Monday, June 22, 2015

Lessons Learned

We have now traveled with our son a few times with this past weekend being both the greatest distance that we have traveled from home and also for the longest duration. I can’t say that everything was perfect during these weekend adventures but we were able to get there and back in one piece each time so I would call them successful. However, there have been a few takeaways from our travels thus far and here are just a few of them:

  • Rest Stops Are Your Friends – Always be cognizant of the rest stops during your drive. Know when you pass one and how long it is until the next one. You may not need to stop at that exact moment but things can change in a matter of minutes.
  • Stick As Closely To His Schedule As Possible – The last thing you want is your son being in a different and unfamiliar place and have his schedule messed up. Keeping to a feeding schedule as much as possible and repeating the nighttime routine can make things a lot easier.
  • Don’t Underestimate The Number Of Wipes You Need – this is both for the obvious reasons but also because you’ll have other uses for them as well. If you are like our family you will be out and about all day… use the wipes to clean your hands regularly. They are also convenient for the occasional road trip spill in the car.
  • You Are Going To Forget Things – Begin with packing the things that you can’t readily replace. Everything else comes after. It is pretty much guaranteed that you are going to forget things so make sure that they are items that you can pick up on the road.
Of course, there are countless other lessons learned during our explorations but those seem to be the four that most readily come to mind. While those might be the things that didn’t go as smoothly as expected, there were also things that we were very thankful for as we drove down the highway. Most notably is the fact that we upgraded our cars over the past few months. While absolutely possible to travel in our former vehicles, having the Outback and the Cherokee have made things a heck of a lot easier.

So this is just the beginning. I am sure that we will make more mistakes and overlook things in the future but we are at least keeping things moving in the right direction. The true test will be next month as we significantly extend our vacation…. I even took time off from work for this one. While there is always going to be some trepidation, I am looking forward to rediscovering a place (and reconnecting with distant relatives) from my childhood and sharing that experience with my wife and my son. Of course, you can read all about that trip next month so stay tuned.