Vacation or Va-Cay as the younger generation calls it, is in full swing. Most of the magazines up around the check out counters now have pictures of celebrities out on the va-cays in the South of France or at their
In our day a vacation was a trip to grandma’s house in
for two weeks. It took two to three days to get there and that many to get back
home. After almost twenty years of taking kids, from seven months old, to 19
years old on that trip, I don’t need a lot of tips on how to make our trip more
But just in case I’d been doing things all wrong those years, I picked up a magazine and flipped through it to find out the best tips on taking children of all ages on a long road trip.
Number 1: Take along lots of water bottles because the weather is hot in the summer time.
Are you kiddin’ me? Back when our kids were fighting in the back seat and believe me that happens no matter how old they are, we did not buy water in bottles. We washed out a gallon milk jug and filled it with tap water. And I did not encourage them to drink, drink, drink. Because that meant stop at the next rest stop, stop at the next convenience store, stop at the next bush or even just stop, period, right there on the highway.
Number 2: Take along travel sized board games.
Did this writer have children? A game of Chinese Checkers or Monopoly required two referees at our house. And has the writer ever ridden in a small compact car with country music playing in the front seat to keep the driver—that would be Mr. B—awake so he could drive another two hours past dark. It can get very noisy in the back seat when the driver hits a bump in the road and all the game pieces wind up on the floor board. No, sir, no travel games ever made it to our car. The best we did was the ABC game with signs which worked fairly well the first day. By day two they were bored with it.
Number 3: Pack video games and books in small tote bags for the children.
Now this I could get into but video games were the size of refrigerators when my kids were small. Books did seem to work well so the writer redeemed himself a little with this suggestion.
I decided that I could make up a better list of what to take on a long road trip.
Pack lots of road maps because men folks do not stop and ask for directions and when they get mad at the GPS, they turn it off or put it in the trunk.
Tuck in a bunch of plastic grocery sacks and get one out of the truck each morning to hold the trash. Every time you make a pit stop, toss that one and get out another one.
Take a box of those wet wipe things for emergencies. One kid will get chocolate all over his hands and face—trust me--and they are pretty handy when Mr. B thinks a side window is open and hurls his apple core across the car and out the window. It was not open and it splattered all over me!
And for the mother: take a bottle of headache pills, an ice pack and a calendar with the day you will arrive back home circled in red. That’s the best day of her Va-Cay for sure!