The madness and chaos of packing has begun in the Malabad household. There are piles everywhere and while my packing methods tend to be a bit chaotic my prepping methods have helped me launch epic trips of success.
I like lists, they help me prepare in each area; food, entertainment, clothing, and toiletries. I make a list for each person’s backpack (car entertainment), food that I will prepare and pack, a menu of what we will eat, a list of clothes for each person, and the toiletries they will need. While I have just gone rogue upon occasion and packed and left in the same day, most of my trips have been meticulously prepped. I have traveled with children from the United States to Japan by plane more than once and we have driven across multiple states more times than I can count to see family. Being prepared is essential 😊
Let’s talk food! I like to make a snack list and a meal list. I try to eat out only once a day and not buy anything but gas from my rest stop excursions. The benefits of this is that we feel better when we arrive because we haven’t been eating only fast food the whole way and it is much more economical. I take a cooler with our favorite drinks, cut up fruits and veggies, yogurt, cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, and lunch meat. While I do try to remain healthy, it is a road trip so there is some fun food we don’t normally eat that I buy before we leave. It makes it fun if you can break out the licorice package and play a silly game while you are driving or having those lifesaving m&m’s when the three-year-old has decided she can’t take one more minute of captivity. Some staple items for our family: a case of bottled water, juice, milk, coffee, sliced apples, cut up cucumbers, cut up bell peppers, grapes (cut up for the younger kids), crackers, almonds, chips, and some fun candy snacks.
After we have full bellies, we are sure to want to be entertained. For the children I could list for days entertainment ideas, but I will list a few here and the prepping that goes into that. I like to have a backpack for each kid with a few of their favorite toys, a small blanket, a change of clothes for quick access, a couple of books, play doh, and lots of coloring activities. I bag certain toys that go together in a zip lock or reusable bag depending on the size for playing convenience. I pack this bag a couple of days before and do not let them play with those items until the day of so they are new and exciting. Although as my kids get older, they will take over this responsibility. My oldest is 7 and asked if she could pack her own things to play with and was super excited that she was going to get to choose and pack her own bag. Her enthusiasm was amazing, so let that independence fly. After that I carefully cultivate a collection of our DVDs into a small case for the DVD player. I try not to bring out the DVD player until after our first stop on the road. I grew up in the generation of a coloring book and if I was lucky a tape player with headphones, so the DVD player is an amazing tool, but if it is over used they get bored. We also have one leap pad that they will share, I will let you know how that goes 😊
For the driver of the car obviously my first goal is driving, but momma does get bored. We talked a bit about listening to music and audio books in the blog CM Adventure Part 2-Planning. These are my activities for surviving the boredom. For the audio books you can use your local library to check out books on CD or I use the Overdrive app on my phone linked to my on-line library account. I download the books before I leave on Overdrive and then they will play whether I have service or not, this also is a money saving tip as books on CD can add up if you decide to purchase them.
Last but not least, we will need something to wear. I have to think about all the events and activities and plan accordingly. I try to only pack around 5 days’ worth of clothes. I also bring or purchase laundry soap when I arrive and we use what we have. I check the weather in each location as well, we will be in several different environments, so I want to make sure I have the appropriate clothes for both Arizona in the summer as well as the temperature differences of the Colorado Mountains.
I hope you could pick up some tips from my prepping for success. We are looking forward to putting some miles behind us and with all our activities and snacks ready to go should be as smooth sailing.
If you have any tips or tricks for how you prep to travel, I would love to hear them in the comments section.
Thanks for joining me today!