The Family Road Trip

So, this week we’re leaving on a “vacation”. I call it that because anything outside of a thirty-mile radius of our home is a vacation!

However, I’m really dreading it. Not because I don’t want to go visit my husband’s family or see his brother graduate from college. No, I’m dreading it because for some reason we always live a vacation nightmare.

I’m sure you know how it goes. No matter how hard you try, something inevitably goes wrong despite your every desperate attempt to make it go right!

I remember some years back going to Florida for a wedding. When we left I was on an antibiotic for a sinus infection (obstacle #1). Next we get to Florida and it pours rain––just buckets and buckets (obstacle #2). And to beat it all I ended up in the ER with a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic I was taking (obstacle #3). In fact, my skin was so red the doctor first thought I must have eaten shellfish. (Of course this was not true since I’m a vegetarian.) Then he thought I must have gotten a really bad sunburn. (That was not the case since it was raining. Nevertheless, I looked about as red as a tomato. And so, to make sure my reaction didn’t get any worse I ended up with several injections. OUCH!

When the wedding finally rolled around I was much better, but the curse had been transferred to my sister-in-law who (the poor thing) was laid up in bed in excruciating pain as she passed a kidney stone. Those are the good-ole times that really bond a family together. Right?

So, I wonder what kind of adventure awaits us this week. I can only imagine. Already, it’s been quite the ordeal to get stuff ready for the kids, not to mention it’s going to be like a fourteen-hour car trip. But it’s also challenging to plan around my diabetes. I have to make sure I can keep my insulin cold, pack all of my supplies for my pump, and of course we need snacks to try to plan our day around meals. Eating out never has a good impact on my blood sugars. It’s such a hassle just with that alone. I almost sometimes feel like I’m the burden.

Well, in the efforts to make this an enjoyable, non-stressful experience for all of us, I’ve been trying to find some tips on taking family car trips to help me plan my strategy. And I think I found some good ideas. If you have kids and are planning your vacation as well, I hope you find these handy too.

I was on the Web site about.com and came across an article entitled, How To Survive Long Car Trips With Kids. I found this article to have some good ideas, and I thought I would share it with you too.

  1. Pace: allow enough time for rest stops. Two hours of car time, then a break, makes a good pattern.
  2. Pack: a special backpack or bag for each child, with crayons, books, toys, activity sets, stickers, handheld games.
  3. Pack: some new wrapped surprises for little kids. But don’t give out all the loot at once!
  4. Print out some simple games to play in the car — see link at right.
  5. Play: a story for the whole family on the car stereo system; or bring individual players for your kids.
  6. Play pint-sized board-games. Clue, Sorry, Trouble … are oldies but goodies.
  7. Playrooms: Burger King and McDonalds have great playrooms on major highways. Let the kids burn off energy while you order their food "to go" to eat later in the car.
  8. Playgrounds: every school and most parks have them! Little limbs need to shake, rattle, and roll.
  9. Picnics: buy the fixins’ at a deli or grocery store, find somewhere scenic where the kids can run around. You save money, too.
  10. Potties: it’s worth bringing a training pottie, if your child has need-to-go-NOW emergencies.
  11. Sleepy Time: kids fall asleep easily in the car, and a snooze can be a great way to let the miles fly by. Just be sure to allow lots of wakie-wakie time. Rousing a child from deep sleep because "we’re there now" is tough.
  12. Rush: is a four-letter word when you Travel With Kids!

Tips:

  1. A tray– or a "travel desk" suspended from the back of the front seat– is handy, for any back-seat activity.
  2. Pack LOTS of snacks, such as fruit leathers, crackers, juice packs, treats. Bring plastic cups; bandaids, a dishtowel; frisbee and ball for rest-stops; and baby-wipes no matter how old your kids are.
  3. Once you have a couple of kids, costs for quenching a thirst can add up fast. Bring a small cooler, or insulated bag, for cold drinks. Buy giant-sized drinks; use plastic cups to share them out.

Well, there you have it; our car trip should be foolproof (I only wish)! So, here’s to our fourteen hours of family fun and bonding. This should be a real treat!

One thought on “The Family Road Trip

  1. December 21, 2010 at 6:53 am

    This entry would sure be a great help checklist for our upcoming long drive for the Christmas vacation. Thank you for this. Advance merry Christmas to you and your family! :)