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Thoughts for Thursday: Road Trippin' With 4 Kiddos!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We are headed to North Carolina for a week long vacation at the beach with my mom's side of the family- there will be 40 people all together!! 
I have been packing over the last few days and while there is a lot to remember for a family of 6- it is really not too bad as long as I stay organized!

As far as packing clothes go- I pack my girls matching outfits for every day.  Some people think it is totally over the top to have them match- but honestly- it is easier in regards to packing!! Instead of thinking about 7 different outfits X 3 girls- I just think of 7 outfits, pull them from each of their closets and stack them up in piles.  For James, it is a little different since he is our only boy :)  I pack several onesies, a couple pairs of jammies, some swimsuits and 7 outfits. He doesn't have any outfits that match the girls- but he does have a couple polo shirts that coordinate with a few of the girls' dresses :)
Here are the girls' outfits set out for the week!
Next, I put their play clothes/clothes to wear in the car and their underwear in a big ziploc storage bag and labeled it.  I am also packing some collapsible storage containers I got from the dollar store awhile back.  I am packing one for each child so that once we get settled in our bedroom, I can have their swimsuits and underwear in them. Few things annoy me more than rummaging through a huge, stuffed bag trying to look for ONE specific item.  Having those smaller clothing items out of the bag and organized will not only make things easier when it is time to get dressed- but it also frees up room in the bag for me to unfold their dresses and lay them flat so they aren't wrinkled messes when it is time to wear them!
Next up: The Road Trip Menu!
I know this might seem totally silly- most people just stop and get food when they are traveling, right?!? Well- I am a big weirdo and am NOT a fan of fast food places.  Also- that is not how we want to spend our vacation "fun" money!  Let me tell you- lunch for 6 people at McDonald's adds up QUICK!  That's why I plan out our meals for the car ride..it is easier, healthier and way better for our budget!
Having a "menu" planned out allows me to get items packed ahead of time and cuts down on bringing extra snacks we don't need! We are bringing A LOT of stuff...I need to streamline the multiple bag situation anywhere I can! HA!
 I will pack the girls breakfast individually for them.  For lunch- we plan to stop at a rest area so we can have a picnic and the kids can stretch their legs....so I don't need to pack individual lunches-  I will make sandwiches once we get to the rest area. Snacks are pretty self explanatory- I don't want to go overboard- especially since all the kids will be doing is sitting for 10 hours straight.  I want to keep our eating habits pretty much the same as they are on a "regular" day so we don't run into any upset tummies because someone had too much junk food!
Now the FUN part!!
Inside this super cute bag (that my husband got me about 8 years ago) are "car seat surprises!!"  When I was growing up, we would go visit my grandparents in upstate NY and go to Cape Cod.  It was a ridiculously long drive from Illinois- but it never felt that way because my mom always had little treats to hand out to us!! They were never big items- but I remember LOVING every thing she got us and feeling so special when she would give us a little surprise to make our time in the car a little more fun.
I love that now it is my turn to do this with my kids!! :)
Here is what I have stashed in my "car seat surprise" bag.  I have been picking these items up for several months now, always getting them on sale!! I ordered the beanie bag ponies and DVDs off of Amazon- and the rest of the stuff came from Walmart, Target and the dollar store! James isn't getting any car seat surprises this year- little guy just needs graham crackers and his milk and he is good to go :)
On past road trips, I have made the mistake of not planning for treats on the RETURN trip home. Not the best idea.  I have actually found the trip home is the one where car seat surprises are REALLY helpful because the excitement and anticipation of the vacation are gone and it just seems like A LOT longer of a trip than on the way there!
So- this time around- I wrote down what I plan to give the girls on the way to the beach and then on the way home.  I tucked the list in the front of my bag so I can have it as a reference if I forget- which I know I will :)
While I know being the car for 10 + hours with the kids won't be sunshine and rainbows the whole entire time, I am planning on it being a great trip! Like with everything in life, I am choosing to be positive and go with the flow when things get a little "special."  You can either resist the crazy- and it not be pleasant for anyone- or just leeaaannnn into it.  
It's ALL good- that's pretty much my husband and I's motto :)

So- now I would love to know your strategies for taking long trips with young kids!! Any great organizational tips?? Super fun games or activities you play in the car?  I would love to hear about them! 

Hope you have an AWESOME day!

I am linking up with Annie and Natalie today!

12 comments:

  1. Go you!!! I can't even imagine road tripping with 4 kids! You are a superhero! :)

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    1. Hi Jenn! Thank you for the sweet compliment!!

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  2. You have done really well with packing!! And the surprises are a great idea!!! We drove from Maine to Florida a couple of months ago. We did 12 hours in the car over 3 days, and I wish I would have thought of these surprises for the girls! I bought them new movies that they hadn't seen, and new books that my oldest had never read. You guys are going to have so much fun! Can't wait to read your blog updates!!

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    1. Hi Johannah! We had a great trip down to NC and I totally think the car seat surprises were a big reason why!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

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  3. You are soooooooooooooo organized, lady!!!!! Supermom for sure!

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    1. Oh my gosh- you are SO sweet! Don't know about being a super mom- but I do like to be organized!! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

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  4. The car seat treats is a brilliant idea! I started doing it with our son a few years ago when we drove down to Disneyland for the first time (we live in the SF Bay Area) and it made all the difference! It really helped break the trip up. I did $1 toys from Target, a hot wheels car and some special snacks. He was thrilled!

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    1. Hi Colleen!! Love that you have done car seat surprises for your little guy!! They really do help the trip go so much smoother and I have a blast picking things out for them!! :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

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  5. Great tips! We look forward to our meals on the road - that we typically don't do at home - but with a family of 6 I can totally understand!

    www.balancingbyfaith.com

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    1. Hi Leigh! Yes- going out to eat on the road can be such a treat- and I am sure once my kiddos are older we might do that more- but yes- for right now as a young family of six- rest area picnics are where it's at for us!! thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

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  6. Love this!! You are a mama rockstar! I'm not a mom yet, but I am an aunt, and these tips are definitely being saved for future reference! :)

    Have a great day!
    Katy

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    1. Katy- you are so sweet! I really appreciate your kind comments!! :)

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I love hearing from you! Let's keep it nice though...ain't nobody got time for anything else!

 
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