Wednesday, December 22, 2010

packing, unpacking and repacking . . . holiday travel

So . . . do you travel to other people for the holidays or do people come to you?  We have the worst best of both worlds because we do both . . . which is great . . . really . . . I mean, really great . . . really.  Because then I not only get to plan meals, clean and cook for others, I also get to pack, spend long hours in the car with children, unpack, not sleep, repack, travel some more, unpack and do laundry.  Good times . . . noodle salad.  (Bonus points if you know what movie that's from.)  So I'm contemplating packing . . . which doesn't actually need to happen until Sunday, but I'm putting off the to-do list that I posted before.  I'm contemplating it because I'm setting out clothes into packing piles and I always end up wishing I had a different kind of bag or suitcase.  It's too late to do anything about it now, but a girl can dream.  I typically pack us all in normal suitcases . . . well, one small suitcase for an overnight, but I wish I had one of these for small stuff I need while actually driving - snacks, books, dvds, muzzles . . . uhm, I'm kidding about one of those . . . I'll let you guess which one: sling backpacks.

Or one of these for big stuff: duffel bags.

Or one of these for my stuff: cosmetic bags . . . love this Amy Butler bag!

Or better yet . . . one of these so I don't actually have to be in the car with the kids: car toppers.

So do you travel, host or do both?  I need some survival tips!

Craft on!


Lu said...

Haha, I'm sure you'd be very cozy in that car topper :)

We travel but only a few minutes. It's one of the HUGE benefits of living in the same town that both you and your husband grew up in.

I am a bag junkie. When I was in school, it was backpacks, since that's what I was using, or small totebags for other things. Never really got in to the whole purse thing. Now, I am a messenger bag junkie so that I have room for my stuff and for all the mom stuff (which is actually for the kid)... and then usually for some of my husband's stuff too. :)

Beverly @ said...

Um. Love that Amy Butler Bag. ;)
We travel every other year. We did the travel all the time thing when the kids were little, but it started to feel like Christmas was never "ours" if that makes any sense.
So every other year we travel to our families. Often in the years that we stay home, they come to us - which is great too. We just needed to know that at least every other year we'd be home the whole time.
And we always threated to put a lawn chair on the top of the car for one of the kids - that might be a good option for you too. :)

MommyAnna said...

When we travel it is at least a 15 hour car trip to our first destination and then another 6 to the other. I have found that packing in eBags Packing Cubes is amazing. It allows you to pack each family member separately. I use one for cloths, one for pjs and one for underwear and socks. Its such a lifesaver! Happy travels!

Jaimee said...

Our holiday trip (when we do it) is 15hrs in the car w/ three kids and a dog. We've done this trip 7 times now so I've worked out some kinks...for stuff IN the back of the car, I made up several ziplock baggies of activities and put them in a plastic milk crate between two of my boys' carseats in the back seat. That worked much better than backpacks (tried it), because they could see what was what and easily grab it out or switch for a new activity. Big cookie sheets w/ sides make good lap trays (and magnetic trays).

Snacks were in a small cooler and a reusable grocery bag/tote bag on the floor behind the driver's seat.

Something else I learned - I now pack one of the big duffels with pj's and a change of clean clothes for each person. Our toiletry bag gets popped in there, too. That way IF we have to stop overnight en route, there is only one bag that has to be hauled out of the mega-packed van and into the hotel!

stephaniegiese said...

Nope. The first year we moved back to PA to be closer to family everybody expected us to come visit them. So I was 6 months pregnant and we were lugging around a 18 month old in the snow. We left at 7am drove over an hour to my mom's for breakfast, then to my in-laws, then to my dad's house, then another hour trip to my husband's uncle's house to see his extended family. That was just way too much in one day. Now we make everybody come to us. :)

Amanda said...

We traveled this year and boy was it stressful! We ended up driving 12 hours away but we are here for a week so at least I can sort of forget the ride before we have to get back in the car the day after Christmas!

This year we only traveled with one child but with a dog too. Packing clothes, and gifts and cookies and car supplies for the kiddo just means too much stuff!

My parents promised to come to us next Christmas so we aren't traveling with a preschooler, dog and newborn!

Wo ho!

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said...

bah humbug, I host and I am already stressed! lol
I hope you have a very merry christmas!!!!
P.S. the amy butler bag is adorable!

Quimby said...

We don't travel and we don't host. Having a Christmas Eve baby gets me out of all of that. ("Oh, no, it wouldn't be fair to him to travel/get ready for guests on his birthday.") But, having survived a two-week road trip through England - along with more than 50 hours on a budget airline to get there and back - with the kidlets earlier this year I can commiserate. Take lots of breaks and bribe them with whatever works. For us it's the promise of picnics and playgrounds. My 4 year old would scale Mt Everest if there was a playground at the top. said...

we always travel. 2 days in Pella, 2 days in Mason City and then back to Pella for 4 days! Let me know if you are in Pella next week!

Pamela said...

This Christmas is one of three (out of 36) that I didn't pack luggage and take off for Pennsylvania. Felt good. But if I did, I'd sure want to take the Amy Butler bag!

I enjoy your blog. You have such adorable and precious children.

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