Traveling With Kids Part 3 – Keeping It All Together
If you haven’t read the first 2 parts of this series, click here to read Traveling with kids Part 1- Top 10 Things You Need to Know or click here to read Traveling with kids Part 2 -Packing the Car.
For the last part of the series, I am going to share with you how I get 6-7 outfits for 5 people organized, accessible and compacted. I start out like this!!!
Each person has a pile of the things they are taking. I will tell the kids to come in the room and then send them for items in categories, “Go get me 3 dress shirts and 2 pair of jeans.” “Now I need 6 pair of socks and underwear.” etc. I have a master packing list that I call things from. It changes somewhat depending on where we are going and how long we are staying, but, for the most part, we follow it. I keep it saved in my computer and print it out for each trip.
Something I would always forget to do would be keep out a set of clothes for us to actually WEAR while in the car! Seems like a silly thing, but when packing this much stuff, I get confused…LOL. Since we usually take 2 days to make our 1200 mile drive to see our family, I also make a list of things that will go in an over night bag for just 1 night in case we need to stop at a hotel. It is so much easier to take in one little bag (plus the dog, the electronics, the snacks, and the toiletries bag!!) than it is to lug in the huge suitcase (plus the dog, the electronics, the snacks, and the toiletries bag!!)
Ok, so on to packing our big “suitcase”. I used to pack an actual suitcase for us. It was huge, heavy, and within 24 hours of being at our final destination, it was strung all over the place! I would “army roll” all of out clothes and put each person in a corner of the suitcase with my hubby’s clothes in the middle to divide. All of our sock and undoes would go in the mesh part of the suitcase lid in labeled gallon ziploc baggies. Then, my sister rolls in to town one day with a 3 drawer plastic dresser and my world changed! She only has 2 small children and, 2 of my kids are bigger than me, so I wasn’t sure if all of our stuff would actually fit in one of these, but I had one that I wasn’t really using in the pantry already, so I decided to test it out.
I can fit 6-7 outfits each along with accessories and socks and undies in this thing! While it is a little difficult to carry it to the car, it rides perfectly in the back, and once we arrive at our destination, it is PERFECT! We can set our iPads, etc on top of it to plug them in, I put things like perfume and pens and other things I like to get to quickly on the top of it…just like a dresser. I use a piece of card board to separate my side from my daughters side and one to separate the boys’ stuff. My hubby gets his own drawer because his pants are about a foot longer than the rest of ours! I like that it is clear because we can all see what we are needing to get before we even start digging through and I can let the kids get their own clothes out! Here is how I roll our outfits for easy access:
I put a pair of pants (shorts, skirt, whatever) on the bottom, layer a shirt, undies and socks (not shown for modesty reasons ;)) and a necklace and earrings, hair bow or ribbon all on top and roll tightly. Sometimes there are pieces that I don’t want rolled up like this because they will bend or whatever and I just put those pieces in a baggie in the top of the drawer. I can also fit 2-3 sets of rolled Pj’s for us in as well. So when We need clothes for the day, we reach in and grab ONE thing…a roll that has everything in it we need for the day, except our shoes. We typically take 1 other pair of shoes besides the ones we actually wear out of the house and I just put them in the overnight bag that we use for the hotel. By the way, the clothes in the overnight bag are packed just like the ones in the drawers, in a roll with all accessories and underwear.
So that is how we do traveling with our kids: An over night bag, a toiletries bag and the 3 drawer plastic dresser. It’s what works for us! Let me know what works for you!