Our spring break adventure is drawing to a close. We’ve had a fabulous time checking out some fun stuff in Ohio and Missouri and we have just a couple more fun stops planned for the trip home. I’ve traveled with the boys alone before, but never for this amount of time and never with this much driving. I’m happy to say that thus far we’ve had a great time (I’ve probably just jinxed our drive home.) Want to know how I survived? (Rule number 1 – don’t forget the beer!) OK, here are the real tips…
- Be flexible. I had a list of possible places to stop on the drive, as well as back up hotel options. (Make sure you know your cancellation times.) I was able to push the boys a little farther one day, but barely made it to the first hotel option the second day. And then there was the time my GPS didn’t recognize the one way streets so we could not actually get to the Subway Restaurant and instead had Wendy’s… At least I’ve finally trained the kids to tell me they need to pee BEFORE it’s an emergency.
- Choose your activities based on your kids’ interests. While I did manage a couple of meals at brew pubs and the tour at Anhueser Busch, most of our activities centered around zoos, science centers, and airplanes.
- Find hotels that offer free breakfasts and indoor pools (and a fitness center). Neither of my kids are morning people, so being able to grab a run while they were sleeping and then feed them, all without leaving the hotel was awesome. It was also nice to have a place to wear out the younger one when the older one needed some peace and quiet.
- Know your limits. I confess that I don’t think I could have done the entire week with just the three of us. My boys are 4 years apart in age and light years apart in personality. Having my parents meet us in St. Louis for a few days was pivotal in all of us surviving this trip. Plus it was a total bonus to see my parents.
- Bring snacks. Seriously. Bring.All.The.Snacks. Think you’ve got enough packed? Add a few more things. Maybe it’s because I have a teen and a tween, but it seemed like there was someone hungry pretty much all the time.
Did I mention to not forget the beer (or wine or adult beverage of choice)? Traveling with kids by yourself, even older kids like mine, is exhausting. But it’s been an absolute blast and I’d happily do it again next year. Hopefully the long drive home won’t nix that feeling LOL.