Last week I scheduled no Norwex parties, packed up the kids, and we hit the road!
Yeah not so simple. This is the second big road trip we have taken so I’m pretty new to all the tricks that many road trip Moms seem to know. After last year I knew I wanted the kids to depend less on screen time so I had to put some more work into bringing things for them to do.
(Edited to Add: We did borrow a DVD player and made a few Red Box stops along the way, and we had an Ipad and Iphone with us for the kids to use, but they had to earn their screen time. 60 minutes of non-screen time activity earned them 30 minutes of screen time. I rocked this on the way out East but was pretty much DO WHATEVER DON’T TALK TO MOMMY on the way home.)
Maren and Violet found these Scrapbooking Boxes at Michael’s, all credit goes to them for this awesome idea. They kept all of their things together but also doubled as a hard top writing surface. Genius! I bought one for each of the kids, and I spent a few hours stuffing them with fun things. Some of the favorites:
Stickers– they could decorate their box if they wanted
A shoe tying board I got from The Dollar Tree for Henry
Magnetic Car Board Games like Tic Tac Toe and a knock off of Shoots and Ladders
Dry Erase boards and markers
Card games like Beat the Parents, Travel Scavenger Hunt,
Note Cards, new pens, and stamps for Maren to send some cards to friends
Window Clings, again the Dollar Tree had letters so the kids could do the childhood classic “HELP” on the back window and pretend they were being kidnapped.
Vodka, for me. Just kidding. I didn’t drink in the car, although there were moments of me REALLY wanting to!
This is my favorite Kids Atlas, it’s full of great images and interesting facts.
One thing I’ve learned to do is pack all the swimming suits together in one bag because we generally all want to swim at the same time and if we are in a hotel for one night it’s easier to have them together. I love having a wet bag from my cloth diapering days for wet suits when we are close to home but on the road it’s better to use a Washing Net. Rinse and squeeze the suits out well and then I can hang the Net in the back of the van where they will get some air/ventilation to dry out.
Speaking of swimming, I’ve decided on the last few trips to skip the beach towels. They never dry fast enough and are a smelly gross mess by the time we get home. Norwex Kid’s Towels come with instead, even for Jim and I. They really are good sized without being a space hog, and they do a fantastic job drying out quickly. They are another Norwex product that features BacLock silver self-purification properties so we can easily use and abuse these over a week and still come home with towels that aren’t smelling sour on the way home. Henry’s feet on the other hand…..
Packing an extra duffle with pajamas and a clean outfit for everyone is something I didn’t think to do until learning the hard way. No Dad wants to roll into a hotel at 11 pm just to sleep only to have to unload the entire car to dig for just a few articles of clothing. I keep all of toothbrushes and toiletries in my possession and in a hanging organizer so we can grab this for single night stays en route to the final destination as well. LL Bean has an awesome one, but my all time favorite has been retired from 31 Gifts. I wish they would bring it back!
Our destination was Williamsburg, VA with trips to Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Busch Gardens, and a stop at the Civil War Battlefield Antietam. We hammered out all of that in 4 days and decided to call it quits on our Airbnb rental when the cockroaches pushed me over my highly tolerant edge! Speaking of that Airbnb, there was plenty to clean (it’s vacation, I’d like to take a break from cleaning, but anything for a good before/after photo, right?)
That little Travel Cloth and water I used to clean the microsuede chairs? Moms, I am telling you! Before you go on any car trip longer than 3 minutes, you really must give your kids one of these. All of my kids get one Travel Cloth in a Reusable Produce Bag, and we hang them in the seat in front of them. I keep a spray bottle of water in the car to wet the Travel Cloth (if needed) for big nasty clean-ups, but for general face and finger wiping, we use them dry. The cloth goes back in the produce bag and dry quickly in a hot car! Normally I say rinse well and hang by the tag to properly care for your Norwex Microfiber but the rules get bent in the car.
We always rent a minivan when we go on long trips, but keeping it semi-clean from start to finish keeps me from feeling insane when we are on hour 7 of driving. This year I brought along one of these to use as a garbage can and it TOTALLY WORKED! The lid kept anything from spilling out and kept and yucky smells under control too.
We left Virginia a day early and did a impromptu trip to Washington DC for 24 hours. This was the highlight of the trip, probably because it was spontaneous and exciting to have no plans and little time to see what we could see. I was thrilled Jim was up for this, I so badly wanted to see the Washed Ashore Exhibit at the National Zoo. Norwex has partnered with Washed Ashore to bring awareness to ocean/lake pollution from plastic waste. Last January I was able to meet the artist and founder behind Washed Ashore, her work is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. Every sculptures in these photos is made from plastic garbage that has washed ashore.
It was an incredible trip and we made so many memories. I’m thankful for a job with such flexibility and freedom and can’t wait to plan our next trip! Where have you taken your kids? I love suggestions and feedback from you!