Jul 2, 2016

How to Take A Summer Vacation With Children - And Survive It

  Summer - it is what every family waits all year for .  Summer vacation - what every family can't wait to do, but dreads the traveling because all the kids do is fight. 
  Every year our family decides together where we want to go for Summer vacation - the beach, amusement park, water park, the mountains ect...   We all get so excited looking through magazines and online to choose the perfect place, but then the reality sets in, "what can we do to make the car ride to and from the final destination and back home again, be fun and not full of arguements and fights?***
   After we settled on a really awesome looking amusement park in Hot Springs, Arkansas we then had to get down to business on what we needed to make this a less stressful car trip so we could actually enjoy our summer vacation without coming home with bad memories.

  My husband and I decided to look into those DVD players that hook onto the back of the seats.  Watching movies would surely be a good thing for the boys to do for most of the trip.  We searched online and found a set that was very reasonable and easy to put up and take down.  This set of car DVD players are by Sylvania and run less than $30.  Of course we needed to get a couple of the newest movies out on DVD that they had not already seen.  This would keep them occupied for quite a while.  We chose- "Zootopia" & "Problem Child" - the 2 pkg. set.   Both titles certainly fit our children. (laughing out loud)  Cost of these movies were less than $35.  So that we would be able to talk to one another without shouting over the movies, we definitely needed to buy 2 sets of ear buds.  We found some very reasonable sets from JLAB - the JBUD2 Ear Buds were only $8 a pair, so $16 for 2 seemed very well worth it to save our sanity.****
    Now, our children are like most other children, they will nap at some part of the trip, and this usually means their heads will flop up and down and get into a crazy, uncomfortable way, which made me want to look for 2 car pillows to help with this problem.  I actually killed two birds with one stone you might say, because I found the Wolf Moon Children's Safety Strap/ Pillow for head and neck support.  I really like these because they cover the seatbelt part, up by the face, which bothers the kids any way, and with these covers it doesn't rub their face and serves as a pillow also.  The cost of one is less than $30, so for 2 you spend less than $60 and these can stay in the car for everyday use as well.
   What I hate more than anything is having kids eat in my car, but as any parent knows it is virtually impossible to go 4 hours without giving them a snack or two.  I found the coolest product - Snackeez 2 in 1 snack and drink cup.  These cups store  chips, cookies, candy ect... in the lidded top and below is a divided section for whatever their favorite drink of choice is.  It comes with a straw and when tipped over - get this - nothing spills out!  The best invention since the air conditioner, well maybe not that great, but pretty much wonderful.  Only $8 a piece which is very much cheaper than an upholstery detail to remove the Kool-Aid out of my seats.
   Now, we needed something to hold the movies, ear buds, coloring books, markers and extra items they brought.  I found an awesome container that fit in the seat between both boys and the best part was - it was divided and as any parent knows with children no one can have more than the other child and that even means car seat organizers.  I purchased the car seat organizer, with 2 sides, 4 places to hold cups (Snackeez holders) and it has pockets for ear buds and such and it also folds flat when not in use. This product was less than $30 also.
   So far this product searching has worked out great and the kids, my husband and I were beginning to get excited.  Last, but not least, I bought 2 different coloring books with 2 books each, 2 packs of 96 count  Crayola Crayons and 2 packages of 12 count Crayola Washable Markers - notice the word washable.  All these last minute items only cost around $27.
   The Anderson's were packed and ready to leave Texas for Arkansas with everything in place: dvd players hooked up with" Zootopia" playing, straps on the seatbelt for heads to rest on, Snackeez full of Cheezits and red Kool Aid, along with a seat divider holding the standby items available in case of a change in the current situation.
   2 hours gone by - no fighting.  Potty breaks and back on the road.  Now watching *"Problem Child"*, 4 hours later we arrive at our hotel.  All children accounted for, no blood anywhere - we made it!  Now to eat dinner and get a good night sleep for tomorrow would be a fun day at the amusement park.
  After 4 days of horseback riding, go cart racing and enough putt-putt golf for uh... forever, it was time to head for home.     As we pulled into our driveway after being gone for 5 days, I looked back in the seat behind me to see 2 beautiful sleeping little boys, it occured to me a vacation with kids could be done.  It could be done, and was done, because we actually thought it through like we should have been doing in the past.  No children were left at road side parks because we were in total insaneville, both kids had all body party still attached and my husband and I were sane. 
   What a wonderful vacation we had and it was because we prepared ourselves and thought how the kids thought for once.  Adults can ride for hours and still be fine, but little children become restless and end up making their trip, and yours, totally unbearable.  But our family proved it can be done and all jokes aside, I hope some of the ideas I have given you can help your family on your next vacation.  Now, to start planning Christmas with the in-laws.  HELP!


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