We took quite a while planning our trip...so there weren't many things that we didn't cover in our list of things to bring along. We discussed it and came up with the three top things that we are glad that we brought for ourselves (Mom & Dad things), and the three top things that we are glad that we brought for the children.
1. Two cameras! I LOVE my digital camera, and I LOVE to take pictures! It has always been something that I have enjoyed. It was a no-brainer that I was bringing it on our trip. My husband brought along the video camera...which also took still shots. This way, we were both taking pictures, which made it almost impossible to come home and say, "I wish I had gotten a picture of that."
2. Two suitcases! Fourteen days, five people, cross-country train trip, and only two suitcases? We planned on that...so that we didn't have so much to carry around at our stops. We did visit a laundromat once to "reload" on clean clothes, but it really worked out well. The only thing that we would change along these lines...we brought one REALLY big suitcase...that was "tagged" by Amtrak as "HEAVY," and one medium sized suitcase. Next time, we would like to narrow it down to two medium sized suitcases. The large one WAS very heavy, and it was difficult to get around some places with it.
3. Medicines! I did a "do-it-yourself" first aid kit. I looked online for ideas of things to put in there. I also just bought all of the medicines that we use semi-regularly...allergy medicines, pain relievers, and the like. I basically looked in our medicine cabinet, and then bought new bottles of whatever was in there...just so that I would make sure that we had enough. Whatever we didn't use on the trip, we would have for when we got home.
Other mentionables of things that we are glad that we had with us...
* Our laptop! This provided us a way to Skype with family while we were away. It was also great for the children to watch DVD's along the way. My husband and I also used it for checking email, Facebook, and the like. It also allowed us to upload our videos and pictures to the computer...clearing out some of the memory in those devices for use later on.
* Homeschooling supplies! And my children didn't moan about it either!!! I made each child a folder, and gave them a fact sheet for each state as we passed through it. I also found a kid's atlas...with activites and facts about each state. I copied one of those for each state for each child. I used the three-hole puncher on all of these beforehand. I gave them to them as we went through each state. We went over all of the information, and the kids did the activities. I even let them use ink pens. I think they liked that! ;)
1. Books! My husband and I were entertained by watching the scenery. We didn't really NEED entertainment, but children are not like that. They enjoyed watching the scenery for a while, but then they wanted something to "do." I am so glad that we brought books along. The children love to read, and as people walked by and saw them reading in their free time, they were certainly surprised! They picked up their books just about every time we were traveling from one place to another.
2. Backpacks! I mentioned these in a previous post, but we let each child carry a backpack. They were able to carry their books, their snacks, and other "things to do" that they could access easily!
3. Wet wipes! This could actually fit in the section for ourselves as well. It was great for cleaning up after meals, but also helped to "refresh" us after hours on the train.
Other mentionables of things that we are glad that we brought along for the children:
* DVDs...purely for entertainment purposes...when the scenery watching wasn't as exciting for them as it was for my husband and I.
* Extra "shower bag!" My daughter got one as a gift...so I packed some of the "tear-free" shampoo, and other things that the kids use that my husband and I do not. This made it easier for packing our shower bag...I usually have to put their stuff and our stuff in one shower bag!
* They also had "activity pads" that included coloring pages as well. I packed a few crayons in a ziploc bag for each child. They were able to take their "activity pad" and crayons out of their backpacks and have fun!
The next blog post will go into the things that we wish that we had brought along with us...