Summer is almost over and the kids will be back in school next week. I wish you could see my excitement as I write this blog post. Is it me or does it feel like this summer has flown by? Maybe that's a good thing, right?
Anywho...the hubby and I try to do something fun with the kids before they go back to school or take a road trip. This year we took them to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a last-minute trip but much needed. The kids needed this time to get out of the house, off of their electronics, and have some fun away from home before heading back to school.
Scattered showers the entire weekend but we made the best of it. We were able to do some back to school shopping at the Tangier Outlets. Then the rain let up giving us some time to enjoy the beach and pool at the hotel.
Myrtle Beach is a family-friendly city with so much to do on the boardwalk and around town. Not to mention all the restaurants with seafood galore. Because there is such an age gap with the kids (23, 17, 14, and 7), I try to plan something fun that everyone will enjoy. We all had a good time at Ripley's believe it or not and Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.
I am a planner and try to stay as organized as possible. Having kids has taught me that when traveling as a family, we need to save money but still have a good time and plan well so I won't get frustrated. Let's face is fellow mom's, we do most of the work when it comes to planning and packing.
I wanted to share some hacks that I've learned over the years in hopes that it will help other mom's save time, money, and frustration when traveling with the kids.
1. Pack snacks and water
Trust me, everyone will get the munchies at some point. Purchasing snacks, juice, or water at a gas station when you fill the gas tank up gets expensive. Save yourself time, money, and frustration by packing snacks that you and your kids will enjoy eating. Fill a cooler with some ice, drop some juice boxes and water in it, and keep rolling.
Depending on how long the road trip is, sometimes I will pack lunchmeat and other fixings to make sandwiches. We would stop someplace to eat breakfast. Let everyone stretch, eat a good meal, and use the bathroom. For lunch, we'll stop at a rest area and whip up some sandwiches. Then back on the road we go. It gets expensive eating out, especially as the kids get older and when you have more than one child.
2. Bring board games and electronics
There's no internet when traveling on the road (unless you use your cell phone as a hotspot or you have a vehicle with wifi). If you have Netflix, download some movies so you can watch them without having to use any data. Board games came in handy too. For example, on this recent trip, we had all the rain so we played games. Lot's of laughs and a little competition go a long way.
3. Leave early in the morning or late at night
When it comes to road trips with the kids, especially young ones, the earlier or the later you get on the road the better. That way you don't constantly get asked "are we there yet" or "I have to use the bathroom". Be sure to get some rest before getting behind the wheel. Sleep is very important. Hate is a strong word but I HATE waking up early. We usually leave early in the morning and get a couple of hours of road out of the way while the kids are asleep.
4. A good music playlist
Good tunes go a long way. Plus, someone has to be the DJ while the other person is driving. My family love's music but I can't always get with this new school music. Thankful my kids enjoy listening to music from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.
5. Stay at a home away from home
When traveling as a family, it helps to stay at a place that is spacious and has a kitchen. This allows for everyone to have to move around and having a kitchen helps save money on eating out. Once we check-in and rest for a little while we make a run to the grocery store to pick up some stuff breakfast and lunch. That way we only spend money on dinner and maybe some snacks while we are out at the attractions.
6. Plan your activities
When you plan, you save! Check attraction websites for discounts on tickets. If you purchase tickers online you can save some money or use Groupon.
Hope these travel hacks come in handy. If you have some travel hacks of your own, please share. I would love to hear from you.