Spring Break is just around the corner, and that means vacation and road trip time for a lot of people. Yippee! Our family has taken many road trips over the last decade and a half, and I wanted to share the system and layout that we’ve created that works for us. I’m going to share an image as an example, however you can use the ideas to come up with your own plan for your own vehicle.
First, I suggest that each person (and child) pack a small bag or tote of their favorite toys/activities. For adults this might be magazines, books, electronics. Kids might pack some books, coloring books or journals, electronic toy(s), printable activities/games, dolls, or legos. These small bags are what we pack next to our seats.
A food bin is a big must for any road trip. I like to use a small box to store all our snacks. I make each of our girls their own plastic container of special snacks, this was learned after one too many, “but Mom, she already had two granola bars…”. If each child starts with the same number of “fun” snacks, they can’t argue if they eat all theirs. We always pack some general pretzels and such, but the special snacks are limited.
Related Post: Road Trip Snacks for Family Travel Vacations
Here’s a look at how we pack our car for a road trip (with a family of 4) and what we bring:
1 – Passenger Seat: this is where the main passenger (usually me) keeps their stuff. I like to pack magazines, my ipad, and my purse in a narrow tote.
2 – Main Console: we keep electronic chargers, wet wipes, kleenex, napkins, and a first aid kit here.
Related Post: Helpful Tips for What to Pack in a Travel First Aid Kit
3 – Garbage: we have a special fabric car trash can that loops around my seat belt latch, but you can also use a plain plastic bag in the same way.
4 – DVD Players: we’ve always had dual dvd car screens that we bought at Target, but now that our girls received tablets for Christmas, we’ll probably look into buying a tablet car mount like these (affiliates) tablet backseat headrest mounts. Our girls love watching some of their favorite movies while on a road trip. Of course you may decide to skip this. Updated: lately we’ve been using other forms of technology for kids to watch movies.
5 – Kid Bags: this is where the kids store their personally selected items for the road trip. It could include a book or journal, or a special activity/toy. Our girls have used their thirty-one Keep-It Caddy organizers for their things, but lately they use their school backpacks. If you’re wanting to keep things off the ground, I like the thirty-one Hang Up Activity Organizers or you might consider something like this (affiliate) Backseat Organizer.
Related Post: Kids Travel Bag Activities :: A to Z Packing Tips
6 – Food!: this is where we keep all the road trip snack goodies. Easy reach for each person. Make sure you remember wet wipes & napkins. Another tip is to bring lidded/sippy cups for the kids. They work great for sharing a bottle of juice or water, and no spills! For adults, consider a thermal mug if you’re a coffee drinker. Your hot drinks will stay much warmer than those disposable cups from the store.
7 – Kids Fun: this is normally another bag and carries more kids activities and games. We normally have a blanket for each kid in this space too. If the roadtrip isn’t too long, this could be the only space you store kids activities. We’ve used boxes and this backseat organizer for placing between the girls’ seats.
8 – Luggage: bags and stuff you don’t need to access while driving goes here. We often have one hotel stop on our main road trip drive, so we pack one overnight bag with all of our stuff for that hotel night so we don’t have to bring in each person’s luggage. Another tip is to keep some extra snacks/treats or special drinks and such back here so you can dole them out when you stop.
I’m looking forward to creating a road trip packing list so be sure to follow along and watch for it! Anyone heading out on a road trip or somewhere fun for Spring Break?