Today is packing day for our cross country journey, so I thought I would share my top 10 packing tips for a long road trip with kids.
1. Make a packing list for each kid. Print this list out at least a week ahead of time so you can add to it as you think of things. Keep the list somewhere easy to access so you can add or remove tings as you think of it. This is a great list from Burlap and Denim.
2. Put each days outfit in a ziploc bag with the kids name on it. I include underwear, socks and hair accessories too. It cuts down on the bag clutter tremendously. Before I discovered this trick, I would dig through the suitcase trying to find clothes for the kids and make a huge mess that I would have to repack each morning. This eliminates the clutter and mess.
3. But what you can when you get there. Don’t pack a bunch of diapers or wipes, when you know you can buy them at the store when you get there. I usually do this for toothbrushes. I hate the sticky toothbrush baggies at the beginning and end of the trip so I usually buy brand new toothbrushes and toss them when we leave, this keeps me from having to deal with the gross toothbrush ziploc bag (you know what I’m talking about!)
4. Pack a first aid kit. This doesn’t have to be complicated and really only need the basics. Ours has band-aids, pain relievers, thermometer, ice packs, & antiseptic wipes.
5. Don’t fold clothes, roll them instead. You will find that you can fit way more into a suitcase if you roll your clothes instead of folding them. Plus it reduces wrinkling.
6. Don’t forget the entertainment! Pack a few favorite toys, books and if possible videos to keep your kiddos occupied on the trip. Personal DVD players are pretty cheap now and can be a great investment for a long road trip. One of the best things I ever brought on a road trip was a bag of multi color pipe cleaners. The kids made fun creations for hours!
7. Snacks! Nothing can break up boredom like some snacks. The best advice here it so avoid anything sugary, raising blood sugar levels in kids that are stuck in a car for hours at a time is not a good idea. Stick to protein foods like beef jerky and nuts. Fruit is a great option as well. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand, but avoid juices and sodas for the reasons mentioned above 🙂
8. Be prepared to clean a mess! DO NOT forget to pack wipes, paper towels, extra plastic bags, etc. Kids get messy, sometimes really messy. Have the clean up stuff readily available to pull out in case of a mess emergency.
9. Barf bags, No delicate way to put this. Kids get carsick, it happens all the time. We have been on enough road trips now that the plastic barf bags that you can buy on amazon are the best things in the world for car sick kids. These things are amazing! I never leave home without them.
10. Blankets and pillows. Kids are going to get tired in the car so make sure they have a way to sleep comfy, well as comfy as you can in the car. Pillows will go a long way to make that happen.
Hope this top ten list helps you on your next trip!