September 02, 2014
Vacationing with kids. That's a weighted sentence to say the least. Thus far our travel has been limited to cars and so that's the framework for the tips I offer here. If you are planning on flying somewhere well... how about you take me and my family along with you and then I can tell you how I'd set up some systems?
A few things that have worked for us, including a very Cape Cod specific, and kind of unrelated item... children's Minnetonka Moccasins. Weird I know, but listen the Cape is full of them!
Look for those SURF/SAND shops that line each town. The front entrance often look like the one that Bear's scooping out. Stroll inside heading for the sale section (it's usually dusty) or the shoe section if the store has one, then put on your detective glasses and look around. Before long the moccasins will begin popping up. They will be disorganized and in wrong boxes. Infant booties will be mixed with an occasional women's 7.5. (score! I found a pair last year in Buzzard's Bay), some shoes will look like they are from an entire era ago, other's will look like they have only arrived there yesterday. If you persevere, you will win big! Minnetonka shoes for a fraction of the price- rock on! This year Ace fell in love with a pair of white beaded moccasins; they make him look like a 67 year old blonde tycoon who owns a yacht, yet they somehow suit him. Bear found a larger size in the style he favors. Happy Hunting.
Before leaving on any trip I do two things. First, I collect up any books we have that might be pertinent to where we are going: in this case I packed books with seashore/beach themes. You could use library books if you are uber responsible. I am not. The books come in handy in a whole manner of ways: general independent entertainment- especially the car, as reference materials, and as humane restraints- such as when waiting in line for a table when dinnertime was oh so 2 hours ago. The other thing I do is to cook up a few snacks to take on the road. I think that a majority of families do this to some degree. Our classic beach items (i/e don't melt easily) are hard boiled eggs, chex mix, ingredients for making daily sun tea, and hummus and pretzels. I occasionally pack a flask of alcohol too because if we are talking kids here, some nights a small nightcap is simply perfect. With these items I can offer an early breakfast if we are waiting on someone to wake up, or a filling snack at the beach when the ice cream truck is still 30 minutes away from arrival time.
We stay at places with pools. It makes life so much easier when waiting on the rest of your party, or if plans change and you are left with down time, or if everyone just needs to feel rooted and not so on the go for little while. The pool is the place to be.
We pack our own bathroom facility because you never know. Or it's because Ace is toilet training and packing that thing enables him to be as independent as Champ, Bear, and I when in a motel room. I will not answer why Ace parked his toilet in the doorway.
This was the first year we packed a tent for sleeping arrangements- it worked out great! Our issue always is that we are in a tight space; the boys need to go to bed, but it's early yet for Champ and I. We found that if we tucked them into the tent all zippered up and then lowered the lights or the tv, they would have a sort of screen while Champ and I could sit back and relax. I'll give you that the first night was a trial, but after that the system worked smoothly. On the flip side, mornings were easier too because whoever woke first would unzip and crawl out of the tent, but the other was able to sleep on in his shaded nylon cocoon.
How do you like to travel?
*pst! See you back here tomorrow for the giveaway!*