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Megacation Philosophizing

June 27, 2013

Ever since I read the Four Hour Work Week, I’ve wanted a big vacation…not a week, not even two. I want a friggin MONTH off, dammit. Last year we did something like 12 days, which was great. This year, we’re doing 21 days! The kids, Mom and I are driving out West, ending up on the California beaches.

A trip of this magnitude deserves some thought…nay, some reflection. Vacation thoughts-nay-reflections:

  • This is a driving trip, in a van, with kids. It can’ tbe all about efficiency. If “getting there is half the fun”, then we really ought to try and make getting there half the fun, non?  Find a balance between making good time, and stopping to see the cool stuff. Most of our driving days are between 4-7 hours on the road, tops. (Remind me, and I’ll publish the itinerary after the trip.)
  • Driving should be fun, too. At least, not terminally boring, if at all possible. I hit Barnes and Noble AND Half Price books, and loaded a box with new books (the kids like I Spy, cartoons like Garfield, and something they can DO something with..I got the boys Adventure Time journals that have some activities.) Everybody has their screens – iPods and hand-me-down smartphones with apps, my tablet. And there’s music and movies, and hopefully some games and playing.

  • Despite that list above, I don’t want to pack the van in. Everybody gets a bag (the boys and I will share a duffel) with a week’s worth of clothes, a bag or box for in-car stuff, and a pillow. We’ll also have a cooler and minimal camping gear (tent, tarp, sleeping bag, pans).

  • We have a decent budget – we’d have to, for a 3 week trip – but not even close to unlimited. I want to do a fair amount of grocery store eating (fast food is expensive!) We’re looking to stay mostly in KOAs, do a little camping. In California there’ll be some hoteling – I found a decent place ON THE BEACH that was pretty reasonable, and I snapped that up.

  • Back to trip philosophy: It’s a family vacation, so we’ve got to keep everyone in mind. The whole group won’t necessarily enjoy every activity of course, but we can vow to pick and choose well. If we stop and see a place that somebody finds BOOOR-ING, we don’t spend too long there. Exceptions, of course, are made for big things. If you’re bored at Carlsbad Caverns or Disneyland, to a degree you’ll have to suck it up a little. But we must put an emphasis on finding something cool for you to do/see soon, even if that’s just hanging out at the KOA pool.

  • There’s nothing wrong with downtime. No, let’s say it better: downtime is very important.We’ll make time for it. And for “apart time”. And, as much as possible, for changes in plans.

There’s more, but that’ll do for now.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. shannon permalink
    June 27, 2013 7:47 pm

    We did a similar 3 week trip in 2011. A couple tips that may help.

    Let each person have a day to decide where to stop along the way. It’s fun to hand the kids a map and see what they come up with.

    Find small parks for lunch stops. It gives everyone a chance to kick a ball or take a little hike.

    Make salsa with beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, red onion and cilantro etc…. it’s healthy, easy to make and travels well.

    It was an amazing trip, we really enjoyed seeing they country and spending time together. Yosemite was my favorite.

    Have Fun!

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