This year, I decided to do Thanksgiving in El Paso with my baby sister. Earlier this year we road tripped for the birth of my nephew. I had planned how and what I’d pack ahead of time, but my sister went into labor earlier than anyone expected. She also birthed my nephew before we even left our hometown. Disappointing, as she had been there when I had my boys, but babies come when they are ready.
Nonetheless, I wanted this trip to be properly planned, so that it’d go as smoothly as possible. Pinterest had a plethora of ways to pack and activities to bring, and they all seemed like great ideas. Nothing really seemed practical for me, so I did what I thought was best for us.
Everyone was given their own duffle bag. I packed fairly basically, standard jean/pants colors with a variety of shirts. I’ve previously tried the packing specific outfits for each day, didn’t work, as I generally dress according to my mood when I wake up. I didn’t pack essentials (toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, etc), I chose to buy them when we reached our destination. The most challenging part of packing this time, was making sure my boys wouldn’t bore easily and quickly.
My boys are 4 and 1 and they’ll pick fights with each other when they get bored. We were facing an 18 hour drive and I definitely didn’t want them to fuss and fight. I kept the items packed for them very simple. My 4 year old had to have his handy dandy Leap Frog Leap Pad 2. Dad had just purchased him the Jake and the Neverland Pirates Mathematics game cartridge, this was a great time for him to start using it. He was also equipped with crayons, and handwriting pad, his Spanish language toy, and a composition notebook.
For my baby boy I solely packed his Leap Frog My Own LeapTop. Both boys had their own book sacks, so no confusion would come over who had what, so I thought.
We had a big breakfast, that consisted of oatmeal (actual oats cooked on the stovetop), scrambled eggs, and toast. As far as packing snacks, I kept it very simple. We had a few bags of chips and water, we stopped for lunch in Beaumont, TX. We drove until we reached Schulenburg Texas, where we stopped for a 2 hour nap. I don’t sleep much on road trips, so while everyone was sleeping I explored the store we stopped at. I hit the mother load! I hadn’t had Blue Bell ice cream in ages, and it’s still not available in Louisiana.
It was sooo good!
Nap time was over, time to get back on the road. Not before my oldest vomited in the backseat. Luckily to my being prepared, the backseat had been covered with towels, so any mess could quickly be cleaned. Also an extra set of clothing was in each of their book sacks.
Back on the road. The rest of the trip went smoothly. I’m pretty sure that my preparedness for this trip helped it go smoothly. I was so hell bent on having everything perfectly packed and being prepared, but ended up going with what works for us. I found that the key for road tripping with children is knowing what your children like and how long it’ll be before they get agitated. Lol, I forgot to mention we made it pass Whiskey Bay and had to go back to Baton Rouge because my mom forgot her bag with her shoes.
So travel with children is possible, just be prepared for anything.
You can check out pics from my trip on my Instagram!!