Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tips & Tricks {Different Suitcases for Different Places}

Our last trip included spending the night in four different locations: two nights at Stop A, two nights at Stop B, three nights at Stop C, and one night at Stop D.

I knew from our experience the year before that everyone dragging out a suitcase at every stop was a big pain. This year I decided to pack one suitcase for each of the first three stops. Another suitcase was carried into every stop and contained pajamas, toothbrushes, and a spare change of clothes for everyone.
A pic of my packing set-up (please pardon the mess!)

When we reached Stop C at a cabin, I was able to wash some laundry. This gave me a head start on the dirty clothes that would be waiting once we returned home. Doing laundry also gave us something to wear for the last leg of our journey, which I repacked in the suitcase from our first stop. 

With only two suitcases for stops A, B, and D, it was much easier getting in and out of the hotel. Each of my boys could pull a suitcase while I carried the bag of food, bag of activities, and cooler.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hidden Gems {Finding a Hidden Gem}

We all plan vacations that hit the hot spots in a certain town. If you visit New York City, you have to see the Statue of Liberty. In St. Louis, it's the Gateway Arch. In San Francisco, it's the Golden Gate Bridge. Lots of large cities have those go-to sites that everyone should try to see once in their life.

Then there are the hidden gems. It might be a site in a city, a pretty main street, or an entire town. You may stumble across them while stopping for a break in your long drive. Maybe they were discovered and recommended to you by a friend.

There's something about finding a hidden gem. You almost want to keep it to yourself so that it doesn't become overrun with tourists. At the same time, you want to share so other people can enjoy it.

I will be sharing a couple of hidden gems I've found and hope you'll recommend some as well.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

When Good Trips Go Bad {Pack a First Aid Kit}

On our last trip, most of the time it was just me and my two boys. Things were going well! Maybe too well. 

We'd survived the first leg of our journey. I had jostled my memory and managed to navigate the streets of Atlanta safely and successfully. Now we were off for adventures in uncharted lands. 

OK, I had a Google map printout with directions to where we were heading and GPS on my phone, but it was new to us.

We had stopped to see the scenic view at Bald Rock as we were leaving Casear's Head State Park in South Carolina. The rock was damp from fog and mist. Surprisingly, my boys' still had energy to burn and were running around. 

I had warned them to stay away from the edge, so they went running back up the hill while ignoring my request to stop running. 

Then it happened.

My youngest fell down. He didn't tear a hole in his pants, but the fall hurt enough that he felt he needed to show me his knee. So, scraping a knee isn't earth-shattering but it is a reminder that it's a good idea to pack a first aid kit.

When we returned to the car 5 minutes later, he showed me his knee. It had started to bleed a little. I tossed our first aid kit in the back seat and told him to put on some Neosporin and a band-aid.

The first aid kit had been a project for 4-H for the State Fair. It taught my boys about being prepared and came in handy on our trip. 

What should you include in your first aid kit? Ours was a small one, so we were limited to essentials. Here are some suggestions:
  • Band-aids
  • 1-inch-wide roll of medical tape
  • 4" x 4" medical bandages
  • Tum or Rolaids
  • Pepto Bismal
  • Small bottle or sample-size ibuprofen and acetamenophin
  • Neosporin
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Plastic gloves 
If there is something specific that your family needs, then be sure to include it. What additions would you make?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Where will your travels take you this year?

If you are like me, you are always thinking about the next trip you can take. Or possibly even the next two or three trips you can take.

Let's be realistic, planning a trip takes time and money. Being a solo parent means I have to take a few extra factors into consideration. This is also true for anyone living on a tight budget or who may find themselves travelling as the only parent.

So start planning today! Where will you go next?