Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July week! Since the 4th of July was mid-week, it did feel like the celebration carried through all week long. Anyway, today, I am back with Keri for another Clear the Clutter Challenge! We are talking about family road trip organization and the timing is perfect for all of our summer time travels! I will share my favorite mom hacks and tips with you today!
Family Road Trip Organization
This past week we spent time at the lake and while we were only an hour away from home, we still had to pack up like we were taking a longer road trip. Is it just my family or does yours also pack a ton of stuff when you have to drive for more than an hour away?! Fortunately, we have our road trip packing techniques down to a pretty well oiled machine.
Designate a Staging Area in the Home
I usually start packing for a trip a week before we leave. I’ve talked before that I try to do laundry just one day a week. So, after laundry day I start setting aside clothes for a trip. Once something is packed and ready to go, I put it in our designated area of the home for luggage. We start storing everything in our living room corner. Everyone in the family knows about this spot and they all add things to the pile as the week goes on.
It is great to have a visual of everything that is packed and I can get a sense for what is missing. Plus, when it is time to leave, my family knows exactly where to go to help with hauling stuff to the car.
Decide on a Packing Method and Stick to It
There are several different ways to pack for a family. I know some people prefer to pack all of their family members stuff together while others prefer to pack for each family member individually.
Our family usually packs all of the kids clothes in one suitcase and my husband and I in another suitcase (or two!). There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this as long as you decide on a packing method and stick to it. It makes it a whole lot easier if you have a set method that everyone knows. Then you don’t have the issue of no one knowing where anything is located once you get to your final destination.
We have our road trip packing method pretty routine that we have designated bags for certain items. Everyone knows which bag is our swim bag, which coolers we bring, and the specific suitcases for everyone in the family.
**We also have the kids pack ONE back pack full of whatever they want to bring. We just make sure we know what goes inside (for the little ones at least) because we have been in the situation that a favorite stuffed animal was left behind.
Stock up on Essentials
I was certainly not always as organized for a road trip, but after three kids and miles and miles on the road, I’ve learned a few things. We always bring garbage bags, paper products and first aid on our trips!
You can never have enough plastic bags on a road trip. We use them to collect garbage and throw in dirty shoes or clothes. I also always have paper towels, tissues, baby wipes and band aids in our car! We’ve learned the hard way on not being stocked up on these cars.
Make Ahead Snacks
I have shared my love of making snacks ahead and a family road trip is a perfect reason to prepare snacks! I always bring some snacks that we don’t typically buy (think treats!) as well as a lot of our snack favorites.
One of the best road trip inventions is these Snackeez cups. Have you seen them? You fill the bottom with a drink and the top portion with a snack. We have had several of these over the years.
The snacks stay near the driver’s co-pilot, usually me as my husband likes to drive. We always keep a cooler with drinks and cold food and and then a bag filled with dry goods.
Happy Kids = Happy Drive
While the journey can be just as fun as the destination, sometimes traveling with young kids is more about survival than enjoying the journey’s moments. So, we have come to realize that allowing kids to have all the things to keep them occupied and happy is what is necessary. The kids end up watching more movies and playing more games on their devices that we would allow in a typical day. But, the kids know this is a travel exception!
The kids being occupied often mean my husband and I can actually catch up and have a conversation or two.
We make sure to have several rest stops along the way so that everyone can stretch their feet. Sometimes we allow them to pick out a treat, if it is a very long road trip.
Post Road Trip Organization
All good things must come to an end and that means you come home from a trip sooner or later. Be sure to check out my post on things I do immediately after I come home from a trip!
Road trips are family memories in the making, so the good and the bad are all part of the fun! How do you get organized for family road trips?
Next month, Keri and I will be back to talk about Kids Clothes Organization! For more Clear the Clutter inspiration, be sure to join our Clear the Clutter Facebook Group!