What To Pack For a Road Trip With Kids

143 Flares Twitter 32 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 87 Google+ 24 Email -- Filament.io 143 Flares ×

Summer is time for the family road trip!  Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story…

Road Trip Across The Country With Kids

There should be a game show dedicated to packing for a 30-day road trip.

The voice-over would go something like this:

“Figure out how to get all the essentials for a family of six into one smallish Ford SUV and you win $50,000!”

what to pack for a road trip with kids

What To Pack For a Road Trip With Kids

But here’s the kicker: Those riding in the aforementioned auto take up six seats.

(Actually, it’s more like seven seats if you count my darling Dutch husband’s 48-inch shoulders which dictate their own zip code.)

This leaves a cargo space of exactly 3×5 feet.

Let it also be known that the preschooler cannot sleep without 45 lovies.

(Having once before overnighted lovies for a stinging cost of $62.50, I now know that it behooves me not to question the bonds that be.)

You also have to consider that one tween needs man-sized baseball gear; another requires more iCords than Steve Jobs.

Then there’s the manny: While he rarely wears shoes or needs a brush for his longish hair, he enjoys traveling with both a surf board and an acoustic guitar.

Not that I’m a peach in the cargo department.

As a millennial bride, I took four enormous suitcases on my honeymoon including 14 pair of shoes.

Then, I evolved into the kind of wife who purchases either glass Christmas ornaments or heavy tomes on photography. At airports of origin.

So suffice it to say we’re all going to have to make some sacrifices.

Here’s my thinking on the allocation of space.

packing for a road trip

To ensure we all sleep, Charlotte gets to keep her bedtime buddies.

To maintain the peace, we keep the baseball gear and iCords.

We also include wrapped merchandise from the Disney store to be opened by a certain preschooler upon implosion.

I must also allocate space to kiddie literature.

(Look, even if we do not get to all of our road trip reading, I must maintain the fantasy that we might. After all, what kind of mother would I be to allow my three children to plug in and tune out for 30 straight days?)

Joel, baby, your accessories will have to stay in Texas. You’ll have to amuse yourself by singing in the shower.

(You read the itinerary, right? While there is coastline available, you’d have to surf in the wake of a Great Lakes ice cutter to do so.)

What to Pack for the Family Road Trip

Among the other essentials scoring space:

• One giant road atlas.

• One large cooler. (I can neither afford to eat out for 30 straights days nor can my waistline sustain a steady diet of restaurant meals.)

• One picnic blanket. (If you’ve ever unknowingly settled upon a pile of red ants in Texas, you know such a cover is an emergency-room preventative.)

• A blender and vat of protein powder.

• A crockpot. (I’ve been to so-called furnished rentals that without a decent knife let alone an oven that heats evenly.)

• Stainless steel water bottles. (Have you been reading that plastic bottles left in hot cars leech chemicals into water? No need to poison ourselves while on vacation.)

• Six pool towels that double as car blankets.

• A medical kit with a month’s supply of Dramamine for our resident puker.

And finally, there will be a suitcase.

Just one.

In it, all parties will have a Zip-loc bag of toiletries and exactly two outfits such as those worn by athletes when working out.

All items will be made of wicking material. They will be washable in small sinks.

Furthermore, everyone gets a swim suit except for Joel who wears his every day, even on dry land.

Charlotte also gets a giant swim floaty because even through her gear takes up a lot of space in the SUV, we would sure hate to lose her on this trip.

There. That should do it.

Is there anything I have forgotten?



101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest Funnest Ever
Julie Blair About Julie Blair

Julie Blair is a freelance journalist based in the Dallas area. She has written about local, state and national education issues for more than 10 years. Ms. Blair is also the author of the book “Building Bridges With the Press: A Guide for Educators.”

143 Flares Twitter 32 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 87 Google+ 24 Email -- Filament.io 143 Flares ×