Summer is here and it is time to break out the suitcase! We have our first road trip coming up this summer and it’s time to start packing! We will be driving, fitting 5 people inside a vehicle for 5 hours takes nerves of STEEL people! Especially when they were little, potty training, breastfeeding, etc… (shiver) oh man looking back makes today seem like a breeze all of a sudden! How did we do that back then?! We made a 14 hour trip in a car with a 3 month old while I was still exclusively nursing (we made this trip multiple times throughout the years by the way) and we did it without blinking an eye. Amazing! (Love you GMC) Of course, each time we stopped to take a break I was unbuckled and feet out the door before the car was at a complete stop! MOMMY NEEDED ALONE TIME, DADDY’S TURN! Here’s the part where public restrooms come into play (If you missed my post about Little Boys and Public Restrooms , check it out! ).. I do NOT care for them, but I would gladly RUN to them to find some peace! It was interesting how my husband was always so sweet to drive the whole time, never complained. I guess driving long stretches seemed easier than trying to calm little babes in the back seat, HA!
Today, my boys are responsible for packing their own entertainment for the trips. Of course, I still have to send out a reminder of WHAT would make a decent entertainment! Maybe even an inspection of what goes INTO the car before it gets packed. No, no.. please do NOT bring the light up, siren wailing firetrucks that is half as big as your are in the car to play with.. can we bring a book or two? No, no we cannot bring the Nerf guns in the car and definitely not the play lawnmower. Granted he is 3 years old, he still needs pointers and I think some of the suggestions *cough, Nerf guns, cough* were from his big brothers maybe, who knows – I am positive they will deny it. There are a few in the car games I like to try out like license plate bingo, Truckspotting or Would you Rather?
I have one child who gets carsick if he reads in the car, or does any activity that keeps his head down – like playing the DS or his Kindle while the car is in motion. He can however watch movies on the overhead player, so I have to get creative on the long trips because after a while he gets tired of watching movies (that are appropriate for little ones eyes & ears) He dislikes the taste of the Dramamine Kids but they WORK! We made a 14 hour trip with only having to take this once about 4 hours into it (because he was sleeping the wee hours of the morning away)
Another must have for our trip for my buddy is these Sea-Band Wristbands! I used them during all three pregnancies, helped slightly for me. My son always asks for them when we get into the car, so it must help him if not at least provide some comfort if anything! If all else fails I keep plastic grocery bags stuffed into a Tupperware container, along with wipes and extra set of clothes. No matter how hard we try to prevent, some times it just happens.
SNACKS! Yes my boys’ favorite part of any outing! Such a guy thing right? FOOD! Now that they are old enough (except Little Bit needs assistance here too!) I have gotten to the point where I make each of them a brown bag with their name on it and fill it with snacks for the entire trip and they are in charge of their own snacks. (I get tired of being asked every 15 minutes for a snack) All wrappers and juice boxes go right back into the brown bag when finished. Snacks are usually planned out like crackers, Fruit Snacks, trail mix, raisins, etc. They always have their water bottles with them so if they have a juice box it’s for lunch time and they know not to touch it or they won’t have anything to drink at lunch. I have fruit and veggies in a cooler that I hand out during times when we stop to stretch legs and run off some pent-up energy! Lately we are keeping a football or baseball in the car (#boymom!) I check on Pinterest to see what other mom’s are doing to keep their kiddos busy in the car, Follow my Pinterest Board Oh The Places We Go! because there’s always some neat find or fun traveling find I will pin into that board. If you have any suggestions SEND THEM MY WAY! I would love it!
So when it comes down to picking out the outfits for the week and fitting everything into bags/suitcases, who does it in your house? Does everyone have equal say in what they wear and how they pack or what they bring? Or does Mom carry that burden all on her shoulders? I would have raised my hand a year ago or so, but I am slowly but surely giving up that stress! That’s all it is, unless we are going to a particular event such as a wedding, I do not care what you are wearing. I seriously don’t and no my boys are not walking around in dirty mismatch ripped clothes, I at least wash them silly! My 3-year-old picks his clothes out daily, why can’t he pick his clothes out to pack too. He actually is pretty good at it, I try to give advise but some times comfort wins out over what matches. In the past I have made the packing lists with pictures of shirts, shorts, socks, etc. to help them learn to pack but that really meant I was doing it while they checked it off the list, woohoo making progress! Then we just started to talk it out using a calendar and marking the days we will be gone and what clothes we would need depending on the weather. That was more interactive and they remembered more the next time we packed. So now if I were to make a list for each of the boys (we travel to visit family often so they have it down pat now) on what to pack for each day and night, it’s to help signal their completion of an assignment.
They know how to stack/roll their outfits together for me and set them out on the bed so, I can put them in the suitcase. I have learned to pack a suitcase like a champ! Fit a family of 5 into a tiny suitcase – no problem! Thank goodness I have all boys or there would be bows, dresses, skirts, leggings, etc.. nope I have the shirt shorts socks.. done. #BOYMOM My husband more or less packs for himself now too, go you honey! Now if I could get him to not wait until the last second of the last day, THAT would be nice. Small steps.
I think once we have all gotten back into the traveling together groove, things go smoothly and we have more fun. I pack the way I do so everyone can easily get to their clothes quickly without tearing apart their suitcase. I will have to take more time to break that down one day! I think the inside of the car is always a different story so any tips are welcome!
Hope you are planning your first summer trip soon, stay safe. Until next time!
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