Road trip

I took the boys on a road trip and, in the interest of saving gas money and being a bit more green, we took our smaller vehicle, a hybrid.  In doing so, I realize that most of what I packed last year for this adventure was completely unnecessary.

I packed each of the boys’ clothes in his school backpack.  Since we were traveling to my parents’ house, I knew we could do laundry.  I packed each boy 3 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts, one pair of pjs and 5 sets of underwear.  Of course, I packed more clothing for myself, but that is the privilege of being the mom and the packer!

The trip was about 14 hours of driving, before you figure in the stops.  Yes, it’s a long drive, but we do it in one day and it’s what I’d recommend to any other family traveling like this, unless, of course, the driver gets tired.  Then, by all means, stop at a hotel for a night’s rest.  For me, though, a bit of 5 Hour Energy gets me through the last bit and I’d much rather have one long day, than 2 long days plus a restless night in a hotel with 4 boys.

Of course I miss Horatio and would prefer to have him with us all summer, but I have to admit that being able to do it all on my own schedule, listen to my own audio book choices, have my own snacks, etc., isn’t so bad.

Recommendations I have for others embarking on such a trip are as follows:

Pack light

If you have a DVD player, take a variety of DVD choices, making sure each child has 2 he likes.

Check the condition of the headphones before departure.

Keep extra batteries in the glove box.

Use dramamine for any child who has ever shown a hint of motion sickness.

Keep a supply of sickness bags.

Pack snacks: Boxes containing small bags of pretzels, crackers and cookies work best.  The children can make a choice, eat their snack, and dispose of the trash.

Give each child a bag for trash so that the garbage does not accumilate.

If you make a stop for gasoline or potty breaks, make every passenger use the facilities, no matter what, so you don’t end up stopping again 15 minutes later.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  You’ll get there when you get there.  Enjoy the scenery!

Be safe.


About Commander in Chief At home

Erin is a military spouse and, sometimes temporarily single mom to 4 boys. She's a parenting coach, writer, teacher, special needs (Autism) mom, and much more.
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One Response to Road trip

  1. Jill says:

    Great advice, Erin! We go on a 18-hour, one way trip each summer. The last two were done alone by me and we took along our dog. Thankfully we have a friend at “about” the halfway point and there’s a pet-friendly hotel near her home (with separate living- and bed-rooms which I now require in all my hotel stays). This year DH will get to experience this adventure for himself as I’ll be staying behind to finish up a class. Your suggestions are great. Having done our particular trip at least eight times in the last six years, the kids’ needs have changed each time. Happy summer to you and all of your boys!


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