I told you the story of our trip to and through the airport…
Once we arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, we had a 12 hour drive ahead of us. (And in 2 more days a 12 hour drive back again, a one day break in Utah, then on to the airports and airplanes again).
The first challenge: find a rental vehicle big enough that was legally allowed to cross the border! After much searching we found that Avis worked over the border but only had a 12 passenger van available- no room for luggage or my brother, Clark, who would be along for the treacherous journey.
Hmmmm…. As much as we tried to think outside the box there just didn’t seem to be a pretty solution to this problem.
Wow! We were SO relieved and grateful when my brother looked one more time and found ‘Rugged Rentals’. They had a 15 passenger van that could cross the border! Saved! Just in the nick of time, we knew the trip would be feasible with people and property.
The journey itself is not that big a deal to me as we often took this journey as a family to visit Grandpa and Grandma when I was young. Mike and I even took it with our one month old Baby Isaac for our one year anniversary. (Now that was an eventful trip! I hit a deer on the way home and later on one of our wheels rolled off while driving!)
All things get easier with experience, even trips to Canada with kids. But being the first time we traveled with 10 children aged 18 yrs. to 4 mos. I knew we needed to be prepared. Time to pull out every resource for a fun family trip!
Here’s some tips and tricks we’ve used to make travel time a more fun and meaningful family time:
(Many of these came from my Mom who always helped make our trips to Canada a happy event. Thanks Mom!)
These ideas are listed in no particular order.Hope a tip or two might help you!
If you have any great tips to share pleeeaaze do! Thank you!
Now, onto the list:
– Let each child pack,(double check the young ones!) and then keep beside them throughout the trip, a small activity bag or backpack! (Great items: leapster, leap pad, game boy (oh, r those out?), kindles, favorite snack or two (think less mess), books! Logic, IQ, and grade level activity books are awesome for keeping busy and of course they will need something with which to write. (Think washable!)
– Read a book out loud to your kids! (I’ll never forget laughing and crying through Jack Weyland’s ‘Charlie’ as Mom read it to us one trip).
– Choose a ‘theme’ CD! I can remember certain family trips by the music that played through most of it!
– Music would be a number one key to family fun and success in ‘survival of the farthest’!
Sing sing sing! Rounds, funny songs, pretty and even those not so great sounding ones- SING! (Action songs are best for babies.)
– You MUST play ‘the alphabet game’ at least 3 xs through any longer-than-an-hour trip! (Each player simply races to see who spies each letter of the alphabet first! (on billboards and road signs). Players must say the letter and in which word they spotted it so no one else can use that word. The Winner is the First one done!
– games like ‘I packed my suitcase with…all a words, or all d words, etc…until someone can’t think of a word; or ‘I Spy’; or 20 questions; or the game in which each person adds something to the suitcase and the last to remember all of the list in order wins! These are classics in our family car rides.
– When one person has to go, EVERYBODY goes!!! This really helps minimize stops. (Unless you have a little one with spastic bladder problems, then you stop and let her go on the grass beside the road in Montana, or Ohio, or Indiana… whenever she wants!)
– Our family has a tradition of jogging (or playing tag, or obstacle course…) with Dad intermittently during a long trip, usually after a lunch and gas up break. It’s the highlight of happiness and refreshes ALL of us!
– a well timed ice cream pick-up can get you 3 more happy hours down the road!
– parent planned seating arrangements REALLY help! Especially with young children.
– my Mom has packed a fun activity box for our young ones before. My sister in law gave us a huge ‘surprise gifts’ bag one year we were driving from UT to PA. Each hour the children could open a new little gift, each one was an ingenious answer to boredom! Yay!!
– This trip Emily and Anna created a good traveler grab bag, oh, I mean bucket. They decorated a small bucket with shiny fun wrapping paper and bought small fun gifts from five below to fill it. When they spotted a good traveler deed they would let the little traveler pick something from the bucket. Little girls LOVED it!
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some strategy that we have and used often and even more I’m sure you have many more ideas to share! Please let us know your best boredom busters and family fun ideas for travel.
Love to you all!
P.s. we made it! We get on another plane soon! C ya!
C & Crew