Road Warriors

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The summer travel season is here! We started it off in style our second major road trip as a family. The first was a drive to Chicago when I was nearly 8 months pregnant and Big Guy was 20 months old. The second was this one - a drive to Princeton, New Jersey, with Big Guy at age 3 and Little Guy at nearly 20 months. Both were 1,000 + mile round trips. Here is some of what we have learned:

  1. A stroller is worth its weight in gold.
  2. Movies = more miles.
  3. Pack more diapers, wipes, napkins, snacks, and drinks than you think you will need.
  4. An extra set of clothes in the diaper bag is a good idea, too.
  5. Always wear comfortable shoes. Always.
  6. Your car should be organized on the way there. On the way back, it doesn’t matter.
  7. Being the driver is the easy part. The hardest job belongs to whoever sits in the front passenger's seat. That person must twist to retrieve toys every 47 seconds, pour drinks, pass out snacks, change the music, change the movie, contort to read stories, pat legs, find the paci, and generally do whatever needs to be done to keep everyone sane and happy.
  8. Bringing reading material is a waste of time and space. See number 7.
  9. When you get home, your car and your clothes will be filthy. Filthy.
  10. There are many stressful moments, so don’t forget to have fun: count trucks, play the license plate game, sing songs as a family, and plan scenic stops along the way.

Does your family have any Rules of the Road?

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4 Responses to “Road Warriors”

  1. We love the road trip! Glad to see you suspended the no tv rule for the ride. Movies are our best friend in the car, and starbucks. For no good reason we all holler "Road Trip" throughout the drive. One person says it and then we all join in. Last time we left at 4am, as we often do, and Gracie was sleeping in her car seat when I whispered "Road Trip!" Paul responded, and then from the back of the car we heard a tiny, half asleep voice sing "road trip." It was adorable. After flying for 9 years, I always prefer the car to a plane, just throw it in the car and go, no delays, no bag fees and no lugging carseats!

  2. Awesome, Shannon. Need to adopt the Road Trip Shout-out.

    I also must add that on the trip we saw a total of 47 different license plates, which included 4 Canadian provinces (NS, PEI, ON and QE) as well as three--count'em: 1,2,3-- separate Alaska plates. I believe this narrowly beat the Chicago road trip, setting a family record.

  3. You are so right about the passenger seat. Stephen and I both call shotgun for diving versus the passenger seat. :)

  4. We also recognize the reality of the passenger seat (#7). My husband always, ALWAYS drives.

    We haven't taken any very long trips, but we frequently make the 3 hour trip "back home" to visit the grandparents. My sage advice is that you must EXPECT your children to be good travelers in order for them to BE good travelers. We'll soon find out if that holds for the third child. :)