The big job of packing for the entire family seems to be a task that always falls on the mother. If I am not uber organized, packing can really stress me out. Figuring out what I need to pack is almost as stressful as the actual packing!
PACKING FOR YOURSELF
Packing for yourself is fairly easy if you’re going to a place where you can do laundry. If no laundry is available, be prepared to over pack. Who knows if you will get puked on or peed on and how many times it will happen. You may want to travel with some plastic bags and have a change of clothes handy.
When I travel, I try to get all of my clothes packed the night before. When I’m getting ready in the morning, I pack all of my toiletries. I have a hanging cosmetic bag that I fill as I use each item. I make sure the checklist is on the counter with me as I get ready so I can be sure I don’t leave anything important at home. I forgot all of my makeup one time, and it was a big, expensive oopsie!!
PACKING FOR THE BABY
Whether you are leaving for one night or 10, babies need SO MUCH STUFF! If this is your first baby and you plan on traveling to visit family frequently, save yourself a big headache and buy the staples to keep at their homes.
Don’t let this big list or people’s comments keep you from traveling with your baby. Sure, it is stressful, but leaving the house it good for you and your baby! We drove a 17 hour trip when our third child was just 2 weeks old. Just make sure you lower your expectations and expect to stop frequently.
PACKING FOR THE DOG
We always take our dog if we are driving. We installed a dog hammock in the van and then installed the car seats over top of the hammock. (We did have to make slits in the hammock to connect to the latches.) The hammock kept our dog safe if we had to slam on the breaks, but it also protected our seats from the dog and the kids’ snacks! When we don’t need to use the hammock, we just unclip it from the driver and passenger seats.
Now that we have 3 carseats across, our dog is in the back of our van. We ended up getting a Yakima cargo box to store more luggage.
PACKING FOR THE TODDLER AND PRESCHOOLER
The packing list decreases as your children get older. By the time you have a preschooler, you’ll feel like you’ve won the lottery! No sippy cups, diapers, etc.
PACKING FOR YOUR SPOUSE
Don’t do it. For real! Have you looked at the 3 packing lists above? I think you have enough on your plate.