Great American Road Trip – The Packing

I am a list maker. I have a running grocery list. I have a list of projects to complete at home, a list of gifts to buy, a list of sizes that the kids wear at the moment. I have a list of things I need to a girl’s weekend get away in 5 months. I also have a list (possibly a saved worksheet, maybe one that is laminated as well) of items to pack for vacation. (There may be a separate list for beach vacation versus other types of vacations, but this is not important or OCD at all).

I’m taking this giant trip (11 days, 81 hours in the car – remember?) and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make the list to pack. It’s killing me a little. I think about it often. I’m not losing sleep over it (yet) but I do ponder the contents of the bags needed for this trip daily at least.

We are hiking, we are swimming, we are being tourists, we are in and out of hotels almost nightly. I generally choose to stay in condos or rent vacation homes so that I have access to laundry while I am away. This time, I will not likely have that luxury.

I need to pack for 11 days (with children who always, ALWAYS, get dirty somehow) in a concise space to cover a bunch of destinations with minimal schlepping. I don’t want to carry 7 bags into every hotel, every night just to carry them down to the car again in the morning. Not only is this inefficient (I really dislike being inefficient), but it’s just not practical. With kids and bags and too many things for this mommy to keep track of, something will eventually get left behind or forgotten.

In my head, in a perfect world, I could find inexpensive duffel bags that I could have labeled with our names and our destinations so they would look pretty in the car. I could pack a bag with everything that everyone would need for a day in 1 bag. It would be awesome and very organized. However, I’m traveling with a teen and tween who will not be able to plan what to wear on day 8. Or who will get day 3 outfit wet and need 2 outfits from day 5 to substitute… I’m picturing a clothing tantrum by day 3 if I do things this way. Even though it makes perfect sense to me.

So, now that I’ve determined I will be schlepping all of the bags every day, what do I pack? Do I even have enough clothes for 11 days where everyone will be sweaty from walking outside in the summer sun? The safety gear alone is baffling – how do you pack a nebulizer so its accessible if you need it but out of the way if you don’t?

I’ll take all of your best packing tips and tricks. I need help. I need a list.

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Article by FairyTaleMom

My name is Mom. I live in Fairy Tale Land with a Pirate, a Fairy and the Princess. My job duties include: head cook, Chief Executive of Laundry Operations, Vacuum Maintenance Engineer, Chief of Picking up Random objects and Primary Sherpa. I spend a great deal of time carrying sparkly, sequined, glitter covered tutus and miscellaneous dance shoes for the Princess. I long for moments of quiet and a mani/pedi. Trying to strike a balance between being a grown up and being a good mom. FairyTaleMom tagged this post with: , , Read 52 articles by
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  1. justheather says:

    I vote for one bag for each destination. I’d pack 2 outfits per day, which could help with the teen/tween issue – they still have a choice each day. Then you can move any unworn clothing into the next bag each time, giving them even more options each day.

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