30 October 2015

31 Days: Road Trip (Planning Edition)

Hi friends!
So! Tonight I'll share with you my best planning tips when it comes to road tripping, especially to Disney World! So let's just dive in... 

So, when I plan, I include as much info as I can in our itinerary- it just helps make me feel prepared. Below is a peek at our last trip's itinerary for our driving days- the rows are as follow....
day of the week
hotel for the evening
event for the day/final destination
breakfast (where & what we're eating)
morning plans
afternoon plans
evening plans (hotel reservation #s)

And we've already discussed a few topics earlier in the series, like- 
So here's a few other tips and tricks to consider when planning out how you'll be road tripping...

My first piece of advice? Make sure you do plan ahead of time! Road tripping with kids is a big undertaking, no matter the age, so make sure you set aside time to plan out the details!

Get an early or late start:
Some of the best times to travel with kids are early in the morning and late at night. In the morning, the kiddos will be fresh as daisies (hopefully!) and less irritable. Maybe they'll even go back to sleep for a while if you get out early enough! Bring a portable breakfast for the road, like dry cereal, granola bars, or drinkable yogurt. 
If you're night owls, drive at night when the kiddos will be sleeping mostly. This way, they'll have spent most of the morning/afternoon NOT being cooped up in the car, and thus hopefully again not irritable yet! Bring a portable dinner to eat on the road, or plan to stop for dinner 1-2 hours into the trip. Also bring night-friendly activities for any kiddos that'll stay up after the sun goes down- book lamp for reading, iPad games/movies, or glow sticks!

One day, two days, three days, more:
We've done our 12 hour trek to Disney in one day and two days. When we knew we wouldn't be guaranteed an early start, we decided to break up the drive into two days. On the way home, when we hoped that the little one would be tuckered out from a whirlwind vacation, we did the whole thing in one day. Ironically, the straight shot drive was better than the two-days (due to a variety of unavoidable factors)! So just don't be too daunted to try and do it all in one day- it CAN work, if it's your only/best option! Just know that it'll be a long day, there will be delays, so just be prepared to go with the flow :)

Rest stops:
You'll be making them, so try and plan some fun ones! We planned stops at battlefields along the way (we're history buffs!), zoos, and "Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives" restaurants! Does your family have a hobby- baseball, hiking, etc? See if there's any stadiums along your trip, or awesome state parks! Parks & battlefields are also great places to have picnic lunches and let the kids run off some steam, kick a ball around, or just stretch out on a blanket and nap or read. 

There's kind of two schools of thoughts here- (1) make reservations in advance or (2) when you've decided you're done for the day, find a place with vacancies in the nearest town. The OCD planner in me always goes with option #1! While it's often not necessary, I always like to call the hotel and let them know if we'll be rolling in late at night- it's not unheard of for reservations to be given away. If option #2 is more your thing, just be prepared to drive around a bit. You never know if there's a big local event going on and thus no vacancies in town, so you'd have to keep driving. So just be flexible!

No comments: