to their seat), Fruit snacks, star crunches, mini dry erase boards or magna doodles, marshmellows. When you stop, stop at a place that has a play area(like McD's or Chic Fil A) and let the kids go CRAZY for at least 30 minutes(or longer).

    Can you go get a few magazines and books for the older ones to "read"? OR. Make a road trip scavenger hunt list and make it a game! Crayon Wrangler did that for me when we went from Alabama to Texas and it was fun. I posted my "finds" via fb mobile. 13hr trip and it took me into hour 11 to get them all...there were only 10. I'm sure between all your readers, we could come up with some fun stuff!!!!

    We take road trips often, so I have very good travelers. Good Luck!

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  5. With my gang, we alternated between group activities (movies, car bingo, etc) and individual activities (books, hand-held video games, coloring).

    I also did a TON of research for mini destinations along our route this summer. It was nice because "are we there yet" syndrome didn't hit as hard when we had a cool water playground or random gigantic Van Gogh reproduction to stop at every 3 hours or so.

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  6. My mom used to pick us up and drive us down to Texas (three girls in the back seat of her car!) each summer for her six weeks of visitation. She used to make little surprise goodie bags and each time we hit a certain mileage on the odometer, we got one. Nothing fancy, usually snacks, a travel/car game, etc. Of course, this was before the DVD was even around. We had to make do with playing the license plate game and I spy with my little eye. ;)

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  7. The internet is your friend...search for car games to keep the kids occupied. I have seen car bingo games, license plate games etc online, I had searched for ideas recently myself. I ended up having a friend make me a car bingo form of stuff I knew we'd see along the way. I then laminated it. Dri erase markers are used to check things off. My 2.5 yr old LOVES it. My almost 10 yr old does too actually. You can also make mileage bags. Every so many miles give them one. In each bag there are little items to keep them occupied, cheap stuff from a dollar store etc like small pen & notebook, stickers, little figurines, stuff like that. Include a non-messy snack too, maybe something they don't get very often so they will be really excited! I hope that helps :)

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  8. Portable DVD, drive during nap & or sleep times, stop at a rest stop & have them all get out and run around for 10 minutes, and pack a cooler for the car with individual baggies for snacks. I am also a big fan of the quiet game, whomever can be absolutely silent for 30 minutes, 1 hour, or whatever length of time you decide gets $1 to spend on vacation... this can be played more than once.

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  9. For the older ones who "get" money, give them a roll of quarters (or dimes or nickels) and tell them that is their spending money. Everytime you hear "are we there yet" "how much longer" or any other whining about being in the car they have to give you one of their coins! The family that I lived with most of my teen years did that when we traveled and I think the most they ever got back was one coin from each kid. Once the kids realize they are giving up spending money to ask an annoying question they don't do it!!! Worked like a charm! I can't wait till my kids are old enough to understand the concept!
    My other tips.....suck it up!!!! I traveled "straight through" BY MYSELF & my two kids from MN to Dallas several times! You'll survive! :)

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  10. since your Bestie spent a week every summer in the Hills as a child and since your Bestie's son still spends a week every summer there now . . . call me for tips on the destination :)

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  11. only advice i got for you is pray, and maybe a little cold medicine. i distinctly remember my mom telling me i was sick and giving me cold medicine or benedryl every time we went on a vacation

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  12. Hello, Mama M-
    here's a website for you to check out: http://momsminivan.com She has printable games and all sorts of ideas with specific stuff by age group. We rarely take road trips, but now that my kids are older I like to play math games. Have them keep an eye out for the next "destination xx miles" sign and then ask how many miles have we been since the last sign? We also listen to audiobooks on CD. They can be fun for the whole family, but then again you have 5 different ages vs my two. We love Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson. You can find more info at www.hankthecowdog.com Good luck! -EW

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  13. really, all I can say, is that you're going to need every single one of us to pray our booties off for you :)

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  14. ok seriously though; my mom always kept a bag full of different toys/games that we could play with in the car that were NEW. We got one new one every hour. Didn't have to be expensive. Back in the 80s it was the magnetic hair guy (remember him) or a new, cheap book. Think Dollar store stuff. Little kids love it, and it will keep them occupied and on their toes for a new one. I also second the traveling DVD player.

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  15. uhm, my first word of advice is NOT to use mapquest...use google maps, they are much better than mapquest, so yea...

    secondly, DVD's, music, games, car bingo, license plate game, snacks, drinks, hard candy & gum for hubby, non-drowsey motion sickness pills for you, books, book lights, you could even bring an inflatable potty seat like my mom tried once, but word to the wise, they probably won't use it, I didn't ;)

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  16. Julia - my mom did that magnet thing for my little sister to try and help her spell and learn her alphabet, it's pretty neat!

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  17. We are on vacation this week and drove 8 hours, ok should have had an 8 hour drive, but my three kids couldn't get their bathroom breaks on the same scheudle so it was more like 10!! I buy new books, small toys, etc. and put in a book bag. They don't get the book bag until the day we leave. I don't even tell them about the goodies until that day! I buy new packs of markers (crayons melt in the seats! lol!) and bring notebooks. They love the new stuff and it tends to keep them busy. We leave the beach today and will make the drive once again!!

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  18. My advice would be to find a halfway stop and break for dinner and sleeping in a hotel. Break the trip up into two, 5-hour days in the car.

    We've done 13+ hours three times over the past three years, and it's just pretty unbearable.

    Once, we took turns driving overnight. The kids slept in their car seats, but it was horrid the next day on us! The next trip, we tried to build in plenty of daytime stops and just go in one solid day of driving. Everyone was snappish and whiny.

    For our Disney trip last Summer, we just vowed to stop overnight both ways. We booked cheap hotels and accounted the cost into our budget. It was very well worth it!

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  19. Found your blog through a blog hop. I also noticed your are SITS too,so I am leaving some comment love. You have gorgeous family. I can't wait to check out your blog further - hope you will stop by mine.
    Emily
    www.familyandlifeinlasvegas.blogspot.com

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  20. Portable DVD player FOSURE! Then...lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots....of snacks! Keep 'em full, keep 'em happy!

    Before our road trip last year I baked a bunch of muffins and the kids fave cookies so that we wouldn't be constantly eating sugar!! 3 little monkeys on a sugar high in the middle of nowhere? I think NOT!

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  21. When my brother and I were younger, my mom would always pack a little bag of new toys/gifts that she would periodically give us throughout the trip. Whenever we stopped--every couple of hours or so--we would get our next "suprise", as long as we had behaved and not asked "are we there yeeeeeeeeet?!?!?!?" a million times. Ha. The suprises were always little things like a coloring book or something, but it seemed to do the trick--we definitely wanted to earn that next little gift!

    Hope this might help!

    Darcy
    http://chiccollegecowgirl.blogspot.com/

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  22. I just found your blog via MannLand5...I think I might like it! As for traveling....we have done this a few times, as we are originally from Waco TX (which is between Dallas and Austin) and we currently reside in Memphis TN.
    TIPS:
    1. Plan to stop and stretch..which it sounds like you are.
    2. Keep a small cooler of drinks within reach. We sit ours in the front between the driver and passenger.
    3. Keep finger food type snacks, but not crumbly kind. We cut up fruits and such into baggies, bananas, nuts, but not chips or cereals. Too messy.
    4. DVD players with variety of movie choices...if you have or can get double screens that allow each person or side of the car to watch their own movie...all the better. Or laptops to watch movies on.
    5. Music..either for the car in general or ipods or whatever for individuals.
    6. Books, puzzles, games, etc.
    7. Bread, sandwich makings, etc for at least one meal as you travel.
    8. Not sure about the keeping drowsies away....my husband does the driving, and that is not a problem for him. When it is, we listen to music or talk about anything, everything, and nothing in particular. But that does not happen often.
    9. Motion sickness...sitting in the front helps my daughter. Closes her eyes when she has to sit in the back. She's never gotten sick on me....so it must help some. Most medications cause drowsiness, so that is probably not a first choice.
    10. Pray. Alot.

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  23. P.S. Crayons, coloring books, writing tablets (you know, if you want to be "educational"), blank paper to play tic tac toe etc and crafts that are portable...and you can find travel type games as well like license plate bingo, I spy, etc. You can take yarn to do cat's cradle stuff too....I'd look on line or Cracker Barrel store has alot of stuff like that.

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  24. A follow up to the mapquest vs google maps..

    It depends on where you are going. My little city, google maps is very, very confused. It shows my house a hotel which actually exists on the exact opposite side of town. Quite frequently buildings show up on the opposite side of the street and half a mile away.

    Can't hurt to use both and compare!

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I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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