As my kids get a little older, I am realizing that there will not be a lot of summers where we can just pick up and go. They will soon have sports teams, friendships and god forbid relationships to consider. Right now though, they are all mine for the summer and we are packing up and hitting the road. I am hoping to be able to keep you up to date on everything we are planning and where we are headed while also answering some questions people often ask me about blogging.
For this trip, I am using both old school methods and new technology to figure out where we are going. That’s right, I bought a paper map. They still actually sell them. So thank you map company. Your services are still required and appreciated.
My map and I are currently inseparable as I try to figure out which of approximately 15 U.S. cities we will be visiting. Once I have located places on the map, I take to the internet to figure out miles or kilometres between stops and determine driving time. After determining destinations, sites like Pinterest, and TravelingMom.com have ample information about the cities we are hoping to visit along the way.
A huge part of planning this road trip is pitching hotels that we want to visit as well as cities. Basically, I write to the hotel or visitor bureau with the details of my blog as well as monthly visitors and things like twitter followers and hope for the best. More often than not, hotels and cities have already booked their summer bloggers or do not always work with bloggers but I have been able to already score some great accommodations in exchange for a review. A big part of making an agreement with a hotel is making it clear that my opinions remain my own and I must be honest about what I like and don’t like about the hotel.
As a mom with kids who are still in car seats, I am still always looking for the safest technology especially when we hit the highway. I have and still continue to trust Britax for the safest car seats in North America and highly recommend them. I also look for whatever will make my life easier. Besides the two kids, this road trip is a solo endeavour and I don’t have the same comforts as a family traveling with two adults. Mostly, I have no navigator (as he gets distracted playing angry birds and is 5) and must be able to find my way to and from places alone while driving.
I also am looking for whatever will entertain a 4 year old girl and 5 year old boy while I drive 3500 miles. I am already getting great suggestions for games, books and video players. We also picked up a great Melissa & Doug road trip bingo game that the kids can’t wait to crack open. I’m already stashing away small toys as prizes.
Some of my favourite gear to bring on road trips, are Cloud B toys which help my kids get to sleep in the car, on planes and in dark hotel rooms. You can win a prize pack of Cloud B and Smart Trike prizes valued at over $250. Enter here before June 16, 2014.
I’m also in the process of figuring out how and what we are going to eat. For health and financial reasons, I do not want to eat out for 3 meals a day for 30 days and am looking for great ways to pack up the car with healthy and fun snacks and meals for me and the kids. One issue is that because we are departing from Canada and need to cross the Canada-US Border, we can’t pack any dairy, meat or fruit. Thus, most of our shopping will have to take place in the U.S.
I literally am dreaming about this road trip. I wake up to remember dreams about being in places like Washington, D.C. and Savannah, Georgia with the kids. I spend a lot of the day thinking of things we will do and places we will see. Having never been to Texas, I am particularly excited to experience it first with two little kids who also have no idea what they are in for.
Have any tips or ideas for me? Hotel recommendations along the way? Let me know! You can also follow all of my planning on Pinterest.