Well it’s that time of year again….summer is coming and that means the kick start of exciting, followed by slightly panic inducing, preparation for road trips! PARTY IN THE CAR! Our family travels a LOT. If I’m not packing for one trip, I’m unpacking from another. Below is an outline of our travel setup- I hope this helps you in any way get some structure for upcoming travels or some feeling of relief if you are staying home this summer and don’t ever have to worry about doing this!!!!!
I’ll typically start our planning by setting our departure time which almost always exclusively is focused around meals. 3-4 hours of driving followed by an hour meal stop. We’ve tried both driving through the day and driving through the night and I’ve got to admit driving through the night was the definite winner.
The blessing and curse of road travel is that you can pack much more than air travel (yay!) but that can quickly turn into packing your house as if you were never coming back. Here’s how we typically roll. Our car has a DVD player that may or may not be working depending on how it’s feeling that day. We also have had these for awhile which gets decent reviews and usually gets the job done. Happy tip- if you get that DVD player from Amazon it is NOT the same model and gets worse reviews. Spoken from experience!
Next up….kids goodies. Each kid gets a small cup of water. Why? More water = more potty breaks! Ok I’m not cruel and will keep extra by me just in case 😉 Our snack bag contains an assortment of about 15 bags of the following: raisins, rice cakes, Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, fruit snacks. The kids are allowed to handle the snack bag. If it’s a longer ride, a small thermal has string cheese and Uncrustables (the bomb!).
Each kid brings a blanket big enough to cover them as our AC can sometimes blast them without us realizing it. And my main essential item- towels, at least two. We once made the 5 hour trip to Gatlinburg, got 10 minutes from our camp site, and had a kiddo get car sick 😦 Hooray towels! They also serve as great blankets when I forget one for myself.
We have one final bag which is an assortment of all things car trip – a few diapers, pack of wipes, disposable bib, garbage bags, baby toys, DVDs, Leappads, headphones, car sickness medicine, and car pillows. Some really sweet and wonderful parents will wrap up little gifts for their kids to open every few hours on the trip. I have done this before when I just had two kids, but with four, it’s just more stuff for me to load. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses, it’s time to hit the road!