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I have an announcement to make! We’re moving (yes, again). We’ve been in the Washington DC area for two years now, and unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye. I love it here and am really struggling with the idea that it is time to move, again. So it goes with military life – we are never in one place for very long.
The good news is that we have never been in a place that I didn’t absolutely love. I love to travel, and I love to experience new things and meet new people and try ALL the food. I am sure that I will fall in love with our new home quickly, and will be sad when it’s time to leave there as well!
We’re going to be heading down down down south this time- and will be jumping in the cars to get there. We have a three-day drive ahead of us to get down to the gulf coast. We didn’t have much notice for this move (thanks, Uncle Sam) which means that it’s time to scramble NOW so I can throw everyone and everything in the car to get to our new home before the end of the summer.
Road Trip Must Haves:
A Safe Car:
The biggest thing I need to do before moving is getting the cars taken care of. First things first- an oil change. I am TERRIBLE about remembering to get our oil changed. The good thing is, Walmart has an Automotive Care Center so when I headed there to stock up on move essentials, I was able to drop off the car and get it taken care of while I was running my errands. I’ve always been able to get the car taken care of within a half an hour or so, and heaven knows I need more time than that to shop with my four kids.
They keep the good oil in the Automotive Care Center right in the back of the store- you don’t even need to grab it off the shelf. You just need to drive your car up and ask for Pennzoil Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology or Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® and they’ll take care of the rest.
I had them change the oil, and while they were at it, they checked the fluid levels, tires, air filter and even vacuumed the van out for me. It’s so important to get this done, and use a high-quality oil like Pennzoil because other lesser oils will leave sludge behind in your engine- and you do NOT want sludge when you’re driving hundreds of miles with your kids.
I still need to bring Hubby’s car in to get it taken care of before we leave town- his is almost at 100k miles, but Pennzoil has High Mileage Oil that will be perfect for it. We’ve been using it consistently since it hit 75 thousand miles, and it’s been running like a dream. Fingers crossed that it stays that way for another 50 thousand miles!
It only took 20 minutes to get my car road safe- and we were able to shop while we waited!
We have four kids and I can’t really expect them to make it on a three-day road trip without some form of entertainment. My favorite in the car activity is listening to audiobooks. For this trip, I stocked up on some Harry Potter books (because who doesn’t love Harry Potter) and also some of the classics, like Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. I figure we can switch between books as needed and not get bored.
The kids picked out some coloring books and supplies to keep busy on the road while we waited on the van.
I also downloaded a ton of music- upbeat, fun, sing-along type songs. When I am on the road for a long time, it’s easy to feel tired, so these songs will be my go-to when I need a pick-me-up. We can stop to grab a cold soda, stretch our legs, and then jam along to awesome songs.
I really don’t like giving the kids their screens in the car- iPads and Kindles are limited in our home because it makes kids cranky, but while on the road I will let them play a little. I grabbed some extra car chargers and downloaded puzzle games and books.
We also really enjoy playing road games- these days, the kids love to play the license plate game. We look for numbers on the plates around us, starting with the number one, and work our way up until we hit 99. It tends to take a couple hours, but it keeps the kids from complaining!
Snacks & Water
I keep a basket and an ice chest in the car for long drives, full of everything from carrot sticks to candy bars. Snacking kids are happy kids, so I am okay with letting them nibble to their hearts content. It may not be the most responsible thing to do, but it also cuts down on the number of stops I need to make when someone is “sttttaaaarrrrrrvvving” and helps us get where we are going faster!
Add to my list!
Help a mom out here- we weren’t planning on moving, and now I leave in about a month. I am sure I am forgetting something on my must-pack list. Please share with me your best ideas to make a road trip with kids tolerable, and I can stock up on the rest of my last minute goodies when I head to Walmart to get the other car’s oil changed!
Pennzoil high mileage oil is on Rollback at Walmart until September 28- if you need an oil change, head there soon!
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