Saturday, October 04, 2008

How do you vacation x6?

Get It Down; 31 for 21

"How do you go on vacation with 3 kids, three babies?? Aren't the hours in the car going to be awful? How long of a drive s it? What do you do that I don't that makes this a positive experience?"

That question is paraphrased :)

I'm really looking forward to this trip! I haven't vacationed with all 6 of us yet, but we did do a few hospital stays and once the 6 of us all went. That REALLY doesn't count as a vacation, but it gave me a general idea at least about how the kids will do sleeping away from home.

As for the hours in the car... there will be 8 the first day then four the next day. Then another four later in the week and another 8 home. And other than the portable DVD player, lots of small toys and books, stuff for Emma to chew on, loveys for Brianna, and coloring books/school work for Kristopher... I have no idea how we'll do!

Um... a good experience, I HOPE it's a good experience! Let's see... I put a lot of the kids' favorite snacks into single-serve snack baggies including graham crackers, goldfish, yogurt covered raisins, fruit snacks, cereal bars, and a few other things. I have juice boxes and gatorade in a cooler, and even snacks for Mike and I including chex mix and pringles :) It's much less expensive and less time-consuming this way too because we won't need to stop at rest stops to get drinks and snacks along the way. Instead we can eat while we drive and when we stop the kids can get out and RUN (or sit on a blanket in the grass...) instead of having to go look for something to snack on or drink.

I have two big blankets packed that roll up and will be great for parks. I have egg crates for the snacks, drinks, diapers, baby food, ensure, bottles, cups, etc. I also have a bin under the backward-facing carseats in each row. That's pretty much unusable space as far as moving about and is easily accessible still, so one bin has jackets, a spare set of clothes for everyone, and a few blankets in it. The other has the toys for the little guys so we can easily trade them out while we drive.

It REALLY helps that we just bought a huge vehicle because we will be bringing 2 pack 'n plays, 1 bed rail, 1 large duffel bag, 1 medium suitcase, the monster stroller, all the babies' food/drinks... plus whatever Mike brings ;). If the wheelchair will fit then we will bring it as we know it provides better support for Emma, but it just might not be an option. In our van other we would have had to leave the wheelchair home without question and might not have been able to bring the triple stroller either. Since Mike will be at a conference 2 of the days, I'll be on my own some of the time (and with a friend the rest) so it would have really limited what I could do with the kids.

I'm afraid I'm not great at tips and such, I just do what works for us! I will let you know how oit goes though :) :)


  1. We travel all the time with our crew. My kids do great on long road trips and yours will too! Sounds like you're well prepared....and that's the key! Just like everything else, traveling requires being organized and planning for everything. The DVD player helps too :)
    Just don't ever give the kids(in your ase Kristopher) a time that you'll be somewhere...that way he can't start watching the clock!

  2. I spent many days traveling with 4 under the age of 5. I got good at it! First, always split up food/gas/we need to move around breaks. This will give you more breaks and more time to move around, thus less stress! You'll feel like you're NEVER going to get there, but you will. If the trip would take 8 hours with two adults, plan on it taking 10 with the kids. You're GOING to stop more! If everyone is asleep, no matter how bad YOU have to pee, DO NOT STOP! Granted your kids aren't all ambulatory, so this might be tough, but it will help K. When you stop, have races with him up/down sidewalks or in grassy areas. This will help burn off excess steam and he'll probably be able to sit for quite awhile again.

  3. Good for you for going for it. I hope you guys have a great time. We just did nearly 5,000 miles with three kiddos. Thank goodness for DVD players! But when the kids were asleep it was priceless to get some one on one talk time with my hubby! Your new van looks great.

  4. Hope the trip goes very well. We went to Cape May during the summer with the 6 of us. That drive was split between 2 days. Coming home we went straight through (with stops of course) and it took 23 hours, 20 minutes. We were ready to get out of that van! But really, my kids did lots better than I expected!! It did somewhat help that we were mostly sick on the trip going there so nobody was really hungry! I just had to get the bucket in front of Max before he puked. Not exactly a fun trip but really wasn't bad!

    I did have goodie bags filled with (new) toys and such plus a good supply of snacks/drinks. They didn't even really play with the toys much. They basically watched TV (dvd's) the whole time.

    We did hear lots of "are we almost there?" from our then 4 year old.

  5. You are so well-organized and have thought out so many things! I am in awe of your foresight.

    Small magnetic toys and a metal tray might be good for Kristopher - if you can keep them away from the little ones' mouths.

    Old-fashioned road games like counting different states' license plates and the alphabet game (find the letters, in order, on road signs and billboards), might also be fun for Kristopher and would help shorten the miles.

    Bring out the new toys at intervals - maybe two per day in the car, a morning surprise and an afternoon surprise. A toy harmonica might be a hit when everyone's awake (if you can stand the "music"!). A ball for Brianna and Kristopher and the grown-ups to toss or roll around would work well for rest stops and would help burn off energy and provide exercise.

    A magic slate also would be fun for both Kristopher and Brianna - the scribble-and-lift-the-film kind (do they still make these??).

    I can't remember where you're heading, but if you post your route, surely some of your readers will have suggestions about interesting things to see and do along the way and at your destination.

    Have a great trip and be sure to write all about it!

    Best wishes,
    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to two from Ukraine

  6. You sound very prepared. Hope you have a safe and fun trip

  7. Pretty soon you'll have it down. Sounds like you have knack at packing. :)