Sometimes I think we are nuts, attempting to drive all over the country with our kids strapped in the back seat. We drove to Florida before our second son was born, and it went perfectly. Last year we went to the Smoky Mountains with our 5-year-old and baby in tow, it wasn’t bad at all. This year, however, I am getting a little apprehensive it may not go as well.
We are planning a trip to the east coast: Washington D.C. through Virginia Beach into North Carolina. Our ultimate destination is this. That’s right, we’ve got one very big monster truck fan in our family and this will be his ultimate childhood memory. Now it is my job to pack and plan appropriately to avoid the screaming and fighting which happens when they are trapped in a house too long together… I don’t even want to imagine that in our truck all the way to North Carolina. I think my husband would drop us all off at a rest stop.
This made me wonder, what do organized moms do for road trips? Here are some ideas:
- First aid kit. You never know!
- Pillows and blankets! Hopefully the kids will sleep the entire time we drive. All 15 hours…
- Pack activities. Notice there are no crayons or markers on this list. Am I the only jerk who won’t let my kids color unless I am sitting next to them? This is what my son can do with a crayon when left unattended for thirty seconds. We will skip the crayons in Daddy’s new truck. Again – trying not to get left at a rest stop!
- Books for reading. Only a few, I’m sure they won’t read.
- Leapfrog computer
- Flashcards with sight words and numbers. You never know when a good time for learning will present itself!
- DVD player and DVDs.
- Printables like this one from The Reformed Idealist Mom. I’ll be sneaking in a lesson in science as well. I love it!
- Pack snacks. Try to keep them healthy, no one needs a sugar overdose while trapped in a car. Have a cooler with a lunch or two stashed in it. Here are some of the things we took:
We didn’t actually take our refrigerator on the trip with us, I took the pictures the night before we needed to pack everything up. Besides, look how dark and creepy it looks. It would be a great place for a Halloween party. Some of the containers lurking in the shadows are:
- Fresh celery, carrots and tomatoes to dip in tuna salad and hummus.
- Tuna salad with pickled radishes and celery.
- Udi’s gluten free bread for my son.
- Almond butter. For me, all of it.
- Watermelon cut up.
- Caprese salad. Fancy!
- Bark thins chocolate in the largest size imaginable. Thank you Costco. And yes, we have two of them.
- Shredded chicken with BBQ sauce for the littles – they won’t touch tuna salad!
- Those insanely expensive fruit pouches my kids eat like its going out of style. Curse you, convenience items! I need the reusable ones.
Another fun thing I am bringing is stamps. A family member just mailed us a post card from their vacation and we loved it! I am making a goal to mail my family members some fun post cards from places we stop. I don’t think many people do that anymore, but definitely should.
For some reason I procrastinate packing and organizing until the very last second and then run around like crazy trying not to forget anything. And I always forget something. This time around, I am using this checklist from Burlap & Denim. It has proved very helpful. I am so organized, I labeled Ziploc baggies with magic marker. I have a good feeling this trip is going to be another success!
Check out my Pinterest board for more great ideas:
What things do you do to prepare for vacation? Please share in the comments below!