Thursday, July 18, 2013

Road trip 101 - Packing

Packing for a trip is, quite possibly, one of my least favorite things.  It's right up there with mopping and taking out the garbage.  It used to be easy to throw several days worth of clothes into a suitcase, leave space for hubby to add his and off we went.  As kids came along, we expanded to two suitcases and various bags.  Now with a family of eight the amount of stuff we take just for a weekend trip can be daunting, let alone a week or more.

My solution is to let the kids do their own packing, within reason.  They choose their clothes and I approve them so we don't end up with their rattiest jeans, clashing outfits, etc.  We pack four days worth of clothes and do laundry every three or four days.  (Most of our trips are visiting family, so this works well, but a trip to a laundromat can be a fun break from sightseeing and offers a little downtime.)  If you like step-by-step lists with photos, here's one with some great space-saving ideas that we used when The Artist went to France and needed to travel light earlier this summer.

As far as toiletries, I try to condense as much as possible with one shampoo or toothpaste, etc. for the whole family.  Sometimes I'll even just pack sample sizes and purchase more at our destination.

Rather than try to fit everything into one big suitcase, I try to have smaller bags/suitcases for one or two people.  This helps the independence factor of being responsible for their own bag and gives hubby some practice at problem solving when he is figuring out how to pack everything in the back of our van. ;)

Each of the kids also gets to bring a small pillow, a blanket for the car and to sleep with and one stuffed animal.

Stay tuned for the next installment, combating the "Are we there yet" syndrome.

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