Pack Your Car the
Good Advice for Road Trips
by Laurel Smith
"Pack your car the night
before!" I said.
I told this to my brother
before his 7 hour drive to meet us at the
beach for Thanksgiving,
but of course, being my "little" brother, he did not listen. He thought
he could pack his wife, two young children and all their cribs, strollers,
snacks, toys, car seats and suitcases in the morning before they left.
As a result, they didn't get on the road until noon!
Seriously, packing the car
the night before a big trip accomplishes several things. First, it allows
you to pack at a leisurely pace so you are not rushed and panicked, leaving
you stressed out just before you get behind the wheel. You will be able
to hop in the car
cheerfully rested and relaxed
in the morning with your coffee in hand, more able to enjoy the journey,
and with more patience to keep the kids happy.
Second, it gives you more
time to think about what you have packed so you don't forget anything,
and so you can decide whether you really need to bring certain things.
This really helps alleviate that "I wonder if I forgot something"
feeling that everyone gets when they are about 30 miles into a 300 mile
Next, it allows you to plan
better for games and travel activities you want to bring, and what snacks
to bring. This will save you money and time on the road if you can bring
lunch with you, and save you sanity if you have planned well to keep the
One final bonus is that it
might buy you a couple of hours of quiet time at the beginning of your
drive. This is well worth it! Many times when we have left for long trips
early in the morning, we literally picked the kids up out of their beds,
took them to the potty and put them in the car -- pajamas and all. If we
were lucky they often slept a couple more hours before we had an easy breakfast
break in the car (usually cereal mix or granola bars) and a clothing change
at our first gas stop.
With safety in mind, think
about where you keep your car before you pack it. Since we keep our minivan
in the garage, we feel safe having our stuff in the car overnight. If your
car is outside, you might feel better piling it all up inside near the
door the night before. It will still only take a moment to toss it all
in if you've got it all ready to go ahead of time.
Packing the night before
will help you get on the road sooner which means you'll arrive at your
Laurel Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged
thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom. Visit her website
for more than 101 car trip games
and road trip games
and activities for kids at MomsMinivan.com
Article is available for reprint:
of use: Permission is granted to use this article for reprint on your
website or in your newsletter on the web, or in print media as long as
the author bylines AND all the links in the article and bylines
are all included. Feel free to change the fonts as needed. Other
articles on this website are not available for reprint unless specifically
let me know if you use the article - I'd love a copy or the url to where
it is published. Thanks! Email me at Editor@momsminivan.com
Seat Travel Games Tin
For kids of all ages. A travel
tins with various activities. Comes with magnetic pieces & activity
cards. Hours of Fun!
Available at Amazon
Seat Survival Kit
From Klutz. A full-color book
of car activities, plus a game pad, and a vinyl pouch full of everything
you need Hours of Fun!
Available at Amazon
Don't Miss These:
for Kids | Toddlers | Babies
| Articles | Travel