"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 :) :)