Let me start of with this. I have 3 kids, I work at home, and of course, I run my crochet business. I have more to do in a day than I ever have since I have been a mom which means getting ready for a trip just means I took on another full-time job. But let me tell you, this stuff will be well worth it in the weeks to come!
We are in prep mode this week. I am bound and determined to be totally prepared to leave by tomorrow. Well, of course not the essentials that we can't put in the suitcases until the day we leave. But knowing me and my weaknesses, planning is absolutely the key. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a naturally forgetful, so lists are imperative.
1. PLAN AHEAD!
We have traveled a LOT!! But it never fails that I forget things, including ideas that I had for activities in the car or along the way. This time, we have travel journals. My older 2 children and I are keeping journals with packing lists, ideas for the car, maps, and it will serve as a place to journal what we have been doing, keep pamphlets we get from places we visit, draw as we drive, plan for what we will be doing on certain legs of the trip, scavenger hunts, puzzle gmaes, and for me, grocery lists. We are staying in Air bnb homes. If you have never stayed in one while traveling, you MUST check it out. These homes have kitchens so we will be cooking our meals and eating at home. This means planning meals! It is a way for us to save money on a really long trip.
2. CLEAN OUT THE CLOSETS!
My mom is always wanting tasks and projects. She wants to be busy and menial jobs just don't cut it. My parents recently moved nearby and she must have things to do. So I took her up on this and had her help clean out the old clothes from the kids' dressers and closets. In doing this, she was able to set aside all the things I want them to pack! My oldest is capable all on her own to so this and she was a champ. My middle helped out grandma and this is her happy place as well so she and grandma were like two peas in a pod with this project. My littlest? Well, if you are close to my age, The Taz may give you a good image of how much help he was! Now we will be leaving our house organized. We are planning to do laundry on our trip as well so we so not need to pack as much and BONUS...we come home with clean clothes!
3. CLEAN THE HOUSE AND DO THE SHEETS!
Nothing says home like coming back from a long trip. "There's no place like home" after you've been gone for a while. But who wants to come home to a dirty house and old sheets. I always wait until the day before the trip to wash every one's sheets and I also make sure there is no additional laundry to do when we get back by washing every last piece that's there. This time, I have been on top of laundry so much this week, that I have been doing small loads several times a day just to make sure nothing gets left behind. Plus small loads are more manageable when there are 5 people in the house. We have been ripping rooms apart so deep cleaning has been all the rage! Everyone is participating. We will walk into a clean and organized house which will be perfect for getting back to life as usual upon our return.
4. CAR MAINTENANCE
We took the car in for oil change, brakes, tires and a nice detail. Seriously important since we don't want to lose time on our trip for an unexpected break down due to lack of maintenance. The detail was for my own mental maintenance. Three kiddos in my car everyday is hard to keep clean...and if you're reading this, there is probably no explanation needed! Each kid sets up their own "living quarters" if you will. They set up their own back pack with their own stuff with a pillow and blanket. This gives them room so they are not on top of each other while we are on the long trips!
5. ELECTRONICS/CHARGERS and APPS!
There will be a point eventually where we need some downtime while driving. There is so much adventure to be had along the way that I have no issues while we are driving if they play on ipads or watch movies. MUST. HAVE. CHARGERS!!! Also, we have some apps installed on our phones to help with things in the area. Yelp is a good one. There are some others as well. But if you're in a strange area and you are looking for something specific, or maybe you are interested in a side trip that's local to you, these apps can use your location to help you find specific places and activities.
An intense amount goes into planning for a road trip. Especially a long one. When you are taking kids or just multiple people with you, it can be challenging to make sure everyone needs are met. It is a MUST to have everyone participate in planning and packing so everyone has a say.
I, on the other hand, will be bringing my crochet. My husband is professional stunt driver, so I will be doing NADA of driving. Crochet is a must. I can still talk to him and be entertained! I am looking forward to this trip so much!! Onto the next stage of prepping and packing!