We’ve been road trippin’ with kids for four years. And I’ll never ever forget the first time we packed up our Chevy Trailblazer for our first post-kid adventure. We were living in Arkansas at the time, and we decided to head to luxurious Fort Worth for Easter weekend. It felt like we were taking the whole world. You know . . .
- 2 suitcases
- 1 diaper bag
- 78 diapers
- 2 packages of wipes
- 50 outfits for the baby
- 17 million burp cloths (so. much. spit. up.)
- 1 pack and play
- 1 bouncy seat
- 1 Rottie/lab mix
- 1 Beagle
Friends, we looked like we were planning an escape. Over the years, we’ve learned some tricks . . .
Overnight bags. When we know travel will take more than one day, this is a must. I pack one duffle bag with a couple of outfits and toothbrushes for my girls and me. My husband ONLY uses one duffle for the whole trip (boys). I don’t worry too much about other toiletries because hotels always have everything you need in the room. There’s no need to haul huge suitcases for an overnight, so we take JUST what’s needed inside, and we pack it in the very back of the car.
Diapers. When we first had kids, I always packed diapers in a big tupperware that took up a lot of space. Now, I usually ship a box of diapers to my destination before I leave, using either Amazon Prime or Target’s free shipping for purchase more than $50. This saves packing space (it’s also great if you MUST fly). Also, because public changing tables just gross me out, I pack a small Thirty-One bag with a changing mat and enough diapers, pull-ups, wipes, and disposable bags for our journey in the back of our SUV. When we stop, we change our littlest back there. Instead of diapers being stashed here and there, now we both know they are nice and neat in the back when we need them.
Toys. Confession. It took me about 2.5 years, to figure out that I don’t need to pack toys for vaca. Kids, and especially babies can be pretty entertained by family members, their own imaginations, or new surroundings. I do pack each child a bag for travel with books, crayons, magna doodles, and coloring books. From a practical standpoint (and because I’m a neat freak), crayons are TOTALLY annoying in the car. They get broken, they get peeled, they get dropped in door crevasses. I think our trip to California was the last trip I will pack them in the travel bag, perhaps saving them for the destination only. Magna doodles, on the other hand, entertain BOTH girls and are mess free. Our other must have is a portable DVD player. We try not to employ this right away. But when the kids get really bored, we surprise them with a new video, which will then be enjoyed a million times that week.
Snacks. Food is important. Heck, it can make or break a trip. SO, I pack a little backpack right behind my chair with easy snacks for kids: granola bars, squeezes, clementines, apples, and veggie chips, etc. NOT BANANAS (trusssssst me, even if they are green when you leave). I include two small tupperwares so that each child has a bowl from which to eat. They each also have a water bottle in the door, that we can easily access for them.
Music. Look if listening to Frozen 50,000 times means you and your spouse can enjoy a nice conversation, then do it. If your child still lets you listen to your own music, you are one lucky parent.
The point is KISS. Keep it simple, silly face.
What are your travel tips?