- I had a wonderful time at the Authorfest this weekend. The event was held in a small conference room off the Central Library in Virginia Beach. There were a few local library folks who wandered in and out of the room. I was lucky to sell a few books. But, the value of this day was found in meeting some of my fellow authors and networking. One of the speakers for the day presented a top 10 list for new authors on finding success. The number one on the list was, “Writers got to write”. These four words of encouragement helped me dust off the pen and get back to writing. I started with a HARO query request this morning. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It is a daily request for sources in the form of a query letter. The topic “Travel Tips during the holidays for families with kids” came across my radar.
This made me reminisce about my many family holiday car trips with my kids from Virginia to Vermont. We take an annual journey to Stratton Mountain for a family ski trip. This is one of the few traditions my kids and I have been able to keep. Following a divorce, our traditions, schedules and flexibility have changed. I decided to write down a top ten tips for traveling with kids. The article was seeking advice on items or products to bring in the car.
If you have had the misfortune of traveling with three kids in a car for 10 hours through holiday traffic… you may already know some of these tips. Haha:)
TOP TEN ITEMS TO BRING IN YOUR CAR FOR A 10 HOUR ROAD TRIP DURING THE HOLIDAYS
- Germ Killer: An ample supply of hand sanitizer and wipes will absolutely be your smartest purchase. With three kids and various bladder requirements, we stop at almost every rest stop from Virginia to Vermont. The germs are epic!
- BIG ZIPLOC BAGS: I mean the kind of bags you store your winter clothes in! These bags come in handy in the event you have forgotten your germ killer, or it just didn’t work. These low profile, easy to store bags are great. I tuck one Ziploc behind each seat. The modern day barf bag. There is nothing worse that a massive holiday stomach bug in the back of your new Volvo. The Ziploc seals the mess in and gets the smell out, until you can toss it at the next rest stop trashcan.
- Books- one good book per person. Yes, kids still can read in cars.
- Sketch pad and colored pencils- To doodle, write, and play tic- tac- toe. Sure there are apps for that! But, it is fun to go old school once in a while.
- A kindle loaded with books, games or even a movie because it is all about balance, headphones, and keeping those wild kids quiet and entertained.
- Earplugs- for mom or anybody that wants to sleep or find a moment of peace.
- Benadryl- I am not ashamed to say that my kids may be allergic to long car rides. Be careful! Benadryl does work for kids with allergies and it may make them sleepy. (Like for three hours! YES!) Next thing you know he needs number 8.
- Pillows and Blankets-because after two hours your sister will be sick of your head bobbling towards her. After three hours you will be tired of activities 1-5. And, your mom may have slipped you a number 7 for your allergies.
- Healthy snacks- that are not too messy for the car. Leave the Doritos and Cheetos at home. There is nothing worse than yellow cheese mess all over your organized, road trip ready car. Stick with apples, craisins, and some homemade sandwiches. Drink water! Staying hydrated helps you stay healthy. But, don’t drink too much because you will find yourself at that beloved rest stop off the New Jersey Turnpike, AGAIN!
- WAZE APP loaded on your IPod. This is the coolest navigational app ever. It is only to be used by your co-pilot! We don’t need one more distracted driver on the road. Your co-pilot can plot your trip, message other WAZE drivers, keep track of caravan drivers in your travel party, avoid traffic life, and get alerts on real time accidents, hazards and road debris, police in the area, and help you find rest stops… which brings you back to number 1 on our list. It is a fun little travel app that can keep a 10 year old busy and help you pass the time.
The trick is to stagger everything so that the kids don’t get bored!
Keep your kids up late the night before your trip. Wake them up at 5 am. This strategy will help them sleep off a good third of the trip. The goal is to keep everyone happy, healthy and safe. I hope you are able to laugh at your mishaps and adventures along the way. Happy Holidays!