6 Tips for Managing Back-to-School Chaos

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Make the back-to-school transition easier with these 6 tips!

On the one hand, getting back into a routine in the fall can sound heavenly, especially if your summer was largely spontaneous and “easy come, easy go.” But that transition from free-range family to “What time does the bus come???” can be turbulent. Here are tips to help parents readjust to the back-to-school world.

  1. Create a routine. And post it so everyone in your household can access it. It doesn’t matter if it’s shared across smartphones and tablets or a large whiteboard calendar hanging somewhere everyone can see it. Keep that calendar up to date. Take some time every weekend to go over it with the relevant family members. That will help everyone prepare for what’s ahead each week, and it will help the adults prioritize, plan transportation with other parents, and adapt work schedules if necessary.
  2. Plan for family dinners. Numerous studies have shown how beneficial it is for families to eat dinner together on a regular basis. It doesn’t need to be a seven-course gourmet meal; the important thing is to have the time together, even if it’s right before the 7th grade band concert. Put it into the calendar so it doesn’t slip off the priority list. And hey — Deli Express® has lots of quick sandwich options you can grab on the way home from work. Add a salad and some fruit, and you’re good to go.
  3. Pack the night before. Pack what? Everything — lunches, snacks, backpacks, school projects, musical instruments. Deli Express makes packing that lunch incredibly easy with delicious sandwiches both kids and adults can enjoy! Line the nonperishable items up by the door, and have the lunches at the front of the fridge. It will make mornings so much easier!
  4. Get up earlier than the kids. Yes, it’s hard to get up even five minutes earlier, especially when fall gets darker and darker in the morning. But if you set that alarm 15 minutes earlier (and don’t hit the snooze button), you can buy yourself some much-needed time to take a deep breath, drink some coffee or tea, and gather your thoughts before the morning barrage begins.
  5. Take time each weekend to monitor upcoming needs. Many schools now have all kinds of online portals you can look at to see if your child has tests or major projects coming up, field trips that require permission slips and money, or special events. Take a few minutes every weekend to go through those and adjust the calendar as needed and make sure all the required forms are filled out and ready to go.
  6. Don’t aim for perfection. There are just some days when the calendar is too overwhelming. If you and your family don’t get to every item on it, so be it — and when you model “good enough” versus “perfect” to your kids, you’re giving them a great life lesson.
How to Master a Rest Stop Picnic

How to Master a Rest Stop Picnic

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Tips for preparing an on-the-go picnic meal, straight from your car!

Most major freeways have rest stops and picnic areas at certain mile markers. Keep an on-the-go picnic basket in the trunk of your car with all the essentials – a blanket, wet wipes, and disposable tableware and cutlery. Don’t forget the Deli Express sandwiches!

Must-See Roadside Attractions

Must-See Roadside Attractions

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Visit these quirky roadside attractions across the country on your next long road trip.

World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS
Started in the year 1953, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine weighed over 5,000lbs and stood 8ft. high in just four years. Plan to stop by in August and you could be part of the annual Twine-A-Thon to add more twine!

Paul Bunyan Land in Brainerd, MN
Visit the 26 foot tall animated, talking lumberjack with Babe the Big Blue Ox. The park offers a variety of amusement park rides and attractions for all family members to enjoy!
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Carhenge in Alliance, NE
This attraction, a representation of England’s historical Stonehenge, features a circle of car sculptures crafted from old cars and car parts.
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Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD
The Corn Palace offers free guided tours throughout the summer months in this small South Dakota town. Learn how corn is grown, how the Palace was built and decorated, and bring home some fun corn souvenirs!
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Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill, FL
Ever wanted to see a real-life mermaid? Well, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will make your dreams come true! While you’re there, you can also swim in the beautifully pristine Buccaneer Bay and paddle down the Weeki Wachee River.

“Lover’s Leap” in Rock City, TN
Experience the world famous “Lover’s Leap” at Rock City, just a few miles from downtown Chatanooga. The area offers beautiful scenery from ancient rock formations, breathtaking panoramic views of state borders, and gardens with over 400 plant species.
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Lucy the Elephant in Margate City, NJ
Along the beach in Josephine Harron Park, you’ll find Lucy the Elephant – a six story high historical monument constructed in 1881 that has since entertained passersby, tourists, and families alike. Climb the stairs inside Lucy’s legs to the 360degree lookout deck, or enjoy one of the many surrounding picnic tables over your Deli Express sandwich lunch.
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The Haines Shoe House in York, PA
Stop by The Haines Shoe House for a guided tour of all five levels, and enjoy an ice cream treat on-site while you tour!
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The Cabazon Dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA
Dubbed one of the most iconic roadside attractions, the Cabazon Dinosaurs have appeared in films, media and pop culture moments across the nation. The exhibit features over fifty lifelike dinosaurs, guided tours and an array of on-site family activities.
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Top 5 Car Ride Entertainment Tips

Top 5 Car Ride Entertainment Tips

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Keep the kids and other passengers entertained on the road with these five tips!

  1. Download several episodes of your favorite podcasts that you can listen to offline.
  2. Create a playlist of your favorite road trip tunes that will last the duration of your trip.
  3. Download an eBook that the whole family would enjoy listening to.
  4. Download an array of TV shows and movies on a mobile device before you head out so you can view them offline.
  5. Buy travel-size board games or game books to play in the car.
Top 10 Road Trip Essentials

Top 10 Road Trip Essentials

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Stay fueled on-the-go with these top 10 essentials for your next road trip.

Most rest stops, convenience stores and gas stations can provide you with the basic necessities each passenger needs to fuel up for the road. These top 10 items will keep all passengers entertained, well-fed, and safe on the road.

  1. Trail Mix – the always-trusty G.O.R.P (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) offers a mix of salty and sweet and enough nutrition to tide you over until the next pit stop.
  2. Water – Stay hydrated! Don’t forget to get your eight, 8 oz. servings of water while you’re on the road!
  3. Soda – Treat yourself to a cold, bubbly soda!
  4. Candy or Other Sweets – Treat that sweet tooth! We all know road trips are the most acceptable time to stock up on your best guilty pleasure candies and sweets.
  5. Gum – If you’re traveling through regions with differing elevations, chewing gum can tremendously help with the sensation of popping ears and calm the nerves.
  6. Magazines – Pick up a genre for Mom, Dad, and another for the kids and teens in the back seat. You’ll keep the car ride peaceful and entertained for at least a little while!
  7. Crosswords or Other Game Books – A perfect way to keep passengers of all ages entertained, while keeping the brain power up on the road.
  8. A Tire Gauge – Note the recommended PSI of your car’s tires, and occasionally check the measures with a handy tire gauge to ensure the safety of your tires on a long road trip.
  9. Basic First Aid Kit – In case of any emergencies or minor injuries, it’s always a good idea to have a basic First Aid Kit in the backseat or trunk of your car. Stock it with bandages, ointments, sanitary gloves and wipes, pain relievers, and instant hot/cold packs.
  10. Deli Express Sandwiches – Of course, don’t forget to top off the meal-time hours with fresh sandwiches all around!