It’s that time of year again! Time for our road trip to the Walker and Willis Birthday Walk to Fight TTTS! I’m very excited to see my sweet friends, get a little sunshine, and raise a lot of money for a good cause. I’m not too excited about being in the car for hours and hours, but I’ve come up with some ideas to make it more fun. I’m also sharing my ideas on how to get prepared for your road trip, or any vacation.
I don’t like to leave all planning and packing to the last-minute, so I start my preparations at least a week ahead of time.
Make Some Lists
My first order of business is a list. I like to write down what needs to be done before going on the trip. This is what my list looked like:
- Make Car Reservations – Instead of putting miles on our car, we opt to rent a minivan. It’s more comfortable, we have more room for luggage, and last time it even had DVD players for the kids to watch movies. I use Priceline to get the cheapest price, and bid on my car.
- Map out our Route – We have our final destination planned, but we want to make a stop on the way, and a stop on the way back to break up the drive. I used a site called Roadtripper to map it out and find points of interest along the way.
- Make hotel reservations – Once we have our route, it’s time to head back to Priceline and bid on hotels. I look for star ratings, and location as criteria.
- Make a packing list – I do this for myself and the kids. I let my husband pack his own clothes, but I take care of the toiletries.
- Make a shopping list – everything I notice from the packing list that we don’t already have…like travel toothpaste for the kids.
Do Some Household Chores
After my lists are ready, I like to get my house in order. I don’t like to come back to a pile of dishes or stinky garbage, so here’s what we do.
- Laundry – This way everything will be clean and ready to pack
- Dishwasher – Make sure it’s been loaded and run. The clean dishes can sit in there until we return
- Clean out the fridge a couple of nights before we leave – no one wants to open a stinky fridge
- Garbage – Take out the Garbage the night before, making sure to get bathroom garbage too.
Prepare Fun Stuff for the Car
- Pack DVD’s, CD’s, Audiobooks, Leapad and IPod I’m going to call our rental car company the night before to see about the DVD player situation. We also own a portable one with 2 screens, so we have a back up plan. I’m also going to visit the Library for some new movies and audiobooks.
- Make each child a surprise bag Since I’ve known about this trip for quite a while, I’ve been slowly collecting clearance finds for each boy. My biggest score happened after Valentine’s Day. I was able to get stickers, notebooks, books, magnet pads, Moon Dough, markers, and more. My total for each bag was under $5.00. I packed everything into their backpacks, so they can easily carry it into the car/hotel/restaurant themselves and always have their toys with them.
- Pack snacks, drinks, and wipes that are easily accessible I got small bottles of water, juice boxes, and snack packs (pretzels, Pirate’s Booty…both also clearance after Valentine’s. Who cares if the package has hearts on it?!) for the boys. I also got myself protein bars and 100 calorie almond packs. Wet ones, baby wipes, and disinfecting wipes are all coming with in travel packs and regular size containers to keep in the car. My boys are a bit of a mess, if you didn’t know that by now. Plus, mommy is a bit of a germ-a-phobe.
Get Packed and Get on the Road
Once all the shopping, household stuff, and kids’ stuff is taken care of, it’s time to pack everything up, check everything off the lists, and get on the road. We’ll be taking our own car seats, our collapsible wagon (in case little feet get tired,) and some blankets for the car too.
In case you’re wondering, we’ll be hitting Louisville, KY, Florence, AL, St. Joseph, TN, Nashville, TN and Indianapolis, IN. I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures and give a recap when we get back.
How do you get ready for a road trip? What’s the longest trip you’ve taken in a car?