Wednesday, June 15, 2011
5 things to Do Before You Travel by Car
As excited as we are to get to the beach, there is much to do before hitting the road for a major car ride. Take note of a few of these ideas before heading out for any drives with the family:
1. Make a checklist....so you don't leave home without it! We create checklists for each family member and pet. If your children are older, have them create the check list with you so they can make sure what they want to take gets packed, yet you get final approval.
2. How's it running? Get the car in for it's regular maintenance and tell the mechanics that you are about to travel - my guess is they will be happy to make sure everything is running smoothly. Also, take it in to get a good cleaning. It's so nice to start the trip in a freshly cleaned car.
3. There's gotta be an app for that. As moms, it's in our blood to have our trips mapped & planned out - including potty breaks. But even the most travel-savvy mom needs a little extra help. Thank goodness for amazing mobile phone apps like these that can get us through in a pinch:
~ Mapquest: This one comes with a free voice guided, turn-by-turn directions. Who needs GPS anymore?
~ Priceline: Follow your favorite Hotel Negotiator from your phone. Score a last minute hotel deal right when you need it - chop!
~ Yelp: Get reviews on restaurants, grocery stores, museums, etc. from the locals who live there- can't ask for better advice.
~Sit or Squat: Find the nearest potty and get reviews on how "clean it is". Hey, you'll be thanking me when your 3 year old has to potty and your in the middle of downtown Chicago.
4. Dollar store mania. I have more fun gathering up toys and fun goodies for the kids to get a various times throughout the drive. I use them as prizes for the winners of games, prevent the "I'm bored" cries, heck, I might even use a few for bribing.....shush, you know you do it.
5. Be prepared mom... Have lots of ideas for these kiddos to do on the drive - so you can avoid hearing the dreaded "are we there yet mom?" Gather a few new games to play on the road, check out some books on tape from your local library (or download some audio books), rent a new movie or two (RedBox.com comes in handy here!), or grab a classic to read out load.
Most importantly, take a deep breath and don't get overwhelmed - everything is going to be ready and you will all get there in one piece. Have a super trip!