The much awaited vacation is here: We hit the road tomorrow morning for a lengthy drive down south. We have everything pretty well mapped out and most of the details worked out. Only two things still worry me:
First, how to keep two active boys strapped into their seats for hour after hour on the road? Since we have my 9-year-old and my girlfriend’s 3-year-old, we decided to break the 14-hour trip into two days. Frankly, my son should be relatively ok, seeing as how he’s got technology on his side: A laptop, and an ipod.
He’s also got a ton of books which he loses himself in, so he can read while we use the laptop to play DVD’s to entertain the 3-year-old. Of course, being an active 3, we’re going to have to make several stops to let the little guy stretch his legs and burn off some energy. I’m open to ideas here.
The second issue is packing. I’m a horrible packer, and will err on the side of taking everything in case I need something I hadn’t thought of. So I have a bag for my son’s clothes, a larger bag for my clothes, another bag with shoes, swimsuits, towels, etc. Then there’s my son’s laptop bag, his backpack which will be stuffed with books, and another backpack of CDs, DVDs. That doesn’t include my girlfriend’s bags. And the thing is I know I’m bound to forget something despite my ridiculous overpacking.
Now, there is a ton of advice online on planning family vacations. There’s “this one”:http://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/school/family-vacation-planning.html or “this one”:http://childparenting.about.com/cs/familytraveldest/a/familyvacation.htm or “this other one”:http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=405&category=21. They all kind of run together in my mind, kind of like an online blurr. I even found “a packing list”:http://travelwithkids.about.com/cs/carplanetips/a/amusekids.htm that I sought out for help on some packing decisions for the kids. It basically told me to bring picture books for the 3-year-old. Duh.
So in the end, I think we’ll wing it. You have two intelligent parents with their hearts and instincts in the right place. That should be enough to get us to the beach well-stocked and in one piece. Still, I have this vision of pulling up, opening the doors and a pile of junk spills out. Then I’ll fish through it everytime I need something. As long as we’re at the beach for a stress-free week, who cares?