This holiday, we found ourselves on the road – doing the every other year Christmas drive out to my family. You see, shortly after TheBoy and I were engaged, we arranged with our families to switch holidays with them. One year we’ll spend Thanksgiving with his parents and Christmas with mine, then the next year it’s Thanksgiving with my parents.
And we like the drive. Granted, it’s a drive I’ve been making since I was little. I have fond memories of leaving in the middle of the night to drive out to Arizona, sleeping in the car and waking up in Indio to have breakfast. I can tell you which rest stops between Los Angeles and Arizona are worth stopping at. (There’s one along the I-10 that warns you not to pick up hitchhikers because it’s right next to a State Prison. Not kidding)
It’s a drive the Kidlets are learning to love. Though let me tell you, making that drive with a baby isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. One trip back, the Oldest Kidlet made us stop about every 45 minutes to nurse (including at the scary rest stop mentioned above). Little Kidlet made us stop about 45 minutes away, so we had to pull into the only thing with some privacy- a school parking lot. We sat in the back while the Oldest Kidlet and TheBoy walked around.
Flying is hard to do at the holidays. So many things to take the kidlets anywhere for more than a couple days, and Christmas presents on top of that.
And while, admittedly, you do have kids whining about how long the drive is. How far away my grandmother’s house is. But there’s just a lot of time, to listen to music and to talk.
What are my top 5 things to have to stay sane in the car? (Note: I was not compensated by any of these companies. I just like making these lists)
1. AAA card. I’m not kidding. Two years ago, on our way TO Arizona, we got a flat off the I-10 in the middle of nowhere. The AAA guy put on our spare tire, and we made it into Blythe where it was already dark. My dad booked us a room, and we started calling tire shops. Only to find that nobody in town had the size my van needed.
In the end, my dad realized we could go with a slightly different size and it’d be enough to get to Arizona- where we wound up finding a tire that was the right size and went from there.
2. Satellite radio. Gone are the days where you leave town and radio stations drop off one by one until you’re left with country radio and then the Spanish language stations. Until there’s nothing but static.
We spent this entire trip listening to Sirius’s Holly station, turning it down for conversations and turning it up when the Kidlets spotted song titles they recognized. (Satellite radio – excellent for practice reading)
3. So many chargers. Not just car chargers for your phone either, I have a power inverter for my car- in short, an adapter so that I can plug in cord that would normally go into a wall. It comes in handy for charging gadgets that I might not have car adapter for (or that doesn’t end in a USB).
4. Lots of snacks. You’ll get hungry, and you’re going to make a lot of bad decisions in a minimart if you’re starving. So I buy my snacks beforehand.
5. Comfortable pants. If you’re going to be taking a car ride that’s longer than 6 hours – wearing something like yoga pants or pajama pants are a must. Jeans are not comfortable, no matter how stretchy they are. Trust me.
So what are your favorite road trip tips? And am I crazy for preferring to drive than fly? Tell me, I want to know!