I have had a day to recuperate from my long trip. Here are a few stats for you…
I visited a total of 12 different states.
I was gone for a total of 19 days.
Sir Smiley left after 4 days so I spent 15 of those days traveling with my three kids alone. (not that the people I visited didn’t help…but it’s never the same.)
I traveled a little over 5500 miles on this trip.
It was totally worth it!
However, pondering this lengthy trip there are a few things I’ve learned. I totally intend on doing more trips like this in the future (the far…far….far future). But I there are always things I can do to make the trip a little more bearable. So for your reading pleasure here are two lists…one of the things I did right, and one of the things I will do right next time!
Packing a smaller bag for the days of traveling. So instead of lugging out all my luggage for a three week trip I only had one bag and the pack n play to lug in and out.
Having kids big enough to push a stroller. The last time I drove to MN alone, Sasquatch was teeny and so I had to try and drag the baby (Urpling) and all our luggage, etc up to our room by myself with another kid who could barely walk. This time Sasquatch could push King Toot in the stroller, leaving me both hands to haul stuff.
Getting motels with an elevator. Again, the last trip where I was hauling pounds of stuff and a baby…I managed to find hotels with multiple levels and no elevator. That was fun. This time I made sure no stairs were involved.
Marking our atlas. Every trip I’ve started marking our atlas at each rest stop with a smiley face or frowns face. Fairly elementary but it clues me in on where to stop or what to avoid. Helps keep my stops in bathrooms with three kids from being disasters.
I want to make copies of the maps so Sasquatch (and maybe Urpling) can have their own copies and help navigate. That way the trip is a little less Survivor and a little more Dora.
I want to take time to check out fun stops along the way and make it a more entertaining and maybe even somewhat education experience. If we have to drive 5,000 miles through 12 states, might as well get some hands on experiences with geography and history while we’re at it.
Only go for two weeks at a time. Two weeks was long but manageable. But three weeks? The back seat was beginning to look like some animal show off National Geographic and I was about ready to taser the next kid that whined at me.
I prefer traveling in the summer. It’s not just driving in snow and ice. But there are so many more things to do along the way when the weather is nice. Next time will definitely be a summer trip. (besides, it’s miserable here in the summer so extra motivation to escape!)
So there are the things I’ve learned for the next time I am crazy enough to take a trip like this.