If you’re a Forces Family you know full well that Posting Season is kicking off. In the time of the Rona it’s especially frustrating to be hauling your cookies (and all of your belongings) cross country, but as you know, the choice isn’t ours.
As much as I love a good road trip, with 4 kids in tow I need it to be pretty contained and organised. I try to keep my kids temperaments and limits in mind while planning. For example, I know that they’ll sleep anywhere so I don’t have to worry about scheduling nap breaks, but I do need to bring their blanks and pillows in the car. I know that if they eat nothing but rich, sugary, new ‘to them’ food for every meal they’re going to be cranky af. Finding the right balance and taking lots of run around breaks ensures we all have a good time. That is made easier by a few simple items I make sure we have on the road. So, without further a do….
Top5: Posting Season Road Trip Hacks
Easily add instant oatmeal, ramen bowls, French press/ground coffee, and tea bags, to your menu by bringing an electric kettle with you. It won’t take up loads of space and it’s not hard to find an outlet at most stops you’ll make along the way. When you’re trying to avoid eating out every meal or need a slower morning in the hotel, it’s great to have these options. On our last move it came in especially helpful on the Pack/Load/Clean days when we needed to juggle all of the moving stuff and our 4 kids!
Keep it SIMPLE. I can not stress this enough. Grab some containers and fill them with things that keep well like olives, pickles, berries, and carrot/celery sticks. Bags of raw nuts, seeds, mini pretzels, and popcorn don’t even need a cooler and are healthy and filling. A bag of apples, and bunch of bananas. Grab a few dips and some crusty bread and your eating like kings your whole trip! These items are also great to whip out when you’re taking a break in a park and just need some quick fuel and a chance to stretch your legs.
Lunch Bins & Cutlery
It’s a little bit of a hassle to wash them in the bathroom sink in your hotel BUT it definitely pays off. Your kids already have a stash of lunch bins so you’re probably set on that front. It cuts down on garbage/waste when you don’t need cutlery from any fast food you might grab and it makes running into the grocery store to grab a few things that much easier when you get back to the hotel. Avoiding eating out for every meal is not only helpful when if comes to your timeline but providing kids with healthy, balanced, and familiar foods keeps a lot of crankiness at bay. Having your own stash of dishes comes in really handy and lunch bins or bento boxes keep a lot of spills and messes contained, especially because they have a lid you can pop back on until you get to a sink.
Last move we bought each kid their own headphones so that they could enjoy their movies and games and we could still enjoy our road trip playlists in peace. Splitters came in really helpful when it came to movies because they could watch with their bench buddy and still keep the sound to themselves. Too many competing sounds makes for a really chaotic road trip!
If you have small children you can appreciate the amount of times a hand vac may come in handy. We don’t do messy food in the car but crumbs do sometimes happen. Mostly it’s sand and rocks from the many breaks and mini-adventures we find ourselves on and it’s nice to be able to keep things neat as we go. Anything that keeps your vehicle less chaotic while you travel, the better, especially during a move because you always seem to have more “stuff” shoved in the car with you than you would if you were just road tripping for kicks.
Posting Season can be a truly stressful time, but with some organization and preparation the road trip portion can be pretty fun! Our biggest trip so far has been Ontario to Newfoundland and we had a really great time. I’m actually really excited for when we’re posted out next Summer because Baby J is a baby no more and an adventurous 6 year old is a lot different than a fidgety 3 year old.
Power to the folks navigating this tumultuous Posting Season. It seems pretty rough going. Here’s hoping next Summer is a little smoother.
Do you loath moving or are you usually down for the adventure? Which move was your favourite so far?