When you're traveling with 3 kids suddenly air travel seems soooo much more expensive. So we decided to drive the 10 hours with our 13month, 4 year old, and 7 year old. Since we have done similar long trips before, we weren't too worried. I'm not sure why parents panick about long trips. we let the kids each pack a few things like a couple of books and paper and markers and we're good to go! We do always have tablets and iPads as backup but in a 10 hour drive the kids may use them for a max of about 1 1/2-2 hours. The rest of the time they're totally expected to amuse themselves and occasionally chat it up with us if we're not busy enjoying a coffee or the view. I do like to grab Happy Meals to occupy them on the second half of the ride and we normally try to stop somewhere they can run/swim/play to their hearts content. For road trips I try to use a hotel chain because they normally give you deals and freebies. My current membership is with choice hotels because they are all over, reasonably priced, most of their locations have been renovated in the last 5 years and they have a free HOT BREAKFAST BUFFET.
So, Bluegreen phoned me while I was hiking through the desert. This is important because I likely otherwise wouldn't have accepted their offer to go view one of their resorts for a discounted stay if I hadn't been high on endorphines and distracted by the prospect of stepping on a baby cobras. So skeptical as we were, we went on the trip and arrived the evening of the second day of our roadtrip.
TOTAL NIGHTMARE. They didn't have us booked in the system and they were sold out for the weekend. I procured our confirmation paper which had in BOLD that we had to call if we weren't going to keep our booking and all the details of what days we were booked for and when we would have to watch our "buy a timeshare' presentation. The receptionist consulted with her manager and then returned to tell us we should leave and go to a restaurant 'or something' and call the Bluegreen offices to sort the mess out ourselves. At this point, the kids were tired, hungry and on the cusp of mutiny. My husband called the offices from thier phone in the lobby while I placated the kids with videos and snacks. When he came out, they had offered us a paid night at an affiliated resort nearby and we'd stay there for the cost of the orignial offer starting the following night. TOTALLY UNACCEPTSBLE AT $300/night!!!!