Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Field Notes: Preparation

We are back from our first family vacation! A wedding necessitated that we travel to Lexington, Kentucky so we made it an adventure. Our stops consisted of: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Newport Aquarium, the Keeneland Derby, the Explorium of Lexington, the Louisville Zoo, and the restaurants along the way that allowed me to eat vegan (and aim for gluten free).
Preparation for the trip was extensive, since we knew there were dietary considerations and we are a low-tech family. Because we (purposefully) don't own a GPS, my husband printed off a detailed itinerary, including maps to and from each stop.
We also (purposefully) don't own a portable DVD player. To keep the kids occupied I compiled "adventure" kits for the kids including: a map with our routes outlined and stickers at our stop spots, reusable sticker books, a sketchbook to use as an "explorer journal" and draw pictures of our travels and tape in tickets stubs and such, eco-crayons, twisty pencils, stickers, coloring and activity books. I wrapped all of these in reused packaging paper and labeled them with numbers to be opened periodically throughout the trip and keep the kids busy.
Finally, we thought about food. I researched (using Google and Happy Cow) vegan restaurants in the areas we would be traveling, studied the menus, and decided which would be best for our needs. A couple days prior to the trip, a went to the local health food store and stocked up on snacks like gluten free pretzels, lara bars, organic snack mix, etc...We took a cooler for fruit and cold snacks and this helped keep us from compromising out food choices, spending too much money, or getting on an unhealthy track.
I'll post more later this week on the specific restaurants we visited.

What are your tips for keeping your travels family and earth friendly?

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