Last week we took our fabulous Listenbee Family trip from Texas to Tennessee. As the kids grow and we change less and less diapers, we have been eager to get out and explore this beautiful country. We've made the trip to Tennessee before, the difference is that last year I drove by myself. This time around my dreamy husband drove us there, which was way more fun.
I find that no matter how far we go, it's wise to apply the following tips:
1 • Make a list, check it twice - There's so much to do before leaving for a trip. Making a list assures me that everything will get done before I leave and that I packed everything I need. Because I wrote 'refill prescription' in my list, I didn't have to worry about calling the doctor to get it done while out of town. Simple but effective tip!
2 • Pack a day's worth of clothing - we made a stop on the way to Tennessee and we were pretty exhausted from the drive. By packing a day's worth of clothing for everyone and keeping that bag within reach, we didn't have to unload the entire car. Leaving Mississippi and getting on the road was pretty simple as well because I didn't have an overwhelming amount of things to repack. I understand that using this tip when traveling by air is also great in case your luggage is delayed by any reason.
3 • Plan your stops - Planning our stops guarantees that everyone is happy and refreshed. I'm a fan of the clean bathrooms and the family atmosphere of the Cracker Barrel restaurants. I pack most of the food we eat during our trips so I have honestly stopped at the Cracker Barrel just to use the restroom and stretch out. They have great changing tables for those changing diapers and the store itself always smells great. Last year the kids and I even sat in the rocking chairs for a bit before heading back to Texas. Great times!
4 • Pack your food - We pack our snacks and meals, which saved us a lot of money. I'm a fan of buying everything we want and need at the grocery store so that we don't have to pay big bucks on the road. Packing our food also saves us on time because our stops become bathroom stops and maybe coffee stops. I also believe that you eat better when you pack your food for trips. This time around I packed a great super foods salad from the grocery store with a side of carrot souffle. Great food, very tasty and filling. I challenge you to compare the price of packing your own food versus buying it all on the road.
5 • Be flexible - most of us don't get to execute a plan exactly as planned and for that, you and I need to be flexible. Taking your smile and your sense of humor helps tremendously. It took an average of 876 miles to get to Tennessee and I think I heard 'are we there yet' 876 times. My husband and I created a code phrase to remind ourselves to be flexible and to enjoy the experience.
I hope these tips will be helpful to you as you plan your next road trip. Don't forget to take your smile and enjoy the awesome adventure with your family!