Friday, November 16, 2007

Tips from the Road Trip Queen

**after posting this, I realized I neglected to emphasize: I WILL BE DOING THIS ALL BY MYSELF. Now, read on, appreciating me appropriately, please.**

Do: go to the Dollar Store and buy tons of $1 toys and books to give to kids every few hours so they have new stuff to play with.

Do: fore go your McDonald's weekly lunch date when you realize that you will be eating three meals at McDonald's tomorrow, because you'd rather gag down that food while your kids burn a bunch of energy on the GermTower/play equipment.

Do: buy a bunch of snacks because you'd rather have them eat in the car and play at the stops.

Don't: eat these snacks yourself, as you will be burning NO calories sitting on your rear end all day.

Don't: feel guilty when you do anyway, because a mom must have some small pleasures in this hellish trip.

Do: dream of the day when you will have an in-car DVD system instead of your bungee-corded, ancient mini TV/VCR that only works with the remote, because soda was spilled on it.

Do: wish for that DVD player again, when you head to the library to rent videos and realize they are truly phasing them out and all you have left are OOOOLD movies.

Do: download the following books so you can drown out arguing kids all the way to California:



Don't: Ever make a bathroom stop. Really. If they've been potty-trained for a year, they can hold it. Trust me.

Do: Make the unscheduled bathroom stop in the middle of the field while trucks whiz by so it's EXTRA un-appealing.

Don't: Worry about how many times your 2 oldest kids unbuckle to open drinks, clean up spills and shake a toy in front of the youngest 2.

Do: Thank Heaven for those oldest kids.

Do: Get a major oil change and say yes to every suggestion the guy makes because you are terrified of your van breaking down while you are all by yourself in the middle of Oregon.

Don't: Speed in Oregon. I am speaking from multiple experiences here.

Do: bring along some Mountain Dew and be thankful you never drink it normally, because that stuff is magical when your body is not used to it. You'll need it around 1pm when you are normally napping at home.

Don't: Allow your kids to pack for themselves. They are not aware of what constitutes cute-showing-off-your-kids vacation clothes. They will pick old soccer T-Shirts if you leave it up to them.

Do: Plan all your stuff in one stop. You eat, gas and pee ALL AT THE SAME STOP. Kids always have to pee, even when they say they don't. Make them.

Don't: worry that you have no stereo and wonder what in the heck you are going to do when they are all whining and crying and you really really want to blast some Gwen Stefani to get them to pipe down.

Do: be thankful you have a husband waiting for you who will clean out the car (because he's a little OCD) and will like the kids (because he hasn't seen them for 3 days).

Do: be thankful that so many fun relatives (and blog friends) are waiting to see you during your trip.

Do: check in soon to see if I survived!

29 comments:

Erika said...

loved the tips! Hope you travel safe. Here's another one, feed you kids popcorn and don't let them drink - it dehydrates them. (in a safe way I'm sure) they can go all day if they need to.

Elizabeth Caldwell said...

Glad you got don't speed in there! Drive carefully and have a wonderful trip!

Kara said...

You just described the long day I'm so looking forward to tomorrow. Just one more to add, no soda allowed at those lovely McDonald stops...goes right through them. However, I'm thankful that I have three boys every time we do have to stop unexpectedly on the side of the road!

Good luck on your trip and have fun!

gab said...

we're on the road next week too...nothing like a vacation to make you appreciate your life at home. have fun and be safe!

mandy* said...

Mark should take advantage of his kid free road trip next week! It might be his last.

zeeny said...

Great advice! where are you going? Where ever it is...have fun!

Bridget said...

Oh, I am so with you! I have done the drive from Portland Oregon to Salt Lake City with kids and without husband. I second yon on all those do's and don'ts. Although lucky for us we do have that DVD system and it is a God send.

Good luck and be safe.

Tiffany said...

You are the road trip queen -- I'm not worried for you at all. Have a great trip and enjoy those snacks!

Brigitta said...

Have a safe trip. Hope to see you in CA, I heard you might be nearby. Tell me how the elisabeth berg book is. I've liked some of her other books. Happy travels. Those do's and don'ts were awesome

Denae said...

This list is a good one. Thank heavens for the oldest kids that can do jobs while you're driving. And we always do the side of the road pit stop too. It encourages them to hold it longer. Are we having a blog party while you're here?

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...

You know, it's just a few more miles and dos and don'ts from CA to Peru and then Argentina. With proper planning you could make it all the way - and get a DVD player and new stereo for you card for 1/3 the cost!

Kirsten said...

You ARE the queen. Good luck on your road trip. I don't even try driving more than five hours by myself with the kids.

rubberbandgirl said...

Does this mean you're coming to UT?
We're headed to the lonely little town of Hawthorne, Nevada for Thanksgiving. Sad to miss you.

Me & My BOYS said...

My kids can't even handle the drive from South Jordan to St. George without going crazy. And we have a built in DVD system.

Celia Fae said...

I'm so excited to see you! Thank you for making the sacrifices necessary to travel to the Golden State. I hope you like your books. I'm interested in Fever.

Pineapple Princess said...

You are a braver woman than I. I refuse to travel that far by myself. It might be worth it though, if I knew my husband would be cleaning the van!

Don't feel bad about the fast food. Don't you know why they call it fast food? If you eat it fast enough, no calories!!!

Be safe!

Kara said...

You got it all right girl! I did the nice 13 + hour road trip by myself with all four kids (age 7, 5, 3, and 1) this summer from AZ to UT. All things you mentioned are mus do's/dont's! We did break down on this trip and get the DVD player! SO WORTH IT! It was only $100 at Walmart! Good luck and have a great time!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

So, I'm totally jealous. Despite the wretched road trip (that I'm not jealous of, by they way. MY WORST FEAR!) I can't believe you get to see all your blog buddies. I SOOOO wish I was there. We could bond.

John, Sal, Maddy, and Stockton said...

Holy cow, that many kids with just you in the car...I look up to you! I loved your advice...and have used it before :):)

Karen said...

I bow to your highness...you truly are the queen.

Good luck on your trip (although I suppose by now, you're there).

Jill said...

Sounds awesome, have fun! I just did the road trip too...it was just 6 hours with one kid and a DVD player all to himself..not too bad!!!! I wouldn't want to trade you places. Another blog girl wrote about her 10 hour drive with 3 kids under the age of 4. You guys are BRAVE!

Marty said...

Good luck with your trip! It's funny how kids never like to wear their cutest (really they should be called "Isn't my mom fabulous?") clothes. Drive safely. You are very brave. Thanks for visiting my blog; I love comments!

Carie said...

I am not a fan of roadtrips over say about 6 hours. I would probably have a change of heart if my entire family lived closer (I think we are a good 3-4 day drive away.)

Let me know what you think about the books and enjoy your trip.

Paige said...

I'm so glad you made it! You are my road trip hero. I only made my first and only road trip so far alone with my kidss all the way to LA (5 hours) because of your fantastic example.

brooke romney said...

Love all your tips. You truly are supermom.

Adrianne said...

Follow Annete's example and tell your kids to tickle their butts so they can pee at scheduled stops, and therefore not require unscheduled stops. Mario is already whining about driving from AZ to UT in one day and trying to plan stops...maybe I should put him in the back seat with the baby and his portable DVD player.

Tammy said...

No stereo? You did not say that, did you??? I would not survive.

Ilene said...

I feel so behind in the blogging world! Let me know how those books go. I just read "Kabul Beauty School" and really liked it. You should look it up.

Love the rules. Sounds just like my family road trip rules. My parents were really thrown off when my brother married a girl who didn't get the road trip rules- took unallotted restroom breaks and wanted to eat at a sit down restaurant rather than the hard rolls, cheese, and Shasta that my mom would pack.

Family road trips are some of the best memories. Remind yourself this when you are driving back home.

Also, good tip about not speeding in Oregon. Just not worth it. Glad we got out of that socialist state. :)

überburber said...

Excellent strategies. Here's the rub: you have to drive BACK. Aforementioned strategies have lost their potency/novelty. Must come up w/ new strategies for return trip....!