Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Packing for Travel Fun & Memories

This week, we traveled to the beach for spring break. We have been looking forward to some time away for a while. Our drive is about eight hours (with stops). I tried a few new things to make the trip go by easier with our three children and our big dog. Hopefully, this will give you some helpful ideas to try.

I made sure to pack lots of snacks for the car, both for the kids and for my low carb needs. In an attempt to keep spillage to a minimum, I brought empty Parmesan cheese containers to hold the snack mix. The opening on these containers makes it easier for the kids to shake out a handful of goodies and not spill it on the floor.

I made a quick and easy snack mix of Cheerios, M&Ms and marshmallows. I brought hard boiled eggs, protein bars, sunflower seeds and roasted almonds. 

To keep the kids occupied, I created a travel binder with coloring sheets and games such as the license plate game, the ABC game and a funny face magnet game. This is our first trip in our new car; it doesn't have a TV like we did in our van. Surprisingly, the kids did quite well without it. However, my oldest did have her iPhone.

I also made a new playlist that included songs from Frozen and Teen Beach Movie.

To keep the whining to a minimum, I used a reward system. I made three circles with each of the kids' faces on them and clipped them to the visor. If there was fighting, whining, talking back or disobedience; the offending person's circle came down. When we made a pit stop, the kids who had their circles clipped to the visor either got a treat or to pick the next music cd/playlist/Sirrus channel. Whomever had their circle off the visor, was assigned car clean up duty. Acts of kindness could earn your circle back up. The system worked fairly well and was a good incentive.

I also tried a new packing trick. We have a deep, but narrow, trunk space. I packed our clothes in these rectangular plastic tubs, which are easily stackable. This allowed us to stack things seat height and was easy for the foldable wagon to fit on top. 

Speaking of the wagon, I got it off Amazon figuring it was a good way to haul beach gear and stuff needed for a day at the horse track (plus I can haul my scrapbook gear to crops in it later). It will hold both kids and a small cooler and provides a sun shelter when needed. 

I also got a collapsible cooler basket for the car, beach and racetrack. I thought it would also be great for the pool. However, after two uses one if the rivets came off so I am not sure it is going to last the summer. 

With that, we were all set for a week at the beach. 

What is on your Spring Break packing list?