Saturday, July 2, 2016

Day 27: The Reflection

We really did travel around the US for the last 26 days. About 7,000 miles and we did it with seven people in a Toyota Sienna van. The luggage "well" is a gift. Simply a gift. Here's how we packed it all. 
That there is six carry-on roller bags, a duffle bag, a queen sized Aero-bed, one camp mattress, one backpack (three others were in the seat area along with a travel ice chest). 

It was tight people! No lying there. But the storage capacity is honestly amazing. We rented a Suburban once on vacation and we had less luggage space. This 8 passenger beast is really just that. A Beast!

So after being on the road for nearly a month, you may be wondering how we did it. Like how do you pack for a month, how do you afford a month long trip, etc. so here's a little list of what we learned and some tips for you if you ever venture on an expedition like ours:

1. Bring hot chocolate and oatmeal packets. If you stay at a hotel WITHOUT breakfast, chances are good that you'll have a coffee maker and that's all you need! Hot water makes oatmeal and cocoa. Grab a few liquid creamers to add to your oatmeal and you're golden. 

2. Reusable water bottles. I hate paying for water. Most gas stations with soda fountains have a tab for water. Refill and stay hydrated!

3. Choose hotels wisely. On our trip, the hotels accounted for 50% of our total budget. While a Hampton Inn may be a few extra bucks than the cheapest place in town, the full breakfast that's included is worth it for our family of 5. I figure that the breakfast is worth about $40-$60 easy. Grab an extra yogurt or apple for a snack later. Kids tend to be hungry five minutes after eating right?

4. Try and skip a meal. We tended to eat a late lunch/early dinner and have some snacks throughout the day. This ended up resulting in a grand total of about $70 a day spent in food. That seems pretty good to me for a family of 5. 

5. Pack for a week and do laundry. Many hotels have washers and dryers and you're just gonna have to do it. There's no way you can pack for a month. 

6. Write a blog! Sometimes we were tired and it was a chore from time to time, but it was also fun getting the kids involved in it. This was a really fun part of our trip and afterward we realized that we wished that we had done this for ALL of our trips! What a great way to remember the trip and keep track of how you spent your days. 

Thanks again for reading everyone! Until the next trip!

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