1. EARPLUGS!!!!! I’m sure its unsafe from a driving perspective, but 15-16 hours of nearly constant screaming is almost enough to push this Mommy over the edge. But we survived and enjoyed our trip so it was worth it.
2. Food. If you forget(like me) to make the sandwiches you meant to feed your children on the return drive, they will have to fill up on raisins, goldfish and M&Ms. This requires an awful lot of the above, and gives them a sugar high while strapped into car seats. Delightful.
3. Patience. While its true you can make better time when you don’t have to stop every hour for potty breaks or to sort out a tantrum, its also true that you’ll get there eventually and it would be better not to lose your temper and have to apologize for it for the remaining hours of the trip. So perhaps patience is only needed until you are less than 100 miles from your destination?
4. Caffeine. And lots of it–for yourself not the children.
5. If you can arrange for a vivid lightning storm for the last 3 hours of the drive, its helpful. Lots of visual stimulation to prevent falling asleep.
That about sums it up I think. Although a camera for the actual visit would have been a good choice also. Hopefully the fam will come through and send me some pics they took so I can post them here.