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I am insane. 11 day roadtrip with 2 kids.

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Old 06-01-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default I am insane. 11 day roadtrip with 2 kids.

We're moving in a couple weeks from Maryland to California. Instead of flying and having our car shipped we're driving. Hitting up Vermont and Arizona on the way to torture ourselves a little bit more .

We made the same trip in 2005 except the other way around. We spent a ton of money on crap food and I gained like 10 lbs it was not good.

We are determined not to do that again! We're in the market for a good cooler. Plan to stock up on good snacks for us and the kids and hit up grocery stores instead of McDonald's along the way. Free ice everynight at hotels to restock the cooler, right? hehe.

So I'm looking for tips/hints/tricks/must haves to make this journey easier on us! We'll be traveling with a toddler and a preschooler if that makes a difference. They will eat pretty much whatever is available. I'm so lucky they're not picky!
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:09 PM   #2
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I have no experience in this field, but good luck! Sounds like you're going to need a heap of colouring books and wiggles CDs
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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LOL I know huh. The kids are actually really well behaved in the car! I'm way more worried about the food situation.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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What kind of car do you have?

When my family would make our 800 mi trek to my grandparents we packed a one of those like 55 quart coolers (the really really big ones) with drinks and sandwhich making materials. We saved a ton of money i am sure and we got to have our favorite stuff on hand. We still had chips and what not but still better than McD's 3 times a day for a week.


We played the Alphabet game, license plate game. I had my cd player and books when i got a little older.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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We've got a Kia Rondo. It's a hybrid/van/suv kinda vehicle. There's a bit of cargo space in the back and we have a huge hard top roof box. All our clothes *Should* be able to fit up top. That leaves quite a lot of room for a cooler. Where do people eat if they don't stop to stretch their legs at fast food joints? LOL. I have this vision of us marching into Burger King with our sack lunches and them glaring us down .

So far the list I've compiled with the help of my 5 year old LOL. Trying to have a lot of things on hand that I can pass back to the kids and won't make a terrible mess.

String Cheese
Pretzel Rods
Lunch Meat
Cream cheese to spread on lunch meat
Pickles
Light Bread
Peanut Butter
SF Jelly
Babybel Gouda Cheeses
Cut up Veggies
Hummus
Bottled Water
Fruit Snacks (for the kids)
Raisins
Whole grain Crackers
Grapes
Strawberries
Nuts

Anything else that would keep well in a cooler?
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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as far as snacks, my cousin has a 2 year old and stocks up on quaker granola bites. they have them in all sorts of flavors and they're only like 100 calories/pack. her son LOVES them, and she gets the chocolate ones so when she's driving she can fulfill her chocolate cravings too. my other cousin has a bag of crasins. ocean spray makes bags that have individual single serving packages that the kids love...the only problem is they're really good amo...and if you lick them and throw them they can stick to the window (i taught them that hahaha!)
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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Also.. What should I store all this stuff in? Baggies? Tupperware? I guess we'd always have access to a sink at the hotel and I can bring a bottle of dishwashing liquid with LOL.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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as far as snacks, my cousin has a 2 year old and stocks up on quaker granola bites. they have them in all sorts of flavors and they're only like 100 calories/pack. her son LOVES them, and she gets the chocolate ones so when she's driving she can fulfill her chocolate cravings too. my other cousin has a bag of crasins. ocean spray makes bags that have individual single serving packages that the kids love...the only problem is they're really good amo...and if you lick them and throw them they can stick to the window (i taught them that hahaha!)
LOL about the Craisins! I'll have to get some of those instead of raisins . I hate raisins but I'll eat the cranberries and I'm sure the kid would like them too. Oh Granola bites are a great idea. We like the 90 calorie granola bars too.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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You can get tupperware really cheap these days - just opt for the "disposable" kind (that I re-use anyway).

Also, my family used to go from NJ to Florida fairly often - they usually have picnic areas on the interstates - you could probably eat there (weather permitting) and get some nice outdoor time in between all of those hours in the car.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:58 PM   #10
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You can get tupperware really cheap these days - just opt for the "disposable" kind (that I re-use anyway).

Also, my family used to go from NJ to Florida fairly often - they usually have picnic areas on the interstates - you could probably eat there (weather permitting) and get some nice outdoor time in between all of those hours in the car.
Very true, good point! I'll have to google and see if there's a site that shows me where the rest stops/picnic areas are. There's a website for everything these days LOL. I can just put the baby in the stroller so she doesn't run onto the interstate haha.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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I think your snack list is a really good one! I'd probably add cut-up apples to the list and take off the nuts. They get everywhere and they're oily when they get stepped on/sat on so they can make a big mess.

I would recommend investing in a few books-on-tape for the older one and giving him/her a cheap Walkman. Bring plenty of batteries, too, lest you end up listening to The Jungle Book ad naseum through the fat part of Texas. (Ask me how I know this...)
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:14 PM   #12
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I think your snack list is a really good one! I'd probably add cut-up apples to the list and take off the nuts. They get everywhere and they're oily when they get stepped on/sat on so they can make a big mess.

I would recommend investing in a few books-on-tape for the older one and giving him/her a cheap Walkman. Bring plenty of batteries, too, lest you end up listening to The Jungle Book ad naseum through the fat part of Texas. (Ask me how I know this...)
LOL!!! He's got more tech gadgets than I do! He's got a little MP3 player and I plan to load it up with a bunch of music for him. I think I would go insane if I had to listen to the the Jungle Book more than once lol. He's got a Leapster and a Leap Pen so he can read himself books too. And a whole tote full of color wonder markers and paper . I got some rechargeable batteries, a thingy that turns the DC into an AC in the car, and a chargers so we should be good to go there. OH and portable DVD player, definitely. I bought a new one with two screens so both kids could watch. We plan to break it up into about 6 hour days and to stay at hotels with pools so we can wear them out good in the evenings! I don't really know what else to get my 16 month old to do. She eats markers and crayons. Maybe I'll get her a few small new toys to rotate around. She really digs her brothers action figures. They keep her busy forever.

The nuts (almonds) are for me hehe.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #13
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And don't forget you can often find local parks where you can have a picnic lunch and stretch your legs a little. If you know your route you can find such locations on the internet.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:22 PM   #14
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Very true, good point! I'll have to google and see if there's a site that shows me where the rest stops/picnic areas are. There's a website for everything these days LOL. I can just put the baby in the stroller so she doesn't run onto the interstate haha.
There should be rest stops (with real restrooms and shaded picnic tables) about every 100 miles on the interstates.

Some of them are pretty neat too. Often have historical markers or big signs describing the geology of the area. My favorite rest stop in the country is on I-80 in Utah on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I remember one somewhere in Wyoming or Nebraska where we hiked to see some DEEP wagon wheel ruts from the pioneer days.

My parents used to take us three kids from California to Pennsylvania every other year when I was growing up. On the off years we usually drove from California to Yellowstone. I have great memories of the All American Family Summer Roadtrip.

Mom would pack a big cooler with sandwich making stuff, fruit, and chips. We'd usually get breakfast near the hotel (either free continental breakfast or Dennys) and stop at the rest stops for lunch. Dinner was usually a sit down restaurant near the hotel (walking distance if possible so we could get out and move around a little).

Funny anecdote: Way back when, California had active agricultural inspection stations at the entrance to the state. They didn't allow you to bring in fruit from outside (medflies, IIRC). So during the last few days of the return trip, Mom would be pushing us to finish all the fruit.

Enjoy your trip. My experiences with them growing up were so awesome that I still take a week to two week cross country road trip every year, except now I do it solo on my motorcycle.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:33 PM   #15
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You could also picnic on store grounds. No joke, in desperate times, my parents would find a back corner of an unused parking lot.... say walmart. Use our van to section off a little bit from the rest and spread a blanket out. Then, we would race from line to line and make up other silly games. Of course, you would need to make sure the area was safe and keep a close eye on on your kiddos. But, space is space. And sometimes, a kid needs to run!

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