We are in full vacation prep mode. Our family leaves in two days for our traditional Cousins Vacation. My three cousins and their families along with myself and my family meet up every other year for a week long vacation. We started our beloved tradition in 2009 and since then have added 4 children (totaling 8 adults and 11 short ones), a cross country move, drivers ed for the oldest of the short ones, a few gray hairs, maybe a wrinkle or two and about 1.5 million memories. You can bet that I will be sharing lots and lots of pictures once we get back home.
This year we are driving to Tennessee to stay in a beautiful log cabin/house near Gatlinburg. It is beautiful but the drive is looooooooong. Since we live in South Texas just about every vacation spot has a loooooooooong drive.
It is imperative that my sweet, mild mannered, always calm and quiet children (ummmm, let me just imagine okay) do not drive my husband and I completely up the wall on this very short drive of 19 hours. In order to do that we must plan and craft at least 27 Pinterest worthy road trip activities....
Let me re-phrase that. We must load up every one's favorite movies, buy stock in batteries for the head sets, and pack pillows and blankets. Let's just say I have learned the hard way! :)
So, these sweet, mild mannered children of mine would never even dream of arguing over which movie should be watched. But if my children were the type to whine, cry, or pout I would maybe use an idea like this... (hypothetically speaking of course).
1. Type a list of the movies which the kids picked to pack. Print two copies of the sacred list. This list will determine the happiness level of your journey. :)
2. Cut one list into small strips containing the titles of each movie.
3. Place the strips in a small baggie.
4. Grab a nifty CD case from when you actually carried CD's in your car. Load each of the DVD's into the case and leave the actual cases at home to save on space.
5. Tape the second list to the outside of the CD case so it does not get lost in the black hole of a vehicle that has endured hours of traveling, eating, sleeping, and stops at Buc-ee's. If you do not live in a state which has Buc-ee's truck stops all I can say is I am sorry...you need to move. :)
6. Only parents may draw a movie title from the baggie. The said movie is the only movie that will be played in its entirety. If any child in the vehicle does not agree with the said movie they may take it upon themselves to take a nap, look at a book, or be quiet and enjoy the free ride. :)
*Now, you may notice that the movies are color coded. This is because I had each of the kids select four movies and I typed them in their color (I use color coding a lot). That way when I am "drawing" movies from the baggie I can kind of judge and keep track so that things appear 100% "fair" at all times. No one touches the list or CD case unless they are over the age of 25 which means I just barely made the cut. :)
I have used this system for a long time and for our family it works. When you are in a confined space with one another it is best to stick to what you know works, especially when you have sweet and mild mannered children.