Y'all are the real MVPs.
We were only gone for about three days and I think that was a great amount of time to be away for our first trip as a family of five. My husband participated in a fitness competition right outside of Dallas. The town only had four hotels. We decided to stay at the hotel adjacent to the convention center where the show was taking place. I figured that would make walking back and forth to the event easy for me and the kids.
This was my first time stay at a Hampton Inn and Suites. I didn't know what to expect. The free daily breakfast (which wasn't great - thank goodness there was a Waffle House and IHOP close) and proximity to the convention center is what made us choose them for our trip. I was very surprised to see that the rooms were nice. I think my favorite part about the room was that it came with a nice size fridge and microwave. That was a must for me. I needed to store milk and snacks.
I packed a cooler for the kids with everything I could think of. Going to the store for everything little want or need wasn't something I was interested in doing. I will never go on a road trip without a cooler. Ever.
The only thing that I would change about our room is that I wish my husband had reserved an actual suite. I'm not sure how that break down in communication happened but we'll have to get it right next time.
Some of the things I learned about traveling with three small kids is that when the trip is not necessarily about them you must bring stuff to keep them entertained. They did great (surprisingly) but I certainly was not prepared for all the down time we had. The hotel didn't have Nick Jr. or Disney Jr. so letting them get their fill of TV wasn't an option.
We did bring our mobile TV box but the internet at the hotel was extremely slow. In retrospect none of this was an issue until it was time for bed. Next time I'll make sure to bring more books, activities, and movies that have already been downloaded to a device.
The show itself was very interesting. I learned so much about how your body responds to food. To hear people talk about their meal plans and workouts was actually pretty fascinating. I definitely have more respect for the sport and the women that compete in it. They are on some super strict meal plans. I like eating everything the world has to offer so this sport would never be for me. I'll continue to support my husband from the sidelines.
So - if you plan to take your kids along for a ride that's not about them here are my tips for you...
Pack a cooler with everyone's favorite drinks (I also put fruit in our cooler!)
Bring a tote bag filled with everyone's favorite snacks
Call ahead to see what the movie watching, tv channel situation will be
Bring activities for downtime (books, crayons, play-doh - something)
Look up parks and playgrounds in the area (this was a lifesaver)
Schedule your drive time around nap time if possible (another lifesaver)
Plan for the pool (this helped but was difficult to do when I was solo with the kids)
We'll be on the move again when it's time for us to move. This trip was a nice eye opener to what our upcoming trip will be like. Hopefully I'll be more prepared for that one. What are your tips for traveling with kids?