Road Trip! Packing Tips for a family of 5?

Tomorrow at 15:00:00 CST, the clan of **FaerieBeth **and Stonebow will embark upon the “family trip”. I’m packing for 5 people at 5 days.

We’re going to SeaWorld in SanAntonio (again), so we’ll need beach gear. Our hotel suite has a mini kitchen, so we’ll need snacks and junk food. My parents are going with us, so Stonebow will need medication.

Tips for getting us there and back again without having to sacrifice anyone or destroy anything?
…or spend a lot of money. We’re cheap.

I would pack Stonebow in a separate suitcase from your parents, it’ll save money on medications.

Fortunately, cards, we’ll be traveling in different vehicles. I even managed non-adjoining rooms, for my husband’s sake.

If any of the kids are toddlers, or even a bit older, make sure your prepared to deal with a bout of diaharea. There going to have a change of diet and be exposed to some differrent bugs.

Yes, this is something that we’ve noticed in the past with the 3 year old. We always travel prepared for stuff like that. Plus, this year I have cautioned his older brother against feeding him pickled lemon peels and whole milk before we leave. The fact that this same brother was the one sitting next to the toddler when it came back up is the most startling example of poetic justice I have ever witnessed.

Lots of gallon size zip lock bags. They can keep things organized, keep dirty things away from clean things, etc.

Cash, debit card, credit card
Baby wipes
Stiff paper plates
Plastic forks, knives, spoons
Large paper cups (10 oz.)
2-liter bottles of water and soft drinks
Ice cooler
Sunscreen lotion
Sunglasses
Adhesive bandages
Anti-diarrheal medicine (as mentioned)
Non-aspirin pain reliever
Something for cuts and scrapes
Child-sized pillow for napping
Big zippered clear plastic bags
Opaque barf bag with twist tie
Books and magazines to read in the car
Beef jerky
Trail mix
String cheese
Road atlas of the U.S.
Map of the state
Folding windshield screen for parking on those hot sunny days
Motor club membership card (if you have one)
Maybe have your car’s oil and lube changed
Check that your spare tire is ok

Bring trashbags for your dirty clothes. That way, it doesn’t go back in the suitcase and contaminate the clean stuff.

Thanks everyone for your tips and advice! We’re about to leave soon to do the banking/last minute shopping. I have just about everything Walloon mentioned, and I actually did have the oil changed and new tires put on the vehicle last week!

If you read this from the road, add some Solarcane Aloe Vera gel with Lidocane to the medicine kit. Sure, it works for sunburns, but it really comes in handy when someone gets burned in the kitchen (or at the campsite) and the doctors offices are all closed.

Also, I’ve given up on suitcases for car trips. I stuff things into cheapo drawer units that we bought from Target. They stack, and everyone’s stuff stays organized.

Road Trips

I like to use laundry baskets for everyone’s clothes. Everything fits - for a family of three ( I get my own bag cause I’m mama) - and when it’s dirty and on the floor, it gets tossed back in again and then tossed into the laundry room with no luggage to put away.

May I suggest:

Story tapes for the kids to listen too. (Library has loads of them.) Engage their minds actively. Yeah, just guilted you, didn’t I?

or, when you have more time and mula, I humbly and enthusiastically suggest:

Jim Weiss which we have two: Gallileo & the Stargazers band name! and Tales from Shakespeare The first is about Archimedes, Tycho Brahe and Gallileo…very captivating and our kids ( 5 and 7) really enjoyed it. Especially the part about Brahe’s nose… Try through your library system first. They come in a variety of age groups and interests.

And you can’t go wrong with a Shakespeare Play in coprehensible english.
In fact, I just ordered four more CD’s of the classics ( Robin hood, treasure island, something else and I forget.)
Another thing we did on our road trip last summer to Florida was instead of the DVD player ( which was probably used for two hours of the entire trip.) was I read to the kids from the front seat, holding the book up so they could see it. I treated myself to some Usborne stories of Aladdin, Treasure Island and other classics that are micro condensed and I have to tell you, not only did they eat them up, they liked the goofy story of ‘the Clumsy Crocodile’ best. :slight_smile:

( Wisely, I put the big cooler between them in the back seat to act as the Berlin Wall.)
Make sure everyone has sunscreen on before you get into the car and if you have one of those baby sunscreen/sheild thingies, put those on the windows for the kids or whomever is on the sunny side of the car. That exhausts you …

Take an ipod/MP3 player for mommie time while driving, too.
If this was comprehensible, I will be amazed.

Have fun!