I’ve never been the type of person to worry too much about what to pack for a holiday – generally deciding to pack at about midnight the day before a trip.
This method generally had me buying a lot of items on the road and also carrying items around that wouldn’t see the light of day for the whole holiday.
It was the same thing with our hospital bag for our second baby. We arrived at the hospital with a backpack containing an ipod, a spare shirt for hubby and a torch. Useful.
Since having kids I have reluctantly accepted that last minute packing doesn’t work – and that there are some things that need to be remembered (unless you want to pay $21 for a pack of baby wipes at an outback servo).
With a little help from our Facebook page friends – we’ve put the following list together – let us know in the comments if we’ve forgotten anything.
Unanimously the top tip – especially when travelling with children.
In my experience there are 3 levels of snacks; level 1 – healthy pieces of fruit or carrot sticks offered throughout the trip to keep hangry levels low. Level 2 – can’t find a good place to stop for lunch so we’ll have a sandwich in the car and level 3 – throw lollies, crisps, chocolate, pizzas into the back seat to try and tame the wild beasts with no regard to the car’s interior or the amount you will suffer from the resultant sugar rush in about 15 minutes time.
Download our free checklist (link at the end of this post) for a few healthy travel snack ideas.
2. Baby Wipes
Possibly due to level 3 snack situations – baby wipes are always good to have on hand for any sticky situations.
Makes the world go round! And makes the trip go that little bit quicker.
Fantasy – the whole family singing along to the Beatles Yellow Submarine. Reality – parents blasting the Wiggles Big Red Car at full volume to try and keep the kids happy whilst also drowning out the whinging.
4. First Aid Kit
If you’ve got a good one you’ll probably never use it – if you travel without even a box of band aids you’ll have all sorts of scrapes and situations. Sod’s law apparently!
We have 8 of these awesome Tupperware bottles and we use them all up almost every day. There is always somewhere to refill and it stops so much waste going into landfill.
If you’re like me then you’re phone is also your organiser, GPS, camera and boredom blaster – don’t forget to bring your charger along.
7. Rubbish Bags
I only realised that this was a good idea when I looked at the dashboard to see orange peel, receipts, wet wipes and crisp packets. Hang a plastic bag somewhere in the car to keep things clean.
8. Parents Special
Some good friends of ours gave us our very own roadtrip bag for our travels – and one of the genius inclusions was a pair of earplugs. Not recommended for driving but if you’re the gofer in the passenger seat they can come in very useful for that mid trip nap!
If snacks just aren’t cutting it any more then have a bag of emergency lollies at the ready. I recently heard a clever trick – keep your lollies on the dashboard and every time your kids act up throw one out the window. Best behaved kids in no time! Slight variation – instead of throwing the lollies eat them yourself.
We have found lots of great outback places that are either cash only, have a minimum Eftpos amount or who charge extra to pay with a card – really annoying if you just want to buy a small souvenir or snack. Keep some real cash money in the car for situations like this and save yourself some money in bank fees.
If you find this list useful and can’t find a pen (or can’t be bothered writing it down) then hit this link to get our free Road Trip Essentials Checklist printable – including some kid friendly snack ideas.
Don’t leave home without it! If you love camping we’ve also put together the ultimate family camping checklist too.
We’d love to hear of any more ideas that we have missed – comment below!