Once again, I will break this down into what we wish we had brought for us...and what we wish we had brought for the children.
1. Extra battery for both cameras! We DID think of this with the video camera, but the cost of one was so expensive that we decided that we'd just try it and see what happens. After all, the charger would be with us, and the train did have outlets by each seat so that you could plug in your devices. Still, when we were out and about (especially at the zoo), we were taking lots of video and still shots, that the battery did get low pretty quickly. Now, the good thing is that we brought an extra camera, right?! Only problem is that sometimes Mom (yeah, that's me), left the camera in the hotel room, and therefore, it was not availabe. The worst part...my digital camera charger requires that you remove the battery, put it in the charger, and then plug the whole thing into the wall. In Los Angeles, I did this, and somehow, the battery and the battery charger got separated. The charger, we found. The battery...still lost in L.A. :( So, for the rest of the trip, my digital camera was not usable. I didn't even think about EVER getting an extra battery for my digital camera, but now it is definitely on my list!
2. Insulated food and drink bags! I am thinking the size of a lunchbox...but insulated...and maybe one per person... It would have definitely been nice to have some "cold" things that we could keep cold....and especially to have our drinks stay cold.
3. Hairdryer! I thought these were basically in every hotel bathroom now days, but I found out quickly that I was wrong. With my daughter and I both having pretty long hair, a hairdryer is almost essential. I hate taking a shower at night and not being able to dry my hair before I lay down. It doesn't make for a good night's sleep at all...and a towel will only do so much when you have long, thick hair. So, I will definitely remember that all hotels are not created equally equipped with hairdryers for any future vacationing.
Beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens in San Antonio, TX. This picture was taken with my cell phone because the video camera battery had died, and I have left my camera in the hotel room. It still turned out decent though!
1. Disposable cameras! Can you tell that I love having pictures?! I think it would be a neat idea to have all of the children have their own disposable camera. That way, they could take pictures of things that interest them, and have them developed. The ideas with this are endless, but it is definitely something that I want to remember for future trips.
2. Travel games! The children played a few games on our cell phones, and a few games on the computer (chess), but other than that, not much else. For future train trips, I would probably buy a few travel size games and bring them along. It would be something fun for the whole family to do as well.
3. Blankets! Although the train temperature is reasonable for most folks, I am the kind that likes to have a blanket on me, even if I am just napping. My children seem to have the same idea. So, next time, I would definitely pack a small throw-type blanket for each of us.