The Fourth of July is next weekend and that means that several of you will be embarking on road trips. Our family has been on the road so frequently, I feel like we have it down to a science. Here is the packing list I use when it’s time to load up the car.
I’ve broken my packing list up into areas, and each member of the family is responsible for a different section. Most of it is obvious, but a few items on my list might surprise you. Here are the big areas that we load before a road trip:
- First Aid – This typically stays in our car, but before we head out on a trip, I double check to make sure it is stocked. Half of my family has a tendency to get carsick, so the mint/ginger helps quell that. And, if it doesn’t, that’s why I carry a roll of diaper or doggie-do sacks with us – I hand them back to my queasy passengers just in case.
- Snacks – The snacks themselves will vary from family to family, but a roll of paper towels is invaluable on the road. We use them as napkins, as plates, to clean up spills, and to wipe hands. We’ve even used them to clean mud off shoes – really, don’t leave home without a roll of paper towels. We also save money by packing our lunch and picnicking at a rest stop along the road, hence the picnic blanket. Throw in a nature scavenger hunt, and you’re ready to get back on the road.
- Activities – Each of my children have different preferences for what to bring in the car. I am adamant, though, that electronics are limited when we travel. They must bring books, games, and other activities to occupy themselves in the car.
- Front Seat – It’s important that our phones don’t die before the GPS finishes getting us to our destination!
- Tech Gear – We do have portable DVD players for the kids to watch, but I actually prefer to listen to a book that the whole family will enjoy. It really makes the time on the road fly by.
- Comforts – Inevitably, the kids will take their shoes and socks off before we have even pulled out of the driveway. I tuck a pair of flip flops, or some other slip on shoe, under their seats in the car. This makes bathroom stops much quicker because we don’t have to wait to tie laces.
- Luggage – In addition to our suitcases, I pack one overnight bag if our road trip will have us sleeping along the way. This way, we don’t have to completely unload the car for one night in a hotel. Instead, we grab the overnight bag with pajamas and clean clothes for the whole family and leave the rest in the car.
I hope these tips help you as you prepare for your next road trip. Feel free to download the packing list that I use. As you can see from the picture above, mine is laminated and I use a dry erase marker to check things off every time we load up the car.
What’s the most important thing you have to have on a road trip? Let us know in the comments.