Spontaneous roadtrip with toddlers? Yes we did!

I thought my days of hopping in the car and just driving were kinda over. The first time I went on a trip with baby Holden (granted he was only three weeks old so I was a little nuts!), I made a serious checklist in Word so I wouldn’t forget a thing.

Each ensuing trip, the list got bigger and bigger. And not because I kept adding things to the list but because I added new lists while saving the old ones so I would never ever forget a thing (do you want to know how to travel to the snow with a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old? ask me!).

But this time? Nope, no list, no plan, no nothing.

We didn’t even know which city we’d visit until the night before. Since we needed to leave the house so our contractor could turn off the electricity, gas, and water, we knew we had to GO but we’d been too busy to get our acts together to figure out where.

So, here’s the good news!
With a hotel reservation booked (and crib requested), we were able to clear out of our house with only 30 minutes to pack and we all did just fine. Here’s how:

  1. Think about what you need to wear for the weekend, shove into bag.
  2. Grab a basket of toys (works for road trips only, too sloppy for airplane)
  3. Pack some snacks (we forgot this — oops! Whitney would never forget snacks)

Round about Richmond (on our way to Sacramento), we wondered if we shoulda packed swim suits. Oops. We rolled with it. Luckily the hotel didn’t even have a pool.

We felt like we did on our honeymoon wandering around Zagreb, Croatia and wondering where our next meal would be. When the local stuff seemed just a little too local, we hit the fancy hotel for an overpriced breakfast. Same in Sacramento, but instead of the food being “too local,” the local places were closed for the holiday weekend.

3 monkeys on a bed
Other highlights included:

  • stumbling upon Amgen tour de California race 3 blocks from our hotel 15 minutes from start time; this was Lance’s comeback race and the day before his bike was stolen.
  • very cool train museum in walking distance. a mile in the cold rain didn’t really feel like walking distance, but we made it.
  • the chick who literally gave us her hotel key to the room adjacent because she was checking out at 9pm and she felt sorry for us sitting in the hall watching tv shows on hulu

… and most importantly, knowing that we can just get in the car and GO!

but ps. I haven’t abandoned my lists for next time, let me know if you’d like to see them.

Related Activities:
Activity #160 Go Camping
Activity #223 Travel Light

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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