Conquering Momma Adventure T-Minus 2 weeks!
Last week I announced that I will be conquering a road trip this summer with two kids in tow. A lot of planning goes into this for such an excursion to be successful. I have been thinking of bits and pieces for this adventure, but now it is time to put those thoughts into action.
I like to start by charting out on a calendar my exact route and days that will be involved in each stop along the way. Establishing my route is my first goal, because it determines how many days of travel and nights of sleeping accommodations I need to plan for. It also determines which people I plan on seeing to maximize both on the road time and connecting with friends and family. One summer, with a 1-year-old and 5-year-old in tow, we made the journey from Maryland to Colorado only staying in one hotel by seeing friends along the journey. We did 6 to 7 hours driving each day and it was a great trip catching up with family and friends. This time we are going are going to try to camp out instead of using hotels, which means knowing when to stop so that I can have a guaranteed place to stay and time to set up camp. It is best to know your limits and your children’s limits in the car when planning such a trip. It is also important to know that some days you may not meet your goal and you will need to be flexible. There is nothing worse than a frustrated, tired child strapped into a car seat while you are looking for a place to sleep. I have made this mistake before.
Once I pick my route then I approximate, with room, how many hours a day we want to drive, including breaks before stopping for the day. I find driving about 3 hours is our limit before we need a break, but this number can vary depending on your circumstances. I set a goal amount of driving each day including 20 minutes for each stop so that I know when I will be arriving at each mark on my route. I do want to advise that if you are traveling with children under 2 you should discuss this with your pediatrician.
Once I have established my route, I calculate how much this is going to cost me in gas, tolls, food, and lodging. If it is outside my budget then I would need to readjust. You can cut a lot of costs by prepping food and beverages beforehand and we will discuss this in the Prepping for Success blog. Another awesome thing about camping is that it is cheaper than a hotel. Thinking of anything and everything that could happen on the road and preparing for that leads to a successful trip. Will there be unforeseen events? Absolutely, but the more prepared, the better you are able to adjust and handle without a great deal of stress.
Planning activities for yourself as the driver and passengers is essential part of a successful (a.k.a don’t want to pull my hair out) road trip. For myself, as the driver, I like to have at least two audio books queued up. I also like to have any music I want to listen to ready to go as well. My car is older, therefore I do not have blue tooth capabilities, so I will have my blue tooth charged for hand free calls. These things have made multiple days in the car seem more enjoyable for me as the driver.
Being prepared for my children is essential to the success of the trip. In the planning phase I think of as many activities as I can and pack each child a small backpack. I also have a small portable DVD player that they share, the key to the DVD player is to not start it right away. Besides activities you will want to ensure that you have planned for a way to provide snacks and that they can access their water bottles without help.
Remember to be flexible and that this is supposed to be a fun trip. You are on an adventure! Now that the planning is underway be sure to read my Prepping for Success Blog next week.
Before I go, a few safety tips for road trip:
- Make sure your car is road ready; check tires, fluids, brakes, spare tire, and consider roadside assistance in case of emergencies.
-If traveling alone have someone who knows the route you plan on taking so that if you haven’t checked in, there is a reference to locate you.
-Be aware of your environment when you make stops.
-Keep your cell phone charged.
-Have an emergency kit in your car; flashlight, water, blanket, flares, etc.
Thanks for sharing your time by reading my blog, have a blessed day!