Vacationing With Kids: Packing

Heather says:

In just a few short hours the kids and I will be heading to Myrtle Beach, SC. You can read the details here.

Remember as a child, how the only thing you had to do was stop touching your siblings and BE QUIET OR WE’RE TURNING AROUND I MEAN IT? Maybe I’m weird, but I enjoy taking my kids on trips, even if it is a giant hassle at times. Until Saturday the 4th, I’ll be sharing tips on traveling with children. 

Even though the drive is short, only two hours, packing is still one of those interesting games. What will I regret leaving behind?

There are many parts of my life I am glad are not on film, but sometimes I wish my videographer friend could capture the packing and unpacking process. Somehow I just know it would either be set to the Beverly Hillbillies or perhaps more appropriately this tune.

As I wallow in my laundry, tell me Home Eccers, when space isn’t at a premium, what household items must make the trip?

I always try to squeeze in our own blankets and pillows, the first aid kit, and a booster seat with straps for mealtimes with the busy toddler.

Heather is sharing pics on Flickr and her personal blog.
All details on what was provided by can be found here.


  1. Taylor at Household Management 101 on March 31, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I have a packing list I try to work from, because my kids try to help me pack which means it is a circus. Just one time I would love to pack without them “helping” so I could actually go down the list, instead of having to deal with things they pull out as it happens. Oh well, then they wouldn’t learn how to pack — would they? At least that is what I tell myself!

  2. DC Becca on March 31, 2009 at 3:47 am

    We go to Myrtle Beach EVERY summer… is a great vacation destination with the wee ones! I can’ wait to get there this year.

    Here are the must haves for our trips:

    4 Year Old’s Blankie (she has to have this sleep)
    4 Year Old’s Lion King (Lion Plush….ditto on sleeping)
    Toothbrushes and toothpaste
    cell phone
    shampoo and toiletries
    gear specific to destination (beach towels, swim suits)
    Comfortable shoes and nicer shoes for each person
    One outfit for each day for each person….plus one (just in case!)
    Stain treater packets (so you can treat stains without having to laundromat it!)
    Pillowcases (to separate out dirty laundry from clean during the stay)
    Band Aids and neosporin and tweezers (always seem to come in handy!)
    Books for the children’s beditme stories (just a few)
    Sippy cups (2 for each child) for the trip and stay
    Small botle of dish detergent to wash said sippy cups

    For the trip itself:
    Portable DVD player and 5 movies
    Snacks that don’t make huge messes in the car
    Neck supports if the trip is long and the girls will be sleeping
    Book and book light for me…..husband always drives (he insists)
    My MP3 player because the driver chooses the music (which is probably why he insists on driving….I like NPR and talk radio!)

  3. Carol on March 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    The Nanny! I always bring her. Ok, if she isn’t available I pack a portable DVD player, and hopefully some new movies, or old forgotten about favorites. The kids always bring a blanket, and a small stuffed toy.

    We are venturing to Florida in about a month and I am each giving the kids a bag to pack for the car. I bought them magnetic cookie sheets with sides and will bring some magnetic letters, fun magnets, small cars and paper (activity books for the older one). This will serve as something for their toys or even for snack time. I am going to bring clip on lights for the trays, and I read someplace kids love pipe cleaners, and they can keep them busy for hours.

    For cranky times (since we are driving over 18 hours) I always have something special stashed, like a piece of chocolate, or some special treat that they don’t usually get.

    For the hotel my big must is a night light or two, depending on the room.

  4. Rebekka on March 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    When we went places where we had to bring blankets, sleeping bags, or comforters, we would stretch at least one of them across the backseat and sit on it. Especially with comforters this saves lots of space – with a blanket you could probably put several layers down.

  5. Mom of three on March 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Since we drive, we always allow the kids to take a video game system for the other end. Now that they are older, they take cell phones, and head phones attached to MP3 players and sleep the whole way.
    I take my laptop so I can do genealogy in my free time, and hubby takes lots of CDs so we have plenty of his kind of music.

    As long as there is a Walmart, I don’t worry about much else. 🙂

    The kids pack their own bags, have since they were about 4 and if they forget something, its their problem. I tell them how many days and if they need any special clothes. We keep on toiletry bag packed at all times from the days when my brother was alive, and all I have to do is grab it for the whole family. Hubby and I throw in our meds and any the kids are taking at the time and we can be ready to leave our house in under 15 minutes. We’ve had to do it countless times in the middle of the night, so we are very proficient at packing. My kids are in the band, so they know how to pack a tight suitcase and get as much as they can in the smallest bag possible.

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