Getting 5 kids ready for a Thanksgiving Road Trip: The thrill of the long distance car ride!

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are we there yet trukid

We are hitting the road this year for Thanksgiving, visiting my parents in Yuma, Arizona. Yep, that’s right, from Piedmont, CA to Yuma it is a quick 14 hour jaunt. Imagine my kids delight when I say, “Hey, kids, guess what, you get to sit for 14 hours in a row, in a car. YEA!

After the initial shock wears off, the kids are excited to see their grandparents and the planning begins. My car holds exactly 7 people. Good thing my college kid is in Europe for this trip. So 7 people, 7 seats. The seating games begin; who wants to sit where, and by whom. At some point, we need to draw numbers for seats, because no one can decide where to sit. The Packing List Then, the “what to pack” list is created. Since it will be a quick trip, all that is required is a small duffle. And of course no one can share, so 7 duffle bags. A very specific check off list is printed for everyone to use. (P.S. You can print a check off list template to use right here). The kids are used to packing by themselves and they love the list. They will pull from the list and put their stuff by their duffle, (I will check it) and then they will roll the clothes to maximize the space. And of course sneak in something not on the list, like a teddy bear that fills the whole entire bag. Activity and Games for Kids Next, comes the Activity List. This is the much more important list because they have 14 hours to fill (more or less). Each kid has their favorite activities, but most of them are electronic of some kind or another. They will investigate the car first for all available plug-ins, then gather all the cords and power adapters and start charging all the “stuff”. I require non-electronic activities too, so books, craft projects that are good for car rides, and of course a deck of cards, make it into the “bag”. Each has their own activities bag; (so 7 activity bags) this helps (mostly) avoid any borrowing issues during the ride. My kids are pretty good travelers so they are pretty good at gathering the clothes and stuff to do. Then they will put all their bags by the front door along with pillows and blankets, ready for car loading and jockeying for space. Kids Snacks On The Go Then the small cooler for snacks needs to be filled. I say small, because at this point, there is no more room. In fact, someone has to put their feet on the cooler. Will probably have to pick numbers for that too! We will prepare some easy to eat food for the car. We will cut veggies and some fruit, cheese sticks, some deli meat, crackers and cookies of course and then water bottles all make it in the Food bag. We will stop for lunch or other food along the way and if the kids are good or I can’t take another minute in the car, we might even stop off at a favorite Aunts house for a stay over, to break up the ride. (I really hope she is home)!!!! Stay tuned for how the return trip goes! Wish us luck! Happy Thanksgiving.

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