We are blessed to live within 2-4 hours of both Dallas, Texas, and the Tulsa /Oklahoma city areas in Oklahoma. This means we can do a lot of day trips in the car without having to spring for the overnight cost of a hotel. However, it does mean that our 2 hour trip to Dallas will equals at least 4 hours of driving round trip. And, that is if I don't get lost, miss my exit 10 time, or get stuck in rush hour traffic! So the key to surviving day trips for us is to plan ahead. It is important to take rush hour traffic into consideration as well as allowing extra time for, well, you know,,,, getting a little lost or delayed. Here are a few tips & tricks that work for us.
- Leave early. This is easy to say, but not easy to put into practice when you are me. A night owl, who doesn't do much functioning in the early morning hours. This brings me the next tip
- Have everything ready to go the night before, better yet, put everything (except kids) in the car and lock it up. Lay out clothing that will be worn, so that no one is searching for lost socks at the last moment.
- Pack an extra change of clothing for everyone. We even keep an extra pair of shoes in the back of the van at all times. You never know when someone will throw one out the window or have flip flops stolen while in the water at the water park. Yes, both of those things have happened to us.
- Pack drinks & Snacks. We pack fruit snacks,juice boxes, can of coke, bottled water, chips, and granola bars. This will save you money and time. No reason to stop except for gas or restroom breaks.
- Type your destination into the GPS the night before. Really, this is a must for me because I don't function well in the morning. (I am a night owl remember!)
- Don't forget: Tickets, sunscreen ( or winter stuff), stroller, the kids, and phone and chargers.
- Each of the older kids are responsible for brining their (charged) electronics and chargers, headphones, and a bag of toys or books.