Travelling with children can be exciting, challenging, and downright exhausting. I won’t lie, I like a challenge, and my controlling nature makes sure every detail is covered. This often back fires and foils even my best laid out plans.
Three years ago, we packed up our truck, my two step daughters and niece, and hit the I-5, straight to see Mickey Mouse. We programmed the GPS and the lovely lady inside told us we would arrive at our destination in 21 hours and 9 minutes. Leaving from Vancouver, I thought to myself, we must be crazy to do this again. I have got this I thought. I was a well oiled machine and I had each day planned. I do this for two reasons; one is to maximize our time, and lastly, I am a vacation bargain hunter. Yes, you heard me, a vacation bargain hunter. The deals are out there, you just need to know where to look. There is a plethora of information available; you just need some time and Google!
We had all our essentials packed and I even managed to bring my toaster with me for the mornings. One would be impressed with the convenience store I was operating out of the back of our truck. The kids had their own bags for the car and would refuel with snacks and drinks at each stop. This was a huge lifesaver! It saved us a bundle on convenience food and I managed to sneak in the odd piece of fruit.
We love an adventure and it’s a great time as a family to really enjoy each other’s company. Countless hours of rattling out random facts, playing I-spy (this never gets old, no matter the age) and bathroom breaks every 2 hours. Books, iPods and car games – keep them busy during your travels.
We always book a room big enough to stretch out in, and a pool is a must! It gives the kids a chance to blow off some steam and relax before bed. It goes without saying, a full day, plus a swim before bed, equals a good night’s sleep for all.
My one moment of absolute cleverness, was equipping each kid with a waist pack. Each morning they loaded up on all their favorite treats from my little convenience store, which had now moved into our hotel room. Brilliant idea! I can’t even begin to tell you how much we saved on the candy and sweets we would have normally bought. And each waist pack contained change for a pay phone, $5 and our phone numbers.
We had an excellent time once again. And every other month, I get that hankering to do it all over again.
7 days of California sun, lots of laughs, and happy kids…it truly is the happiest place on earth.
Stay tuned for more adventures...Planes, trains and Toddlers!
Christi Manson is a married mother to a lovable 20 month old daughter and also rocks the part time position of Step Mama to two fabulous pre teen girls.