How on earth do you plan a road trip with three kids under 4? Well, I am not entirely sure. But, I am working on a plan, slowly but surely.
Roughly, we want to head east, go through Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Ashville and Raleigh. Then head north… maybe hit the Outer Banks and then DC and the Bay… head up to Long Island and The City. Head into New England, then Montreal, Quebec and back down through Detroit, hopefully the Upper Peninsula, Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City and home.
When you look at our time line, April 29 – July 1, it almost doesn’t seem long enough…so hopefully, someone will book our airbnb into July allowing us some more time to travel.
What do we see? Who the heck knows. I do know not to plan much in advance. The kids will have determine what we do, when based on sleep and energy levels. I have learned not to plan too much because then your expectations may not match reality. Monday – Friday Adam will still be working so I will have the kids to venture to parks, or sites, play in the back yards, visit friends and relatives along the way while he slaves away at a coffee shop, the hotel lobby or airbnb working. Then, on the weekends and in the evenings we can see some really amazing places together. Time magazine did put together the The 50 American Roadside Attractions... maybe that is a start
How do you pack? We have decided to pack enough for 5 days per person, one jacket, one pair of pants, one swim suit, one sneaker, one sandal. Each person will get their own shackepak We have been using these for 2 years now and love how much you can put in them. All the paks will then go in a 66qt tub. I decided on tubs because they are easier to put in the trunk of the car and carry in places instead of suitcases. (I have two other tubs, one for dry food goods and the other for misc stuff, like the camera, bike helmets, swimmies etc) Of course, our Onbu carrier and Phil & Ted double stroller with skateboard attachment, will be with us at all times
What are we driving? Forget the huge GMC beast acadia we have…. the VW Golf Sportwagen will be taking us across the country. We have fallen in love with this car. It easily fits 3 car seats across the back seat, the cargo space in the trunk is huge, our stroller plus all 3 tubs fit! We have since upgraded and added a Yakima Rocketbox Pro 11 we picked up off Letgo and a bike rack for the trunk.
How will the kids stay occupied? We decided we won’t drive more than 4.5-5 hours at a time. We will either go first thing in the morning when the sun comes up or after dinner at night. Our portable DVD player broke, but we do intend to pick up another. But, beyond movies…. this is what I got… The Leapfrog Interactive Learning System along with the preschool and kindergarten level books. I did get two systems, one for each boy, but they can share the books. I also picked up the Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game, Magnetic Fun Cars, Planes and Trains and National Geographic’s Kids US Road Atlas. I am hoping that between all of this there will be lots of learning and talking and game playing. Oh, I also got this morning a set of Squigz, I think these will be a huge hit!
Of course we still have the travel journals where they can dictate to me about their adventures. I have searched Pinterest for ideas, but honestly, my kids CAN NOT do art in the car and most of the car activities I have found, look great on paper, but my kids just aren’t interested.
What’s our budget? We are still somewhat working on that, but we know that our at home housing costs are $74 a day and the airbnb people are paying an average of $115. So, as long as we spend less then that, we should be okay. This does not include food, and our car expenses. We intend to cook as much as possible and avoid restaurants. Now, Adam and I are about the worst numbers people you will ever meet. But it makes sense that as long as we spend equal or less then the $115 that someone is paying to stay at our place, then all of our other expenses should be equal to about what they are when we are home anyway…maybe a little more on gas. At least we think this is right 🙂
If you have any suggestions or ideas as to any of the above, please leave us comments!! They are much appreciated.