Written by Momcent's Mom, Krista
Now that our kids are getting a little older, we are finding ourselves taking more and more road trips. This summer we were able to drive to Seattle, Chelan, and Whitefish, MT for a few nights each. With each trip, I feel I am getting smarter and smarter on what to pack and how to pack it. I am also finding ways to save some money on little things that can add up quickly for a family of five. So, I put together a little list of tips that may help you too!
- Pack a small/medium cooler with drinks for the road and to have in the hotel. I even put what doesn’t fit in the cooler into a bag that we can load into the hotel fridge and for the trip home.
- Snacks! I pack a ton of snacks. The more snacks, less stopping for expensive food. Not only that but then we have stuff to snack on in the hotel room and in between meals. Some of our favorites are pretzels, crackers, spray cheese, pepperoni sticks, apple sauce pouches and of course, some candy! I do this even if we are flying somewhere - saves a ton of money.
- A new find for me - packing cubes! These things are amazing. They can be found almost anywhere - I found ours on Amazon. I use them for the little kids. I can usually pack myself, Jack and Ella all in one bag/suitcase but it’s such a pain when all of our clothes get all jumbled together. So I pack Jack’s stuff in a cube or two and Ella’s in a cube or two. Their stuff is still in with mine but the cubes keep all their stuff together and so easy to find.
- We got a twin blow-up mattress for the 5th family member. When we went from a family of 4 to a family of 5, we found that hotel rooms don’t accommodate 5 people very well. Sometimes a roll away bed is not an option or they charge you for them. We ended up purchasing a twin blow-up mattress that has an electric blower. It’s pretty compact, easy to throw in the trunk and saves someone from sleeping on the floor.
- We make sure all the kids have headphones. I looked over at my husband on our last road trip in amazement because it was silent! We could actually have an adult conversation while the kids enjoyed movies and games. Game changer.
- Pack kitchen-sized garbage bags. We throw all of the dirty laundry in there throughout the trip. When we get home, we know exactly what needs to be washed and what can be put back in our closets/drawers right away.
- We always try to stay at a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast. Saves us a ton of money and what kid doesn’t like to make their own Belgian waffle with fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles and eat less than half of it??? Oh, just Ella?