I can’t believe it is already Thanksgiving and we are gearing up for our annual road trip to Massachusetts. There are a few very important things that must be in place before we embark upon the 5, sometimes 6, hour drive from New York to Boston. I have compiled a list of 5 tips that we use to make this journey as smooth as possible. I should mention that we will be traveling with 3 kids ages, 5, 4, and almost 3. I should also include that we will be riding in our Honda Odyssey sans DVD player and non-working CD player. I know, how could we possibly do this? The truth is, we are traveling “old school” style. When I was a kid, we didn’t have any of the bells and whistles and we survived. I will be taking my car in to get the radio serviced, it just may not be before this trip. There is always Radio Disney!!!
- Stock up on nosh and beverages at the kosher supermarket in advance. For juice boxes and water bottles, we go to Costco (they have Apple & Eve, Kosher Certified). This is important because there is no guarantee that kosher food will be available at the rest stop or gas station on the road. The prices on the road will also be more than you will want to spend. Last, but not least, it is very hard for a 5 year old to walk by a disply of chocolate bars.
- Give them a fun pack. I have already put together crayons and coloring books in a Ziploc bag that my kids will have next to their car seats. In another bag, I have their Disney Princesses and and dresses. Last, but not least, is another bag of juice boxes that they can open on their own.
- Know where your “clean” rest areas are located on the route. We all know too well that when traveling with little kids, little bladders need relief as well. We have already thought out our potty breaks on our road trip. There is website,from the Department of Transportation that will help you navigate this part of your trip. In fact, most states have a guide like this and it is important to look before you stop these days. Many rest areas have been closed due to budget cuts within that state.
- Keep it clean. We always bring a hefty supply of trash bags and a mini-sweeper to clean up the mess that comes from a road trip. With all of the noshing in the back, we have found leftover chips and cookies for months following a road trip. We also bring an extra supply of paper towels, baby wipes, and latex gloves along for the ride. Another essential item, the extra clothing bag for unexpected accidents or vomit that may happen. You just never know.
- Know what kosher food options are available at the other end of your road trip. These days, it is easier than ever to find kosher food near major cities. It just so happens that my father-in-law found a kosher Empire Turkey on sale at his local Stop-N-Shop and now we don’t have to schlep one with us on the road. You can look ahead at the supermarkets in and around your destination. If you can’t find what you need there, you can always bring another kosher cooler if you have to do so.
This is my list before the trip. I will post a follow-up on our road trip and report back on how it all went. Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels wherever you may go this year.