I am a list person. Lists keep me organized and on top of things. You may have seen my Grocery Shopping List where I have everything I ever buy, almost, on a one page printable. My Road Trip Pack List works the same way. I have included anything I could imagine we would take on our family road trips. These road trips might include staying in a hotel or rental property, camping, and staying with friends or family.
Here’s how it works:
- Print off the list.
- Highlight the items you need for a particular trip.
- Write in any thing I might have missed.
- Gather the highlighted items.
- Cross them off with a pen.
- Hit the road, knowing you didn’t forget anything!
When my two oldest boys were very young I purchased two over the seat car organizers. I have used these on every trip since then. Now they are used for my little boys, 2 and 7. I fill them with all kinds of surprises. Sometimes I’ll wrap toys from the dollar store that my dis have never seen before. This trip I dug through old toys and found anything that they might not have played with, at least for a while. I load up each pocket and I don’t let them see them till we are enroute.
Here are a few of my favorite trip activities for little kids. Stickers, flashlights/headlalam and glow sticks for late night or early morning driving, a grab bag of legos, and sticker/activity books. Then there are the Magic Marker books, my mom used to buy these for me on road trips and I LOVED them! I found this one at Target. Target also carried a paint with water book that reminded me of when I was young. These are great because all you need is a paintbrush and a water bottle. I like to bag up a few pony beads and some plastic lace for making bracelets or patterns. My kids have loved lacing things, these bears and their outfits came from JoAnn’s. And lastly, those fuzzy pipe cleaners and foam beads from the dollar store. Even a 2 year old can thread these.
Now for the older kids. Digital entertainement is #1, that goes without saying, but to mix things up, I usually pack a few surprises for them too. A card game that asks silly questions, Far Side comics, gel stickers for the windows of the car, a magnetic Wooly Willey, and because they are crafty too, a latch hook rug.
Do you know the joy of pulling down the little tray from the chair in front of you while riding on an air plane? All the space, a table just for you. Well I wanted to recreate that for my little ones. I found an inexpensive and relatively small cookie sheet. My husband busted out a Dremmel tool and cut two slivers out of each side. Then I fished Velcro through the holes and wrapped them around the arm rests of their car seats. These too were mad almost a decade ago and have served us well.
The flat surface works great for eating, coloring, crafting or playing with assorted magnets. They work with our van’s regular arm rests as well. The Velcro makes it easy to put on or take off.
My pack list has a ton of food items. These are a few of my regular items that I take with me on trips. I buy as much as I can fit in the car while I am at home for a couple of reasons 1. I don’t want to spend my trip time grocery shopping and 2. I like to bargain shop them where things are much cheaper at home. The cocoa, instant oatmeal, and cup o’ soup are perfect for a cheap hotel with a coffee maker, just add hot water. I can’t tell you how many times we have finished a day at Disneyland and all snuggled in with hot cocoa in our hotel, it feels quite luxurious. And now my older boys enjoy a cup o’ soup as a cheap fourth meal. Svenhard’s are a family favorite roasted over any campfire (seriously, try the cheese horn, yummmm). I like to bring lots of tasty, easy snacks, especially ones we don’t eat regularly at home because it’s a vacation right?
One snack that is not listed but is a MUST is my Road Trip Chex Mix.
I hope this makes your next Road Trip run a little smoother! What are you waiting for?