Road Tripping with Kids: Car packing and organizing

This summer my family of six went on a 35-day, 7,457 miles, 17 states road trip. I've shared what I learned about: (1) Food and eating, (2) Driving and taking breaks and now on to part 3 in the series.

Part 3: Advice on car packing and organizing

  • Seating Arrangement We have 4 kids and a minivan, so we did two kids in the back and two kids in the middle. We placed the ice chest between the middle seats and we placed our oldest child in one of the seats next to the ice chest. Our youngest was in the other middle seat. Obviously, you need to arrange your kids the best way to keep the peace, but having our oldest in the middle allowed him to be our go between. My husband and I both get tired of turning around to fix something, hand something, find something, etc. Our oldest was able to do this often. He also staffed the ice chest. He passed water bottles back, collected trash from the back, passed out snacks when we needed him to, fixed headphones, and anything else that I otherwise would have had to climb in the back to do.

  • Car Trash For trash in the car, I used a large plastic cereal container with a lid that snaps closed (a Facebook tip I received) and it was wonderful. I kept it up front and brought extra plastic bags to replace as needed. The advantage of this was two-fold – no trash bag that rolls around and spills things out AND no trash smell.

  • Baby Wipes Bring a pack of baby wipes even if you don’t have a baby. They do everything and can solve so many problems.

  • Luggage Carriers I would highly recommend a travel basket and rain cover that attaches to a hitch rather than a top luggage carrier. The basket can hold a ton more stuff and it’s easily accessible.

Next week, I'll be sharing my final tips on scheduling. Thanks for following along. If you're traveling for the holidays, I hope these tips help you out!

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