It’s time to go! This is our third year traveling to Germany and then driving to the Netherlands, so we kind of have it down. Go through customs, get the bags, get the rental car keys, go to the bathroom, pick up a few drinks, get in the car, and go!
I have a couple of tricks for the car to make the 4-hour drive a little easier. In one of our suitcases, I pack two things: busy bags and snacks! As PER sets up the car seats (well, this year, we graduated to backless boosters, so that was much easier!!) and loads the suitcases into the back of the car, I first open up the suitcase with my “magic tricks” and set up the boys!
This is our smallest suitcase (carry-on sized). On the right is a car organizer filled with busy bags. There’s a diagonal divider, so I put the ones for Froggy on the right and the ones for Hippo on the left. I tried to color-code them, but alas! I didn’t have enough of the same colored bags 🙂
On the left side are three stainless steel food containers. (I had to order two sets of the 3 nesting containers, but I think they were worth it!) Two are for the boys, and one is for me 😉 They have an air-tight seal, which is great, but also makes them a little difficult for the kids to open. No one is very hungry when we land, after not getting much sleep on the plane. So the snacks for the road trip are important! Here’s what went into each of their boxes and how it all fit:
- Homemade mini pumpkin muffins
- Peanut butter crackers
- A juice box
- Homemade blondies
I froze the juice boxes the night before!! So they should still be cold the next morning. I also put them in a zip-top bag, just in case there is too much condensation from them as they thaw. The first time we took this route, we tried getting drinks at the airport, but guess what? We could only find Apfelschorle – which has carbonation – but not plain apple juice (Apfelsaft). And of course, my kids aren’t going to drink that. So I’ve learned to pack a beverage, too. I also put their empty water bottles in their backpacks and fill those up with bottled water before we get off the plane.
And so, we’re all packed and ready to go!
After a relatively uneventful flight (except when Hippo spilled apple juice down his pajamas, so he had to sleep in his clothes!), we went through our usual steps, made it to the rental car, and headed on our way. This year, though, as we were about to take our first exit, Froggy all of a sudden announced he was going to be sick!! The one thing I forgot to pack was some extra bags! Yikes! I scrambled for a pastry bag (PER and I decided to get something extra at the bakery in the airport), but knew it wouldn’t be enough. Luckily, Froggy hadn’t really eaten anything on the plane, so there really was nothing to come up. Phew! Sweet little guy, though, was not feeling well. He fell asleep almost right away, as did Hippo. They slept almost half the way to Huizen. Then they weren’t too hungry, so they didn’t really eat anything from the snack boxes. And there was enough to see that they didn’t really need the busy bags! Well, they intentions were good! And on another trip, who knows?!
Notes for next time: pack a grocery bag or two … just in case! And some paper towels or napkins would have been a good idea, too … if they had eaten anything!