Wanderlust and Lipstick

My new favorite travel blog.  These ladies quit their jobs, sold there stuff and started to travel.  Now it looks like they’ve figured out a way to pay for their adventures – through their web site, books and product sales. 

But that’s not why I love their site.  First of all, I love the name.  But more than that their focus on women travellers, travelling with kids is written in real time:  “I’m doing this and this didn’t work out as planned”, or I went about it this way, and am I ever glad I did.”  I’m also getting a ckick out of “Wanderfood Wednesday“.  The later is a collection of world food related posts from many different bloggers.

Summer Travel Tips

While I don’t think we’ll be going on too many voyages with the gang this summer, here are some sources summer travel tips for you and your family.

  • Summer Road Safety:  Packing a summer emergency kit is a good idea.  I always have my winter emergency kit in the car, but once the snow melts,  I have a jack and that’s about it floating around the back.  It also suggests you “stay on top of your fluids”.  The article is referring to your car, but I know having a couple of spare bottles of water in the car (and in the stroller) are indispensable.
  • Print out a copy of Amazing Mom’s car games to put an end to the why’s.  Come to think of it, this might be good for all car trips, not just the extended ones.
  • Add to your collection of songs with music and lyrics from Song for Teaching.  For traveling themes, there are some great US geography songs.  I’d love to find some equivalents for Canada.
  • Best Nanny suggests:  Math Games, Imaginary Hide and Seek, Travel Scavenger Hunt  and other non-electronic games
  • And of course no summer trip with the kids is complete without snacks.  I love this mom’s suggestion of packing one cooler snack and one non-refrigerated snack — and her tip to store wet wipes in the car!

Family Travel Checklist

Over at “I’m an organizing junky”, Laura has ways to keep us organized even as we pack for vacation.  She’s got a check list that she uses for her kids and husband every time they go away. We take a different approach, my husband and I split up the boys and each of us in charge of packing for one of them. I’m not sure that our way is the most efficient, but I love that we are equally involved and that there’s only a 50/50 chance that I’ll be the one who forgot to pack pajamas.  Not only that, if I’m going to forget an item, I’d likely forget the same thing for everyone (aka shoes… oops!), this way there will only ever be two of us walking around barefoot.

What I find to be a bigger challenge is remembering all the to do stuff at home.  Here’s my list:

  • Arrange for mail pickup with a neighbor
  • Cancel newspaper delivery
  • Change voice mail and e-mail alerts
  • Book the dog in the kennel
  • Notify schools (it drives them crazy when all of a sudden my little guy doesn’t show up for a couple of days)
  • Check the fridge produce drawer — give it away or compost what’s left
  • Notify the alarm company
  • Notify Visa/MasterCard, as they always seem to put a hold on my card when there are out of country charges
  • Give grandparents our itinerary so that they can follow our journey and reach us if required.

French women really don’t get fat

I haven’t read the book, but I have certainly heard enough about it when it was first published.  The concept sounded ridiculous to me.  I always figured that French women were thin because they didn’t eat any of the great French cooking and food that was around them.  Whether it was will power, cigarettes or just plain starvation, I didn’t spend any time trying to figure out.  

Well all that to say, that after a month in France, I’m down 6lb.  That’s completely incomprehensible to me and certainly not due to any restraint or effort on my part.  Cheese and wine were an integral part of our vacation.

We’re back

Tired, but back.  A month of traveling with an infant and pre-schooler should is enough to give anyone a few more gray hairs, nevertheless, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.  

While away, I realized that I’m not yet much of a blogger, if I travel and don’t bring my laptop with me to give updates.  We were trying to pack light, and still had way too many bags.  Hauling a 5lb laptop with me everywhere was just one too many things.  I tried to keep track of tips and tricks we discovered both through great foresight on our part and through sheer stupidity on our part.  

Unfortunately we’re away again for another week this week, to visit a sick family member.  My only worry for this trip is that I’m going to haul as much crap as I did for my month in Europe as I need for a week in Canada.

Tips from Savy Moms came just in time

Savy Mom’s most recent post is timely for me.  Just as I’m thinking about what to do with a baby and pre-schooler on an immensely long plane trip, they’ve posted some advice about kids and long car trips.  Most of it involves shopping for some pricey toys and contraptions, but for all travels plain, train, automobile and bus that are coming my way in April.  I’m might just fork out the $$$.

I’m going to start scouring for other travel tips and tricks.  Let me know if you have any.

Our big adventure

We’re headed on vacation for the month of April.  This is the other reason why we’re so money conscious these days.  We’ve saved a ton of cash and are going to be moving it from our happy savings account and into the hands of the travel industry — planes, trains, and automobiles, along with a couple of apartment rentals.  

The four of us are off to Europe on April 1, which means I need to start getting organized.  We want to be reasonably self sufficient when it comes to moving around, which means all our gear, plus the two boys need to be transportable by my husband and I.  If I were really organized, I’d have been hauling the baby around in the back pack for the past couple of months.

One of the bloggers I follow for coupons recently posted about her trip with kids to Florida. She mentions that there is a debate amongst parents about whether or not to sedate your children while traveling.  Are you kidding me?  There is actual debate about whether it’s a good idea to drug your children?

That being said, I haven’t taken two kids to Europe before and am nervous about the overnight flight.  Perhaps I’ll be the champion advocate of Gravol when I get home.