Traveling With Kids Part 2- Packing The Car
Be sure to read Traveling with Kids Part 1-Top Ten Things You Need To Know
I have been traveling 2-3 times a year, in a car, with my husband, 3 kids, and dog for 1200 miles each way to visit my family. We are PROS at this my kids never even ask “Are we there yet?” Really, my husband and I are much more whiny than the kids! I think it is because we do so well at packing the car with things to occupy them!
The first thing I make sure we all have is a travel pillow and small throw blanket. Even in the summer months, we keep the a.c blowing on high and when someone gets tired, they want to put their heads down and cover up a little. I make sure these are very small, light blankets so they do not take up too much room when they are not being used. They usually end up thrown over to the back of the van until they need to be used.
I could write paragraphs about how an why to pack all of the things we take in the car, (These are the things we keep accessible IN THE CAR, not packed in the suitcase where we cannot reach.) but I think it will be easier to follow if I make a list for you. I think most of it is self explanatory.
Let me just say that I no longer have babies to travel with. My youngest is now 5. When I did travel with infants, I was always sure to bring changes of clothes and a few hand towels in case there was a leaky diaper incident. I also recommend you pre measure the formula powder (if that is what you use) in the bottles and carry a separate container of nursery water for quick and easy preparation. Be sure to use diaper rash cream even if there is no rash and change very often! Babies will develop a rash quickly when traveling long distances.
Now, on to what I currently travel with:
I use a Sterilite snap top container to hold everything. I use 2, one for snacks and one for non-snacks. They stack nicely behind the console so that we can all reach them.
Here is the list for my non-snack tote:
Febreeze (a small travel bottle…did I mention we travel with a dog?)
Band aids, Neosporin, and a few alcohol wipes
A pain reliever, an allergy med, Gas-X, Tums, Pepto, eye drops, Dramamine, and lotion.
Crayon boxes for each kids with markers or crayons, pencils, stickers, and a small notepad to doodle in.
In my snack box I like to pack a few home made items like Rice Crispy Treats and Brownie bites (without the ice cream of course!). I also like to pack a few other things in those ziploc snack baggies:
whole apples and bananas
Finally, we take our insulated cups. We fill them with tea or water (or coffee) when we leave and only refill when we stop. We used to take a cooler and wedge it in between the middle seats of the van. We would not only carry waters, juices, and gatorades but we would also put things in there to make sandwiches for our lunch. The kids loved it when “Chef Daddy” would get in the back seat to make us lunch!
I hope this list helps some of you when you are traveling with kids! Let me know if you have any tips of your own to add!