Tuesday, August 21, 2007

See a penny, pick it up

We're going on a trip before too long. To go on a vacation where we can really drive and see some new places, we have to pinch pennies. We have to pinch them so hard that Lincoln's gray matter squishes out the top.

That also means MAJOR planning on my part. I have already started my meal plan. I have already started to pack clothes. You see, I don't like to plan like this. It goes against every single grain of disorganization in my body. It is taking every ounce of "I love my kids" to make this happen.

"Um, honey, we're not leaving anytime soon. Are you seriously packing?"

I shot the piercing you-didn't-seriously-ask-me-that-did-you? look. He slumped into a corner and quietly moved away from the crazy woman.

So, yes, I seriously have every meal and snack planned for that week. We'll have our camping stove which we can actually use at a roadside park, so we're not living on PB&J's every time we're in the car.

We're only packing for half the days we'll be gone, and will do laundry mid-week. This will save tons of space. When you're in the car with kids for that long, you have to make spaciousness and comfort a priority.

For each major day of travel, I have a few fun (and made-from-scratch or cheap) things that I'll pull out to keep things more interesting on the road. Of course, there will be videos (see I'm just a partial whore - not a complete, and utter whore!).

We'll be tent camping every night but two (when we'll be coming in so late we'll stay in a camping cabin). We're only seeing major sites. Nothing extra and nothing overly commercialized (which, in case you didn't know, means "costs a whole lot more money!"). We'll enjoy the free extra's at the KOA's.

In 6.5 days, we'll plant our feet in at least six different states (possibly eight - we may drive a tiny bit out of the way, just to say we did!). We will enjoy some 40 degree nights. We'll share toilets with strangers and entertain ourselves with board games and my very own, homemade Monkey Bar Golf (even made the kids walk with me by the golf course to hunt down lost golf balls so we wouldn't have to pay for any!).

Whenever my mother reads this, you will all see the glow of joy across the world as she can hear her own gifts of thriftiness in my words.

If I could totally have things my way, I would much rather stay in a hotel with room service and quiet fountain in the lobby. So, the next time I have a weekend away with my husband, that's where our money will go (for only one night ... sometime in 2011!). Yet, when you have kids and you live on a budget, you have to work really hard to have a week-long trip. You have to plan ahead. You have to cut corners so much that everything turns into a circle.

And your family will benefit from all of that time together - without too many distractions. Oh my cow, are we going to have fun.

So, um, yeah, it's totally worth it!


Cammie said...

So, what's the itenerary?

Cammie said...

Different subject: Today was homeschooling day 2, you must go to my blog to read about the funny thing that happened!

Amanda said...

that's so fun!! I'm so jealous! no vacations for me...

Gina Conroy said...

Wow! Tent camping. We have a pop up camper and I hate to camp in that thing. I'd like to know the itinerary as well. Two years ago we took a 3 1/2 week trip up the East coast on a history tour. I LOVED it and we got to see so many things we were studying. The kids had fun, though would have perfered to spend all their time in Disney World. I'm sure the kids will appreciate the photos when they get older.