Traveling with Children across the country

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on August 06 2011

Travel time. Across the country. And with children. Am I ready for this?
We are excitedly planning our very first road trip with my family. It's been a long year, and an even longer summer…so it seems appropriate to unplug and let go and get outta dodge!
But the planning, the endless planning! Is it worth it? I hope so!
One thing we decided to take advantage of was a AAA membership. We don't have one ourselves, but I'm beginning to wish we did. Wow, there are a lot of benefits! My dad has a membership and since he was involved in my trip planning he felt he could use his membership to get us a trip plan. It was a pretty slick deal. Walk in, tell them our ROUGH plan, and viola…a couple days later we had a book with our route mapped out. And not just mapped out. Mapped out mile by mile, exit by exit. Yippeeeee! No getting lost!
Now I have my route, but since the goal is Mount Rushmore, I started a search of things to do around there. Hello! Do you have any idea on how many tourist attractions there are around Mount Rushmore? I guess I thought you drive, you see the mountain, you get out, you ooh and ahh in it's presence and you move on. Oh no. Not that easy. There are museums, and alpine slides, a magical forests, and horses. But I'm on a budget…big surprise…so I need to be smart. But I hear of Corn Palaces, and HUGE drug stores, and prairie dogs. I want to see it all! ** insert spinning head here **
What does one do when one is playing smart? Decide to wing it a bit. I think we will see how much time we have, base our choices on what we FEEL like doing and go from there.
My biggest concern from the beginning has been the car travel part. Six people. One vehicle. Six very strong, EXTREMELY strong personalities. There is not one "sit back and relax" personality in the bunch. Big personalities, big, HUGE! Needless to say this WILL present a problem.
For weeks I have been saying pack THREE bags. One for your trip clothes, and you don't need a lot, we can wash at our destination. One bag with car things to do. Again, think light. And one bag for stopping overnight at hotels on our way. Everyday I would get the question, can I bring "this or that"? The answer, "does it fit in your car bag" and can I lift your car bag without flexing every single muscle in my body…also an important point!
I think we are somewhat ready. i think we can do this. I THINK we can.
Our ultimate destination? The mountains of Colorado! I have blogged before about my secret place I go to make jewelry. I love this place. And we are blessed enough to have been invited as a family. i cannot wait to show them this paradise on earth. We probably won't be coming home. Just be prepared. Maybe I should have them pack a "in case we stay for the rest of our lives" bag!
Ready. Set. Here we go. On a REAL vacation. I'm excited and terrified. Any tips would be appreciated. Wish me luck, and send headphones. I think I will need them!
you are so loved,
xoxoxo, lisa

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