Welcome back. Hopefully you got something out of yesterday’s post. Although it is the lame and boring part, planning your trip is a huge part of a successful trip. If you take only one thing away from yesterday, please let it be the Map Tracker (toward the bottom of the post). Totally a life saver and I will so be doing that again for our next road trip (in two weeks!).
Now this ultimately depends on where you are going and who you are taking with you. Obviously, you wouldn’t take the same things on a camping trip as you would take on a beachfront va-cay, right?! So, the “what” you take depends, but there should be certain things you ALWAYS take, no matter where you are going. Even a day trip to Grandma’s or a day at the park. I call this the Emergency Bag. It’s all the things I forget from time to time, but are a serious inconvenience to be stuck without. I usually keep this bag packed and in the car all the time, just in case. I rotate things out every month or so or as needed (when the items need to be washed, for example).
The things I would never dream of leaving home without:
– a package of wipes (I prefer the Costco Kirkland brand because the package seals quite well and they don’t dry out as badly). We use wipes for EVERYTHING. Sticky hands, messy faces, dirty diapers, quick sweat wipe up (icky!), shopping cart wipe downs, restaurant table clean up, and so much more. We went to church with one wipe once. Longest three hours EVER.
|Photo Credit and additional info on Kirkland Wipes|
– extra diapers and pull-ups (Some parents refuse to use Pull-Ups, but I have found them to be invaluable. Monkey is still mastering the whole potty thing and pull-ups are soo much easier to use on road trips. We treat them just like underwear, but if he dribbles or has an accident, it is a billion times easier to clean up and you don’t have to carry around wet undies… ew! And have you ever been without an extra diaper… the reasoning behind that one is pretty self-explanatory.)
– a small, light-weight quilt or blanket for the park, the water park, wrapping produce from the grocery store when we forget the cold bags, the whiny child that insists he is cold, blocking the sun from the other child that thinks he will melt before we get home, wrapping up a mostly-naked child after some kind of bodily-fluid eruption that soils every article of clothing they were wearing, a seat cover to make post-road trip clean up as easy as a load of laundry (who likes to vacuum the car, really?). We use the blanket. All. The. Time. Seriously.
– a first aid kit. You can stay pretty basic with a few band-aids, some antiseptic wetwipes, and some first aid ointment. Or go all out with one of those mega kits. We have one somewhere in between the two extremes. I’m prepped and ready for any minor boo-boo or playground ouchie, but I don’t have a portable medics station in the back of my car. You can find ideas for a long-term car emergency kit in a post from January 2012. Or a more expansive kit in the 72-Hour Kit post or the First Aid Kits post. One of the $10-$20 kits you can buy is sufficient (or make your own, of course).
|Photo Credit and Additional Info on First Aid Kits
PS… just laugh at the site address. The info is actually applicable.
Besides, I know I’d want a First Aid Kit if zombies were after me…
– extra clothes. For everyone. Kids are messy. They have little radars that seek out dirt, grime, water and everything else that can potentially make a mess. And then there’s the sick kids and the dirty diapers. Basically, it’s just better to not have to wear that stuff. Extra clothes are a must.
– water and snacks. I’m not talking about food or days. Just things to get you through that unexpected traffic jam or passed the wreck on the highway. When errands take longer than expected and the kids are hungry before you anticipated. In our house, we are very familiar with the concept of “hanger – hungry anger” (not those things you put clothes on…). If my boys (or Mr Napping) gets hungry, they get ornery, snippy and whiny. It’s so much easier to carry granola bars and water than reason with a hangry 3-year-old.
This may sound like a lot, but spend a little bit of time figuring how to pack it all up and it doesn’t take up much room in your trunk. A medium-sized duffel or tote bag is all it takes. We keep the blanket separate because we use it so often. Got a stow-and-go minivan? Total score, just don’t forget about it. =)
What’s on your must-have list?