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Guest Blogger: Organizing A Family Road Trip

By Simone Design Blog @HomeSpire

My husband and I are on vacation for a few days, and I have a guest blogger, Julie Sprouse from OrganizedHomeDesign, to fill in for me today. Her blog pertains to designing a vacation! Julie will provide some nice tips on planning a stress-free family driving trip.

Thanks, Simone.

4 ways to make your family trip run smoothly

This is the month you decided to finally visit your sister and her family in Pittsburg. Flying your family of 4 half way across the United States is not an option, so a road trip it is. You might be thinking how on earth am I going to keep my kids from killing each other during the 12-hour drive. Better yet how am I going to keep my self from not going crazy? No worries I have some great ideas for to prepare for your trek.

Simone Design Blog|Organizing A Family Trip

1.  A.M.A.L (Always make a list) Lists are essential to any road trip with kids no matter how far or how old.  Even older kids forget phone chargers and underwear. Making a separate list for yourself and one for each family member is helpful to keep your mind organized and it can be delegated out.  The lists might look something like this.

  • Car – Get an oil change, tune up, clean out, make sure you have a flashlight, first aid kit, registration and insurance card and the phone numbers of AAA. Keep these in your glove or shoe size plastic bin that stays in the car.  Also make sure you have all the proper chargers and cords needed for phones, computers, and tablets. Keep those in a zippered pouch so then don’t get lost under the seat or damaged.
  • Snacks – list all the snacks and drinks your family likes and what container you can keep them in, such as a small soft-sided cooler and reusable grocery bag set aside just for food.
  • Clothing – make an individual list of the clothing items everyone will need to bring. For example 4 pairs of shorts, 7 pairs of underwear etc. this way those things will not be forgotten and older kids can pack themselves.
  • Extras- Do you need to bring beach towels, beach toys, sunscreen and baby items like diapers, wipes, Sippy cups etc.
  • Medication – list everything everyone will need and keep in a separate zip top bag.  It keeps things from floating around in your suitcase and getting lost. 

2. Entertainment – When traveling for long distances with kids it’s best to keep things at hand and fresh so they can be happy for longer periods of time.  I know that older kids can self entertain with music, reading and videos but here are some ideas for all age groups.

  • A lap desk
  • Shoe size plastic bin with crayons, color pencils, note book
  • Puzzle book
  • Movies – if you don’t have a DVD player in you car, download some on you lap to or tablet. (Don’t forget earphones)
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Car games (eye spy, alphabet game) There are car games available at any child educational toy stores.

3. Packing – Pack all items that you won’t need to get to on the bottom. Any lose items use car organizer packs.  This keeps everything together so they won’t get lost in the car and you know where everything is. All items you need for the trip keep on top. Some things that you might not think of that you don’t realize you need them until you need them.

  • Paper towels (because someone always spills)
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Couple small trash bags
  • Change of clothes (just in case)
  • A couple destination spots mapped out on the way so everyone can get out and stretch, run around and regroup.

4. Patience – Long distance trips can be fun but they can also test our patience especially with antsy little ones.  Be prepared to make frequent stops and throw in a couple surprises like a special treat, small toy or movie.

 Simone Design Blog|Organizing A Family Driving Trip

I think most of us have fond memories of family road trips. They are the things we talk about around the Thanksgiving table for years to come. Remember it’s a vacation and if something is forgotten or the car over heats, keep calm, laugh it off and just smile knowing the stories you have to tell.

Thank you, Julie! These tips are very timely, with the Labor Day weekend approaching. For some of us, this is the last chance to to go on a family road trip before school starts.


Written by Julie Sprouse. She is a professional organizer, designer, blogger, and owner of Organized Home and Design. You can find her at http://www.organizedhomeanddesign.com



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