Whew! 6 weeks on the road covering 10 states and 7500 miles! We attended two family reunions, 2 caves, 8 theme parks, 4 baseball games, and museums up the wazoo! I actually felt pretty good about what I packed for myself.
New things learned:
I used to try to pack our family of five in one huge suitcase thinking the less to lug around the better. However, in the past, I would make a mess of the items in the case, trying to find what I needed for each of us and the case was very heavy. This time I brought two small suitcases for the kids and one large for hubby and I. Even though that was three items, it was easier to grab what I needed and still keep things tidy.
A medium size rolling duffle bag was perfect for our family's bathroom supplies. This is also a heavy bag and having it on wheels was a huge help.
If you need to dry an item in your hotel room, park the suitcase in front of the air conditioning vent and use the handles as a hanger. (see pic 1)
ETA More travel tips:
Thick textured disposable baby wipes make great washcloths.
I brought plastic pant/skirt hangers and labeled one with each person's
name to conserve the towels when staying for more than one night at any
place. Plus, most hotel rooms do not have enough towel bars to properly
dry even two people's towels. We just folded each towel in half and
attached to the hanger and all 5 of us could have our towels on one
When we visited a friend, she used one of those over the door racks that
have multiple hooks as towel holders for guests. I thought that was a
The first thing I check when entering a hotel room is the shower drain. I
run the shower for a minute and see if the water is draining properly
and not backing up into the tub. If it's slow, I call the front desk to
see if there is another room to check into or if maintenance can come
up and fix it. Surprisingly, most of the time they gave me another
I found a great site to download free audio books. My family particularly enjoyed listening to the Tarzan series. Definitely helped to keep me awake during my driving shifts.
When looking for a place to eat, ask the nearest police officer. I did
this in NYC when we needed a place to eat in Chinatown. His
recommendation was just what we wanted!
When traveling anywhere during hot weather, bring a foldable hand fan. I
remembered reading awhile back that some Fabbers carry this in their
purses during the summer. At the last minute, as we departed to start
our trip, I grabbed a wooden foldable fan that was gifted to me many
years ago. I used it as a decoration, but never as a fan. Boy was I
glad I had that with me! I got lots of comments from other tourists of
how they had wished they had one. Even at a baseball game in Atlanta, I
got asked by three different guys if they could borrow my fan for a
minute because it was so hot. Ha, I knew better than to relinquish it!
Twice on the trip, we did not get the room we had reserved. Usually the
manager/supervisor will offer a slight discount for our inconvenience. I
would nicely ask, "Can you do better than that?" and they never refused me. They always gave me a much better deal. Wow!
We have a minivan and since my 14 yr old gets carsick easily, this was the
first long trip that we had him sit in the passenger seat. The other
two kiddos sat in the middle row. Much to my surprise, being alone in
the backseat was quite comfortable. Usually when I'm in the front
passenger seat, hubby will wake me up to ask me for food or deal with a
kid related issue. In the backseat, no one bothers you. Best trip
On to the travel capsule:
Pic 2: My only wardrobe purchase on the trip...sassy sneaks from Zara (girl's section). I like how the gold studs matched the gold studs on my tan purse (also from Zara).
Pic 3: My clothing colors consisted of black, cream, grey, olive, purple, and blue. I brought my tan flat gladiators, black strappy sandals, white athletic sneakers, and Teva sandals. The tan gladiators were mostly used during driving days. The other shoes plus the Zara sneaks were in heavy rotation as most days were heavy duty walking days.
Pic 4: Black knit dress only worn twice. I decided that driving days would be dressy casual days so the left version reflects that. On the right, I layered my butterfly hi-low top over it and gathered up some of the hem of the dress with a black elastic band to make a asymmetrical hemline which is not showing well in this photo. Wore this outfit to Epcot in Florida.
Pic 5: Thrifted camo dress. Wore the version on the left to check out the Arch in St. Louis. The version on the right was to go sight seeing in New York City. On this particular day, I checked out the famous Mood fabric store. (I'm a fan of PR!)
Pic 6: Chevron hi-low skirt. I thought I would remix this more, but I favored my other striped skirt. (Left - driving day; middle - NYC; right - visiting relatives)
Pic 7: Denim boyfriend shorts. Left to right: 4th of July ballgame; ballgame; driving day; visiting friends; family reunion.
Pic 8: Grey shorts. NYC; Crayola factory (their wall of colors made me think of MaryK); family reunion.
Pic 9: Surprise workhorse item - olive cargo gear shorts. I used this mostly for the theme parks and rainy days. Top row: Silver Dollar park; Niagara Falls; Cedar Point park. Bottom row: Washington D.C.; Disney World; LEGOLAND.
Pic 10: Red shorts. Driving day; NYC; Disney World; baseball game.
Pic 11: Grey and black striped knit skirt. I luv this skirt and it was a great item to bring on the trip. Top row: baseball game; 21st wedding anniversary lunch; NYC. Bottom row: Disney World; baseball game; last driving day.
Pic 12: Water activities. I'm so glad that I gave myself some options in this area. Lounging by the pool; boating on the lake; water park outfit.
Thanks so much for reading and looking at my wardrobe pics. I definitely had some frump days, but for the most part, I felt like there was enough color as well as basics to keep me feeling creative and presentable.
Any feedback and comments are welcomed and appreciated. If I have time, I might gather some of my fave trip pics to share.
Look forward to catching up with y'all.
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