This series is based on our last trip. We have just today gotten back from a trip down to L.A. I must say that it was just a wonderful trip. We got to celebrate my Grandmas 90th birthday in their home that they have lived in for 61 years. This in itself is pretty amazing and I will probably write more about that later. For now lets talk about the drive. For us it is about a 6 hour drive down. This is of course based on perfect conditions. No traffic or road construction or melt downs.
The first thing I do is do a little (ok a lot of) planning. We were leaving Thursday morning so; everything needs to be packed by Wednesday, everything needs to be washed by Tuesday, last minuet purchases such as snacks need to be done on Monday. This means I also need a list of snacks and other purchases. I also tend to write a packing lists for myself and the kidlet. Hubby is on his own. This was probably all learned from the Flylady.net packing list. She has a free printable on her site http://www.flylady.net/i/pdf/packing_coj.pdf. Of course as with everything we modified it to fit our family. Besides the clothing we will need some car entertainment.
On Monday I bring the toy box out. Here it is below.
It gets unceremoniously plopped down in the middle of the living room. I then tell Little versions of “we will be going in a long car trip in a few days. We are going to Great Grandpa’s and Great Grandma’s house. This is your toy box to pack any toys, or books, or anything else you want to bring with you.” I repeat this several times a day for the next 3 days.
I find a lot of benefit to this. For one thing Little is really aware that we will be going and she can ask all the questions she wants. She has adequate time to mentally prepare herself. I tell her it might be a long trip but I know she can do it, and she will get to see her cousins. This also gives her plenty of time to choose what toys she wants to bring. She spent the next few days putting toys in the box and taking them out. She looked like she really enjoyed this process. This box sits next to her seat on the back seat of the car. It also comes in to my grandparents house so she always knows where her books and toys are.
The other bag that I find very important is a car bag. You can see mine above in front of the toy box. This bag becomes much more important when we visit our family in Sun Valley or Phoenix, both of which are 16 hour drives, and usually require an overnight stop somewhere. In this case for our “short” drive I have extra diapers and underwear in there (we are potty training) wipes, hand sanitizer, and a change of clothes for Little plus a jacket. I also have in here, a portable DVD player with 3 DVDs. As you know I’m not a fan of the constant screen time. I try not to use the DVD player but if it is between that or my hubby’s sanity, I choose sanity. When we travel farther for and have an overnight on the road the car bag also has toiletries we may need and our pajamas and change of clothes. By keeping all 3 or our pajamas etc together we can just bring in the car bag instead of all of our suitcases.
Tomorrow in part 2 we will talk more about what to pack and all my lists.