Dumb Family Vacation Gear-Up Giveaway.

As you may know, this Dumb Family is less than two weeks away from hitting the road on a possibly (depending on how nutty these little monkeys get) once in a lifetime road trip vacation to the sunny beaches of Myrtle Beach South Carolina.


It is a super long drive.

Not cross country or anything but, for a family that has never ever even one time gone anywhere further than 2 and a half hours from door to door by car, this is HUGE.

So, we have been stocking up on junk fantastic products guaranteed to make our vacation suck less.

I’m going to tell you about some of the stuff before we go so you can give me the heads up on what might suck while I still have time to exchange it.

And, naturally, when we get back, I’ll let you know if my handy dandy top of car carrier thingy came detached, spewing my skirted swimsuits and granny panties all over I-95.

Some of it you can enter to win.

Some of it you can forget about winning because there is no way the Thule people were gonna give me or you the opportunity to win a $200 top of car carrier like the one we wanted (or the $100 one we bought either; hey, I’m on a budget).

And, some of the it will be useless to me, you, and every family ever to take a vacation ever because I am such a novice at this whole thing I have little clue of what we actually need!

When I booked this trip 7 LONG months ago during the worstest snow storm pretty much of all time, I started getting excited about where we would stay (we rented some beach house from some place that better not even try to be crawling with bugs, mice, bats or anything living), what we would do (mostly lay on the beach because that’s free, but hoping we will also get to take a dolphin spotting trip or something too), and of course, what we will bring.

Because I’m so anal retentive I actually started a list in my Dumb Life Book the same day I secured the house.  I titled it, “Crap to get for trip,” and wrote down a bunch of, um, crap.  It now has pictures ripped from magazines and business cards and sticky notes and brochures and all manner of junk sticking out of it.

Because I really am that dorky.

Here are the things we are definitely taking…

1.  Top of car luggage thingy (excited because it just arrived on our doorstep yesterday!).

2. Bug lantern.  Thank you Thermacell. I couldn’t wait for the trip to start using this because I am a bloody meat mosquito magnet.  Seriously, I’m like Bella and every single mosquito within a 5 mile radius is Edward; they vant to suck my blooood.  I literally use the thing daily so no way am I leaving it at home.  I’m now a full blown mosquito repellant lantern addict.

3.  Basket for carting all of our crap four blocks to the beach (four blocks isn’t that far, right?  And, I’m on a budget, remember?!).

4.  Junk for The Dudes to do in the car.  We already got the National Geographic Kids Big Book of Fun for the reader, but we are still searching for other engaging items (aside from sleep and food) to keep them occupied and happy if they insist on being awake for our scheduled 3am departure time.  Taking movie suggestions, but if you say Benji, possibly the most inappropriate kid movie ever, you will be blocked.

5.  A better swimsuit for me.  You’ve all heard about the tankini by now, and perhaps you’ll even get a chance to see it once we hit the beach, but don’t count on it.

6.  Sun protection.  We have a busted umbrella that we have to hold because I dropped the pointy part that goes in the ground under the deck.  But, in preparation of our big excursion we also got one of those little sun tents that we LOVE (used it all swimming season AND at the wine fest we went to).  And sunscreen, along with this new post-traumatic-burn cream called SunBurnt for Dumb Dad, the only family member NOT fortunate to be born with SPF-500 skin.  He’s also the only family member who refuses to lather the sunscreen on effectively.  One year he got fingerprint burned from only putting the stuff on where his little fingertips could easily reach.  That was hi-lar-i-ous!

7.  Rainy Day Activities.  Gotta have something to do indoors in the event that Mother Nature decides to ruin our trip.  And for the end of the day when The Dudes’ tired little minds are blown and they need something to do that allows them to leave mommy alone lie around the house quietly.  Luckily I’ll have my laptop because I NEVER leave home without it and #1 and #2 can play Wiglington and Wenks,* the online game they have recently fallen in love with.  It’s not quite as fun as playing the Wii apparently, but it’ll do when Mommy is hogging the TV by watching her DVR’ed shows that she can’t watch when #3 is doing his screaming banshee act in the evenings and on beach vacations when the Wii is DEFINITELY being left at home.

8.  A new battery for my crummy HP laptop so that I can escape the “MOMMY-ARE-WE-THERE-YET?!” death chant by watching Twilight and New Moon repeatedly (because brooding vamps and sexually frustrated teenage girls are not annoying at all).  Thing is, this is NOT gonna happen because the bloody things cost $65 smackers!  Well, at least I’ll have my handy dandy iGo mobile charging device that will ensure that my Blackberry won’t die on me so I can Tweet the night away while I stay awake to make sure Dumb Dad stays awake while he’s driving (we are doing the whole leave at 3am dealy to trick The Dudes into sleeping for most of the trip).

9.  Reading material.  I’m taking Water for Elephants (yes, I’m still reading the flippin thing, but it’s because I keep getting side tracked with reality show finales and high school vampire books) which I fully intend to complete provided the beach heat doesn’t cause me to slip into a coma (it’d better not be that hot down there or so help me…).  Dude #1 is taking some book #77 of BeastQuest, #2 is taking his National Geographic companion that is already requiring a huge slab of duct tape to keep it together, and #3 is bringing along Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue (learn more about Ben & Bumper by checking out BraveMouse Books on Facebook) because I am sick to death of Goodnight Gorilla and My Truck is Stuck.

10.  I don’t have a 10, but you know how I am with the round numbers thing.

So, want to win Dumb Mom’s Dumb Family Vacation Essential Gear Giveaway?

You can.  And, it’s so super stinkin’ easy!

All you have to do is link a vacation related post here in which you share a time you traveled with (or as) a kid(s).

That’s it.**

Figure this is a creative way to get you entered, share some fun posts, and give me some ideas to steal to help me survive the week (but if you aren’t a blogger, don’t despair, just read the fine print at the bottom to see how you can get entered to win too!).

One entry per link (enter as many as you want!) and you could win all of the following:

1.  A Thermacell Mosquito Repelling Lantern.

2.  SunBurnt therapeutic sunburn treatment.

3.  A month subscription to Wiglington and Wenks online gaming community.

4.  An iGo mobile charger for the mobile device of your choice (I got a Blackberry one and I’m getting Dumb Dad an iphone one).

5.  A copy of Benjamin and Bumper to the Rescue which comes with a super cute Make-a-Mouse gift pack to turn your reading experience interactive with cute mouse puppets!

*Two runner’s up will also be given a subscription to Wiglington and Wenks to share with the little people in their lives.  I’ve got extras so I’m gonna share!

**Official sounding rules and such:  Entrants must be residents of the US or Canada (or at least have a great aunt or long lost cousin living in the US or Canada who is willing to ship you the gifts to your remote foreign country after they receive them for you); giveaway closes August 27, 2010 at midnight Eastern Standard time and the winner will be announced Saturday, August 28, 2010 (this will be the only giveaway running here for this month so if you like winning stuff from me, and we both know you do, this is your only chance.  I’ll be bringing you new stuff when school starts back up, maybe, if I feel like it); you can link as many posts as you want and each post counts as ONE entry (they can be from 4 years ago if you want, I don’t care, they count and I’ll read them, and even leave a comment.  Just make sure they are about vacationing WITH kids, even if you are writing about a vacation you took AS a kid, and they’ll count.).  Official sounding enough for you? AND, you don’t have to be a blogger to enter. Just follow my blog and leave a comment saying you’d like to enter and you’re in!


  1. says

    I don’t wanna enter your giveaway. If someone at the Cleaver compound doesn’t get a fulltime job, we’ll never survive, let alone take a vacation.

    And we’re all in the wrong age group for the lovely prizes you have amassed. Except the lantern thing – but then again, we don’t go outside for leisure time (we’re hermits).

    God, ny life just sounds worse with every line I write. Enough of that.

    I think the audio books thing is a good idea. So are the I Spy books…let the kids search for stuff on each page – and each thing you need to find is shown as a picture (as well as being part of the text), so no reading is necessary for even the little guy to find things.

    Our 2 year old grandson can find everything in the I Spy book he has.

    Don’t forget the snacks, drinks and wipes.

    I used to let The Boy put stickers on his windows, that entertained him. Now, you can use the vinyl cling stickers (remember Colorforms?), so no need to scrape off any sticky paper when you get sick of them.

    I hope the kids are behaved, the weather is great, and that you have the most awesome time ever.

  2. says

    I linked all of my posts above and am working on more right now! I love to blog about my travels! I hope you make it to Myrtle Beach! It is one of my favorite places. I grew up 20 miles from MB and always go back every year.

    As a military family we are always traveling. I usually drive 12 hrs to NC every three months so the grands can see the kiddos! It’s a major pain, but we do what we need to for family right?

    Thanks for the chance to win, I really appreciate it!

  3. says

    Oh, and one more thing: when we take trips with our kids, 2 of them can’t read. (one is a baby, one is a toddler). One of them is going into 2nd grade, and not the strongest reader.

    When we went to San Antonio, I checked out some audio books for kids from the library, then loaded the CDs onto my computer then uploaded them onto the kids MP3 players. It worked great. Kids loved to listen to them. Plus the books were like 6 hours long each!

    Also, in the past, I’ve gotten online and looked up websites to make my own activity books. Not that I love making more work for myself, but my kids aren’t really into coloring. Instead I made the “find a picture” pages (from highlights.com), mazes, SuDoKu for kids, car bingo, car battleship, etc. If you need any links, here’s my post about it:

    Enjoy your trip!

  4. says

    And being a mosquito attracting machine myself…
    You know those like little bracelet thingies you can get at the store…they say just put them on and go, they won’t bother you…I can tell you, they SUCK and do NOT work!

  5. says

    Okay out of 3 years of blogging I have not posted a single post about a vacation we took with the kiddos, Because apparently we aren’t that dumb yet! =) And I haven’t ever posted anything from when I was a kid…..guess I should….so I can get entered?

    I did post about how last summer I was going to have surgery so we did summer like stuff near by the house with the boys….3 different posts I believe….does that count? And since I did 3 different post does that get me 3 different entries? =)