aka - Things we wish We’d Known Earlier

Time Zones Suck

We have traveled before. The idea of time zones is not a new concept to us. However, because we are driving they seem to sneak up on us. There have been multiple times (okay, like 2) when as we were planning our route we didn’t take into account the time zone change and we ended up kicking ourselves.

So when you find yourself planning an adventure of your own, it’s helpful to take a few extra minutes to note where you switch time zones.

We really wish we had.

Car Granola

In Boise we met a wonderful woman named Shelley. She was in charge of breakfast at the hotel we were staying at and was directly responsible for the majority of smiles in that room. We spoke with her a bit and as we were leaving she gave us some food for the road. According to her most hotels are fine with you taking a bit of food from breakfast.

Thus began “car granola.” If we stay at a hotel we make sure it has breakfast included. After eating a good hearty meal we take a bit of cereal that we then put in a big ziplock for the car. This mix of cereal is “car granola” and it is a HUGE hit with the kids.

Whether it is cereal, fruit, snack bars…whatever you choose a big snack bag is a must in the car. And lots of water to boot. Thanks Shelley!

Packing Cubes

The kids and I are packed in one suitcase…while Jon is packed in another. By the way, his suitcase is larger than ours. Now he may have different reasoning behind this…but I can say with 100% certainty, that our space efficient pack job is all because of these little packing cubes. I will use these on every trip I go on now. Forever.

Whether you’re heading out of town for a quick weekend getaway, backpacking through Europe, or headed to a yoga retreat for few weeks…these are a must. They keep you organized. Save you space. And eliminate the “dig to the bottom of the bag” scenario we are all too familiar with as travelers.

There are several brands. We chose Eagle Creek on Amazon.

Car Rides Can Be Great…But Break Them Up.

I was petrified about the car rides. So it’s worth mentioning they actually have been some of my most pleasant experiences during this adventure. With some books, games, food, and a movie…the kids can put in 2-3 hours pretty comfortably. We get to have uninterrupted adult conversations that I didn’t realize I missed this much until we started to have them again. The kids will tell you when they need a break.

It is worth noting that if we are doing 2 days of back-to-back driving, the time between melt downs is much shorter and the melt downs are usually more intense on that second day.