A few months ago, I shared about our favorite family trip to Dallas! We are planning to venture to Disney World next summer and are hoping to do an American history road trip the summer after. Our bucket list consists of France, England, Italy, San Diego, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and my personal favorite, Oregon - to watch the Olympic trials for track and field! Anywhere else I need to add to my list? Tell me in the comments below!
Earlier this year, I also talked about how I plan for a vacation.
Although we drive down south to Robert's hometown a few times each year, we haven't traveled outside of Texas as a family of 4 just yet. That's about to change very soon when we road trip to St. Louis to visit family! Since I'm in planning mode right now, I thought I'd share what we're packing to survive the 14 hour drive.
Even though it's hotter than the surface of the sun these days, I get cold very easily. Instead of bringing a blanket, I always pack a sweater or hoodie to use. I broke the zipper on my favorite Hurley hoodie at the end of the school year, so I'm on the hunt for a new one. I love this basic one from Old Navy, but $30!?! Find me a more affordable option please, ladies!
We're definitely going to need sunscreen when we start visiting the sites of St. Louis, but I think it is important to remember to put it on in the car, too. If you're the main driver in your family, your left side is very susceptible to skin damage, and if you're the passenger most of the time, then your right side is in danger. I'm going to be both this trip, so I'm either covering up or slathering on my favorite sunscreen from Hawaiian Tropic.
Piggybacking off of sunscreen, I always have lip balm in my bag. If you're not using one with sunscreen in it, please start! Trip's favorite is the Carmex Cherry Clickstick - just make sure to not leave it in the car on 90+ degree days!
I love non-fiction, and I have so much respect for our military. My friend recommended that I read Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War. Basically, the author is described as a humorous science writer and the book examines the ins and outs of the military- the food they eat, the fabrics used to make uniforms, etc. Robert and I are hoping to borrow the audiobook from the library to listen to together, and if you're into non-fiction, then I'll let you know what I think in the next few weeks.
Summer and Christmas break are the only times that I can sit around and read all day, but I usually only get two books in each year. I'm happy to announce that I've actually taken care of 3 so far! (Most of you are rolling your eyes right now because you read 3+ a month! I promise- I'm working on it!) I picked up Colleen Hoover's It Ends With Us for my upcoming trip, and then I packed Lauren Graham's Talking As Fast As I Can in the rare chance I can read 2 books at once or that I need one for the ride home. What have you read lately that I should put a hold on at the library?
I got so far behind in my magazine reading this school year and then did an awesome job catching up once summer started. BUT, I had to save some issues to read in the car, so I have quite a few stocked up to take with me. My favorites are Food Network, Redbook, Woman's Day, and In Style. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for outfit ideas to wear to school this year!
So Robert is more of the podcast listener in our house, but I have been trying a few out. I'm open to just about anything- I've listened to topics ranging from Disney World to being more efficient in life. Katie at Cup of Tea recently wrote about her love for podcasts. What do you like to listen to?
Thankfully I have Bluetooth in my car, so it's easy to connect my phone to the radio to play tunes consistently instead of having to deal with finding a new radio station every couple of towns. When we're not listening to an audiobook, you can bet I've got Pandora on! My current favorite stations are 60s, 70s, and 80s Hits Radio, Today's Adult Hits Radio, Queen Radio, Aerosmith Radio, 90s Pop Radio, 90s Summer Classics, Katy Perry Radio, and Disney Radio.
Blankets & stuffed animals
Of course the kids are allowed to pack a backpack of toys, games, and coloring supplies, but a stuffed friend and a cozy blanket will hopefully help make the drive a little more bearable.
I told you last week that I can be a Pinterest mom when I want to be, and with the kids out of town this past week, I worked on travel binders for the trip. Cara at The First Grade Parade did an Instastory about putting binders together for her road trip, so I got to searching on Pinterest. Jen at The Suburban Mom has awesome resources to print out for the binders including license plate spotting and restaurant bingo! I also did Google searches on coloring pages for Lego Nexo Knights for Trip and The Descendants for Ari. I'm also going to add in some puzzles and state pages for the kids to keep them occupied.
Movies & Netflix
We have a tablet that is basically only used for traveling, and before a trip out of town, Robert has the kids pick a few movies and shows to download. Apparently, you just have to have the Netflix app on your tablet and then find the show you want in your account and if it is available for download, press the download arrow on the bottom right. I assure you my kids won't be watching 14 hours of movies, but having a couple of options is nice to have. Who knows? Maybe mom will pick a show or two to bring this trip!
To avoid paying for overpriced gas station snacks or getting stuck in long fast food lines, we are planning to pack a small cooler to keep drinks cold and bring fruits, cheeses, sandwich meat, and my overnight oats.
We absolutely love our Ozark Trail tumblers from Walmart! We plan to bring them iced up to add water bottles to throughout the day. Don't splurge on a Yeti- save some cash and get a great product for a better price!
Snacks & drinks
When I was a kid, I ate junk food from the gas stations and nuggets and fries from the drive thru during most family road trips. That strategy is going to A) cost me too much money and B) make me uncomfortable for such a long trip. I'm planning to portion out snacks for everyone and keeping them up front so that the kids don't eat everything in the first hour. Robert and the kids love trail mixes, peanuts, pecans, and beef jerky. We all love granola bars, Boom Chicka Pop, pretzels, graham crackers, etc.
Maybe it's the teacher in me, but I practically bathe in hand sanitizer after touching anything out in public. While I'm usually pro-Target for everything, I'm a die-hard Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer fan. I stocked up on a bunch of scents last year and am so sad that I can't find my favorite scents in store any more - Japanese Cherry Blossom and Sparkling Limoncello. Are there any new scents that I need to try since my stock is almost out?
With two adults comes two cell phones that will need charging. Instead of fighting over the charger, we have an Aukey car charger that allows us to both charge at the same time. We'll also pack our fast wall chargers to have when we're at my aunt's house.
My old school's PTA gave all of the teachers portable chargers one year as a gift, and it gets used all of the time! We won't be needing this in the car, but it definitely is getting packed to have on hand when we're out and about at the parks and museums all day.
We're hoping to have a fun, painless, and incident free trip! Please tell me what I'm missing to keep everyone happy on a road trip- I still have some time to get things prepped, so steer me in the right direction!
Thanks for joining us today! Next month, we're sharing all about how we prep for a new school year. Have a great day, and I'll see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!
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