Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Planning


Good times have been had in a little place called Myrtle Beach. Every summer from the age of eight to seventeen I would excitedly hop in the car with my family and head down to this little beach town to enjoy some summer fun before school started up for another year. My brother and I loved it. Meeting up with the same "friends" year after year and exploring new spots each summer, it became a second home for us and we anticipated this trip all summer long.

I returned once as an adult, when I was twenty-one, taking Justin with me. We had a wonderful time and managed to make it the nineteen hours there and back in the car together...long trips in a car can make or break a relationship you know.

Now it is time to introduce this place to Reece. My parents having been heading south for February and March for the last three years and this year Reece and I are finally going down for a visit. So I am in planning mode. Planning my route, planning things to do in the car to keep things interesting and fun, planning the food I will prepare and take with us, planning little things for us to do while we are there...planning, planning and more planning.

It is exciting for sure, but I have to admit I am feeling a little leery. I mean, Reece and I alone in the car for nineteen hours...am I crazy? Okay, maybe a little crazy. I will be breaking up the trip over three days, maybe four if I have to, stopping for frequent breaks and finding little things for us to do along the way. Today I am asking you for some advice. I know some of you have little ones and have done some traveling, what traveling tips do you have for me? And those of you with older kiddos, did you travel with them when they were younger? What tips do you have to share?

It will be quite the adventure for the two of us, of that I am sure.

36 comments:

  1. Ahhh! It will be fantastic! you can message me if you want helpful survival tips and things to have handy for long car trips with children... i have a bit of experience ;) My hubby and I have logged in probably about 40,000+ km together. With children, at least 15,000. It isn't always easy, but it is fun. It will be an adventure. It will take longer than 19hrs, just know that. You can only push so much with the little ones, but as long as you are open and willing to just go with the flow, it will all be ok. We can talk later. I am so excited for you.

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  2. Oh how fun! Welcome to the South in advance! We lived in Charleston until last year and we have driven Interstate 95 A LOT! The good thing is that there are rest stops along the way. I usually pack a laundry basket full of activities and toys. So they can pull them out but also throw them in and not all over the van. Plenty of snacks and water. I even take my computer with some movies just in case of meltdowns. Hope this helps!

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  3. You two will have such a great time. Breaking it up is the perfect way to go. Lots of snacks and water in the car, books galore, and something to color with. My girls are younger then Reece but I know stopping by 3pm is always good thing. Before dark really helps too. You will do just fine! Just make sure you get him out to run at rest stop every two hours and he will be just fine. I'm so excited for you!

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    1. Oh yes, definitely planned to be off the road by 2 or 3pm each day to give us time to run around and have some fun. From what my dad says the rest stops are quite frequent along our route so you bet we will be stopping.

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  4. we were there last year!! My advice: have plenty of activities in a tote bag that he has NEVER seen. Every hour or two give him a new never seen before toy, book, whatever you can think of. Same with the snacks too. Novelty is the way to go to get where you are going. It will be a fun ride! You will be fine and dandy :)

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    1. Yes, I am working on that. Trying to keep them all within my rules for toys isn't easy though :)

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  5. A definite adventure! When I took a 10 hour road trip with just me and Finn (when he was about 2) I had a huge basket of stuff on the driver's seat... books, toys, snacks... and when he would get bored with one thing I would pass back another. Also, not sure how you feel about movies, but we have a small travel DVD player and we check out movies from the library for long trips. It has been a huge help.
    Also, like you said, planning out parks and things to do along the way to give them a chance to stretch. Have a great time!

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    1. Great idea on the basket. We will have a small DVD player just in case, Reece has seen Cars and Toy Story, so we will bring those. I am also planning on some audio stories for us to listen to.

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  6. So exciting, Kim! I am sure you will both have lots of fun - what an exciting adventure! It's great that you will both have the chance to do stops and visit new places together :)

    Planning over here, too, for our trip across the Atlantic...Bea will be around 19 and a half months old by then...please do give me any relevant travel tips after your trip (but around 8 hours on an airplane for us and we can't stop...yiiikes). At the moment, what I am most concerned about is the jetlag and time change - Bea and I are big fans of routine - we like to know where we're at! But we're also troopers, so fingers crossed! :)

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    1. It will be an adventure for sure. Your trip will be totally different, so much to contend with on a plane. I traveled with Reece when he was 6 months to England, but it is a totally different ball game when they are older.

      I will message KC, she did a series of posts last year on traveling with little ones that you might find helpful. I will have her link them here.

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    2. Hi! Here are the links to the series I wrote about traveling with infants and toddlers. I hope you find it helpful!

      Part one: http://kathrynpagano.com/2011/11/18/tips-for-traveling-with-a-toddler-and-an-infant-part-one/
      Part two: http://kathrynpagano.com/2011/12/07/traveling-with-infants-and-toddlers-part-two-what-to-do-bring-and-eat/
      Part three: http://kathrynpagano.com/2011/12/20/traveling-with-infants-and-toddlers-part-three-cloth-diapering/
      Part four: http://kathrynpagano.com/2011/11/21/traveling-with-infants-and-toddlers-part-four-camping-and-other-adventerous-thigns/

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  7. We haven't done a car trip of this magnitude, but when we flew to Hawaii last summer having new things to do every few hours was key. And--as others have said--making sure that they're new, FABULOUS things doesn't hurt. Also, something we discovered by complete accident, flying home overnight worked really well. Basically, anytime your kiddo might sleep is a time to get some miles in.

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    1. Yes when we flew to England we did the overnight flight, works like a charm. I was thinking about doing some driving at night, but I just don't trust myself to stay awake that long.

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  8. Oh, how fun! I do not have kids, but we moved around a lot when I was little and I traveled across the country twice. I remember that my mom had a special surprise for us kids each day - just a little something new to help keep us busy (activity books, little toys with objectives, treats, etc) - and I learned very quickly how to read in the car without getting sick. Car games are a lot of fun too - I spy, etc. You guys are going to have so much fun on this adventure together!

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    1. Thanks so much. Lucky for me Reece loves I Spy :)

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  9. What a great trip - we went to Michigan this year with everyone. Breaking it up works well - we did 4 hour stretches, We also drove in the evening when the little ones slept! Good luck and have a wonderful trip.

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    1. Yes, I am hoping we can do 5 hour stretches, but we will see. The night driving would be great if Justin was coming with me, but on my own, I just don't trust myself to stay awake :)

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  10. what fun! as the others have said, books and new activity books that he hasn't seen before.

    what about embroidery hoops? and an etch-a-sketch type toy? a sticker book? his own map that's laminated so he can put stickers on it as you go? Or maybe you put stickers on key spots and have him connect the dots along the map as you go. also, how about his own camera? either your old one or an old film one. you could print the pictures he takes while in myrtle beach then on the way home he can put them in his own book.

    and yes, i know how important it is to get the food thing figured out. always our top priority, too.

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    1. Love the map idea Lisa, and Reece would so enjoy that. We did pick him up a Boogie Board already which is a new version of the etch a sketch...he can draw with a pencil type thing or his finger.

      He has already asked to take pictures as we travel, so that will be fun. Love the idea of him putting a book together on the way home, as I fear the drive home will be the harder of the two drives...you know the magic of getting there is gone.

      Some great ideas, thanks!

      Yes on the food. I am planning to pack all of our food for four days so we have no need to eat out. And the Vitamix and lots of other things are coming with me so we can eat as we do at home. So much fun!

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  11. I spent some summers at Myrtle Beach too!! And have fond memories of it. We went on this little catamaran boat and rode out and saw dolphins, fed them fish, and pet them. I think that is illegal now, but boy as a kid that was one of the highlights of my life!

    Tips on traveling with kids= get lots of pipe cleaners, paper, glue, hole punches, colored pencils and crayons, etc. We also stocked up on model magic, which is great because its not messy and just hardens. When we took our older three to TN for two weeks and only split the trip up into three days having all that stuff to "play" and create along the way was great. Also lots of books on cd!

    Have fun!

    :)Lisa

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    1. How fun Lisa!!

      Great ideas, Reece loves pipe cleaners, he could play for hours with those :) Thanks!

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  12. CDs with music and stories. Books. Stuffed toys or other favorite friends. Toys. Snacks. A blanket to throw over your little man if he gets cold. Binoculars. A ball for ball games on little stops.

    I think the trick is to have lots of stops and as you said to do fun things along the way. We use to stop at parks a lot that had swings and climbing equipment. Maybe you could have a thermos with you so you could have a cuppa along the way.

    Kim, good on you. We did lots of travelling when our boys were little because we lived away from our extended families. Yes, there were some tense moments, but it was definitely worth it.

    We are heading off soon too for 4 nights staying in a cabin right at the beach. I can't wait.

    Have fun. xxoo

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    1. Thanks Julie, so many great ideas you have shared. And a cabin on the beach, how lovely :)

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  13. Wow, I have no advice but am excited for you! It's so great that this tradition stretches so far back for you.

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    1. Thanks Sara, it will definitely be an adventure.

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  14. Kim,
    How wonderful! It will be special for you to go there with Reece.
    Good idea to break up the drive into smaller increments. If you get some good tips that work for long car rides with kids, please share :)

    Love,
    Taryn

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    1. Thanks Taryn. I will share for sure, I plan to blog as we travel and while I am there, it will be fun to document it all.

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  15. Ah...Myrtle Beach. I met my first love there. I was thirteen and he was fourteen. He took me to my senior prom.

    Email me if you need a break when you hit NC and you want to meet up with a crazy lady :)

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    1. There may have been one or two teenage crushes for me there too :)

      I would love to meet up as I pass through, I will email you and see what might work.

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  16. You two will have such a blast! I am sure that some stretches will feel very long but this is a trip you will never forget! And, if you happen to decide to swing through MA we'd love to meet up!

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    1. I sure hope so. I am starting to get really excited now. And most definitely, I will be in touch if we head your way :)

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  17. Dear Kim,
    we moved from Sweden to Austria when our kids where 9, 7 and 3.
    To travel between Stockholm and Vienna takes 24 hrs and we used to take shifts driving.
    We used to start at 9pm driving 3 hrs at a time while the kids where sleeping
    Early in the morning we entered the ferry to Germany spending some hours on the ship. During this time my husband slept and I took care of the kids. The rest of the way approx 10 hrs my husband drove most of the time.
    Many where the cds with stories, games, pens and papers we needed to ger thru these hours in the car!

    Essential though are small breaks here and there to breath and stretch your legs!
    Have a great time!

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    1. Thanks for all the great tips, I am having a lot of fun with the planning :)

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