This year, the family and I will pack up and head to The Smoky Mountains for another fun family vacation! It is one of the most precious times of the year when we get to do this. I love getting to go out of town and spend time with just my husband and the kids. Having the opportunity to do this allows for added bonding time between the four of us. We don't take this blessing lightly. It is cherished and talked about all year long.
We typically borrow my in-laws van when we go on vacation. Our older sedans just aren't up to a long, family road-trip. This year, we are taking a Honda Pilot on vacation! If you are confused like my son was - a Honda Pilot is a vehicle and not a person who flies airplanes. I actually took my son to a Honda dealership to show him what a Honda Pilot was. He was impressed.
I was impressed too...
Yet, I was found wandering off toward the Honda Odysseys... drooling. So, my son said I could get one of them if I wanted. How sweet is he!
Back to the vacation.
I always make a big deal out of packing for our trip. This helps get the kids excited. We talk about what we will need for the amount of days that we will be gone.
I place the suitcases in our living room and send them to their bedrooms to retrieve "X" pairs of socks, "X" pairs of undershirts, etc... http://www.bloggymoms.com/main/dashboard
My daughter especially loves getting to help choose what outfits she will get to bring and wear each day. We plan what types of clothing will be appropriate for all the activities we want to do.
Going through each days activities helps to build on their excitement.
We move on to packing swimsuits, towels, sunscreen and flip flops to wear at the pool. This is one of the most exciting things for the kids. They love having a place to swim while we are on vacation. You can be certain that our hotel accommodations must include a swimming area.
They aren't as excited to pack personal items. The shampoo, soap, tooth brush and tooth paste. I usually end up losing my audience at that point.
I am stuck with packing those items on my own. I also largely pack food items on my own as well.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Vacation on a Shoestring
, we bring food items with us. I usually plan for a free breakfast from our hotel. If we do not stay at a location that offers that - I pack donuts and other breakfast items. I always pack lunch items.
We bring: bread, peanut butter, jelly, chips, fruit that travels well, granola bars and crackers.
I try to book a hotel that offers a mini-fridge so that we can bring juice and even purchase milk/orange juice locally.
Have you started to understand why a sedan just doesn't work on our vacations... and why we need a van or SUV? Actually, I'm positive our suitcases alone wouldn't fit in the trunks of our sedans.
Being able to bring those food items help to cut the cost of our vacation. It also allows us to not worry so much about the dinner and treat budget while we are out enjoying the area where we are vacationing.
How do you pack for vacation and what do you do to help keep costs down?