How one Here contributor packed for a 10-day road trip with her family of four.
Prior to children, I was a light packer. I could go on a months-long stint abroad with just the bag on my back, and I reveled in the freedom that limited baggage offered.
However, since becoming a mother, minimalism is not as easy. When traveling with two toddlers, it’s critical that I am organized and have all the essentials nearby. This requires more intentional packing and knowing exactly where everything is so that I can find it easily and quickly.
For 10 days, my husband and I traveled in a mini-van to four different Texas cities with our two children, ages 13 months and two and a half. The beauty of a road trip is that it doesn’t limit you to just your suitcases. We had the luxury of considering non-essentials—just as long as we were willing to pack and unpack them for a week and a half.
A family road trip through Texas (and down memory lane) →
1. SokkaAlumiere scarf mask
This scarf mask is perfect for parents who have children pulling at their mask or, if you’re like me, lose things constantly. Simply tie it and tuck the mask in to wear it as a scarf when you can go maskless (i.e. driving in your car). In need of quick protection? Quickly reach into your scarf and voilà! I wear this every day and it’s the softest cotton material. This POC-owned shop uses organic cotton and upcycled products, making it a company I am thrilled to support.
2. Gigi Pip ballcap
Getting ready while traveling with kids, especially when trying to make it to reservations on time, can be stressful. A hat is one of those items I always have on me to help out on the days when I don’t have time to do anything with my hair. (Plus it blocks the sun.) I love the distressed details on this one and the neutral color goes with everything.
3. The Bee & the Fox Mamacita Sweatshirt
I would describe my travel style as comfortable, classic, and neutral. This super-soft sweatshirt is the perfect layer and is from a female-owned small business. It’s one of those pieces I can dress up with a skirt for dinner or dress down with jeans and sneakers during the day, making it one of my most worn items.
4. Goddess Garden Baby SPF Face Stick
My kids despise sunscreen, so I use this sun stick, which I have found to be the fastest and easiest way to apply sunscreen on my children. I have multiple sticks of this in my purse, diaper bag, and car to ensure it’s always within arm’s reach. The compact size and its natural ingredients make it a must-have.
5. Los Poblanos or Tubby Todd hand sanitizers
While traveling, we always make sure to sanitize or wash our hands as much as possible, particularly since my children are always on the move and touching a wide range of surfaces.
6. Skin Foodie Gimme a Beet lip balm
My makeup routine must be quick and easy, and this lip balm has been my absolute favorite for years. It provides the best color, but more importantly, it hydrates and is made of raw organic ingredients, all packed in an eco-friendly paperboard tube.
Check out our ultimate guide to road trips →
One of our top survival strategies: snacks. All the snacks. We like to have fruit on hand, but an assortment of kids protein bars, pretzels, and dried fruit are necessary to have in my bag at all times to survive between meals.
8. Safari reusable sticker pad and mess-free markers
Going out to eat can be stressful with kids, so you’ve got to be prepared. I always have something ready to bring out as soon as we sit down. These are activities they only see when we’re somewhere new, so they’re immediately excited to engage. On-the-go reusable stickers and mess-free markers and coloring books are my kids’ favorite.
9. Pen and journal
I’m not always the best at using my journal, but I love looking back at my notes from our trips, reliving the memories and the funny things my kids said that I know I might otherwise forget.