Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Travel Tips

After leaving Arizona last night around 10:30 ish (Az time) we finally arrived in Dallas this afternoon around 2:00 (Central time).  The most exciting thing so far: we witnessed a drug bust at the Boarder Patrol Check Point. Lexxus (the only kid awake at the time) got to see police dogs at work.  I thought it was really exciting...in a strange way!  = O

Other things we've done to pass the time: 

In the Van:
  • Watch videos...we "stole" my dad's portable DVD player and some DVDs and the younger 2 are learning to read with those "My Baby can Read" DVDs.
  • Eating the snacks we made together (cookies, granola bars, apples, carrots, dried cranberries, boiled eggs and whole wheat crackers)
  • Singing
  • Reading and Multiplication families.  (the 2 older girls)
  • Counting all the cars of a certain color.  Everyone counts any and all cars of a certain color (everyone has his own color) and whoever finds the most wins.
In the Hotel:
  • We took the kids to the swimming pool and ourselves to the hot tub...nothing like relaxing those cramped up muscles in a hot tub.
  • We brought sandwich things and made our own dinner.
  • Pillow Fights ~ we do those at home too, but they are fun in hotels too
  • Jump on the beds ~ we NEVER stand, walk or jump on our furniture at home, but we do allow jumping on hotel beds.  Double Standard??   Yeah, probably.  And totally worth it.  The kids LOVE it. ;)

Travel Tips:
  • Use one 2-gallon zip lock bag per kid per day of your travels.  I put an outfit in the bag and matching socks/tights and panties (or "undies" for Wes) and a hair bow for the girls.  That way when it's time to pick out an outfit you just have to grab a bag with whatever outfit you want and it's all there together.  You don't have to worry about messing up suitcases or digging for extra socks, or realizing you forgot to pack a certain shirt for a certain pair of pants because you've already packed each outfit exactly the way you need it. 
  • Pack bread, lunch meat and cheese and some home canned soup for dinner and you don't have to eat McDonald's fake food.  You save a buck or two as well.
  • Use the "down time" while you're driving to memorize math families, prepositions or Bible verses.
  • Use price line to get great deals on hotel rooms.  We got a 3 star hotel room that regularly costs $110.00 for only $45.00 and that's including taxes and fees!!  They are soo worth it.  
  • I suggest that you don't get any higher than a 2.5 star room though.  It seems that the higher the rating on the room the less we like it.  Our 3 star hotel room we are staying in tonight doesn't have a microwave (which I was needing) or a fridge (good thing it's cold outside tonight).  Not only that but their breakfast is not complimentary either.  It cost $10 a head.  (Jeremy got a really great deal on a 4-star room in Atlanta last year, but he had to pay $30-something to park his car.)  So you really are better off to get a 2 or 2.5 star room with free breakfast and a microwave.
  • Instead of packing a suitcase for each kid, I packed a large tote with all of their things.  It's neat, at least for now.  The zip lock bags help it to stay organized.  
  • Don't forget the "Wrinkle Releaser"!  You won't have to iron your cloths...or look like you're living out of a suit case!!
If you have or know of a tip that helps you to keep things organized and your sanity intact while you are traveling, I'd love to know it.  There's always room for improvement!

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