For Mother’s Day, my husband felt ambitious and took on the task of heading out for a three-day week-end. We were going to stay in a state park and when we arrived, we were warmly greeted and given a site. We backed in, unhooked, leveled everything and hooked up the amenities. The kids were settling in to the new space and even the lawn chairs had been unpacked. My husband went to go pay for the week-end and then… we learned that the hosts of the campsite and assigned us a site that had already been rented out. They wrote down 4-5 options and so my hubby and I drove around to check out the various site. Settling on one, we returned to the front gate to learn that… you guessed it, once again they had made a mistake.
So we managed to secure our third site choice and paid for it before we even moved the RV. We returned to our original site, unhooked all the water and electricity, pulled in the slides, and hooked up the trailer to our vehicle, loaded five chairs, fishing gear, and lastly five kids. Down the road we went, found our paid site and unhooked. Rain began to dump from the sky in a torrential downpour, my husband getting soaked as he parked the truck and rain around the trailer to come in.
To say the least the “perfect week-end get away” didn’t feel so perfect. I felt mad. I felt irratable.
And then I remembered. I had a choice.
I could choose my attitude.
And as the rain thundered and pounded on the rooftop of our RV I began to count my blessings. “Lord, thank you I am not in a tent right now.” “Lord, thank you that I am surrounded by those I love and not alone.” And as I began to do this in my head and heart… my husband pulled out the popcorn and put a batch into the microwave.
It’s amazing what a little thankfulness and the smell of popcorn can do for the heart and mind. Popcorn popped and popped and popped until everyone had their fill. And we smiled again.
You see, not every moment will be picture perfect. Every good adventure is frought with obstacles to overcome. And some of the best stories have ups as well as downs.
Traveling with a little one still in diapers? Here are some tips that have helped us keep things manageable.
- Have storage that acts as double duty. I love my ottoman that I picked up from Home Goods – the lid pops off and I’m currently using it for diapers, wipes, and related supplies. I like that it is nearby where I lay little Miss down to change her on the couch and everything is in arms reach. When not changing baby I can use to put my feet up while sitting at the couch or flip the lid and use it as a spot to keep my drinks or munchies. We just put the ottoman on the couch before moving the pull-outs in and taking off.
- Stow a pack-n-play under the bed and use as baby’s crib at night. It’s one of the last things pulled out in the evening and the first things to be put away in the morning. You could also take it outside and use it to keep baby in a safe spot depending on the weather – just be aware of how much time your baby or toddler is spending in it.
- One of our survival pieces left over from raising twins was the baby corral. The interlocking system is easy to take apart and folds up for easy transport. We’ve used this to contain our dogs when they would travel with us and have also used it to keep our little ones in a safe zone while we are busy making dinner or taking care of things around the site. Be mindful of providing your little one with toys to play with while in the coral and be sure to check the location well when establishing where it will be, making sure no items that could be potentially harmful are hiding on the ground. You’ll also want to avoid placing on an area with small pebbles that would fit in baby’s mouth.
- Look for a site close to a play area if it is available. You will need to be present while they play, but it makes it easier to go back and forth to your site if you are nearby.
- Pack outfits in gallon size ziplock bags – makes it easy to stow and also helps you quickly see that you have enough outfits for each day of your stay. Each bag needs to have a top, second layer (if spring or fall), pant/skirt, socks, shoes (if the daily option doesn’t match the outfit), and any hair accessory (if packing for a girl). I also pack a fabric bag to put dirty clothes into making it easy to transport to a laundry facility if you’re on the road for an extended period.