Thursday, May 10, 2012

Road Trip Tip-Nested Bags

I love to take road trips. Long ones, short ones, with friends, with family, by myself...I just love it. In all my road-tripping experience I have learned a lot of what to do and what not to do, and I am continually perfecting tips and techniques to make a trip most enjoyable.

 It is a whole new world when you are taking a road trip with children, especially small children. You can become so loaded down with small bags full of small things. Bags and containers for your clothing, their clothing, your toiletries, their toiletries, needful baby supplies, snacks, toys, and just-in-case items like medicines or first aid supplies. Add that to a car that is already overstuffed with kids in their car seats with their blankets/pillows/lovies, parents with their supply of coffee and bubblegum (is that just me?), phone chargers, electronics, and possibly pets and their supplies....and you have a recipe for an uncomfortable, packed, disorganized car. Its no wonder that we are so ready for a trip to end, and why our children are often so whiny and difficult to deal with.

One of my favorite ways to control the "things" that are needed to take a car trip is the Nested Bag System. Basically, I take sturdy zip-top bags and label/categorize them, then put them all inside one larger container. In the case of my recent weekend trip to Florida, I used a plastic tote that I purchased at the Dollar Tree. I only needed four zip-top bags, as the trip was just a Friday through Sunday and I had no pets or husband to pack for. This technique can be reduced or expanded depending on your needs, and many of the categories will vary depending on the type and length of your trip. Here is what I did last weekend:

a gallon sized bag filled with:
raw almonds
Buddy Fruits fruit snacks
prepackaged Rice Krispies treats
"character" fruit snacks
cheese and peanut butter crackers
a couple of Capri-Suns for the man-cub

a quart sized bag filled with:
kid's body wash/shampoo
man-cub's toothpaste & toothbrush
kid's hair supplies
extra bib & pacifiers
baby spoon

a quart sized bag filled with:
my makeup
a comb and bobby pins
travel sized personal care items

quart sized bag including:
a few band-aids
assorted pain relievers and cold medicines (adult and kid varieties)
diaper rash cream
nasal aspirator & saline solution
antibiotic ointment

I then "nest" these smaller, categorized bags into the larger tote:

As previously mentioned, this Nested Bag idea often needs to be expanded into a larger format or using different categories. Below I have listed some other possible combinations of bags and ideas for categorizing.

-Boo-Boo Bag with extra first aid
-Outdoors Bag (bug spray, sunblock)
-Bathroom Bag (toilet paper, baby wipes, hand sanitizer)

-Diaper Supplies Bag (diapers, wipes, cream, powder etc)
-Meal Time Bag (bottles, commercial jarred baby foods, spoons, bibs)
-Bath time Bag (baby wash, washcloths, lotion)
-Baby's Boo-Boo Bag (baby medicines, creams, orajel, nasal aspirator)
-The Backup Bag (essentially, a second version of everything in your diaper bag; paci, bib, burp cloth, etc)

-Candy Bag
-Savory Snacks Bag
-packaged drinks (such as juice boxes, if you don't mind them being room temperature)
-Parent's Snacks
-Kid's Snacks
-Healthy Snacks
-Unhealthy Snacks (maybe make this a "treats" bag for rewards?)

-Chargers, batteries
-Media (DVDs, Cd's, book or magazines)
-Toy Bag (divided by child's name or by type of toy)
-Games (playing cards, travel friendly games)
-Important Stuff (passports or other documentation)
-Reward Bag (with special toys or treats that your kids haven't seen before)
-Vending Bag: collect loose change from around the house in the days/weeks leading up to the trip to be used in the vending machines at rest stops.

What other nifty categories have you used or will use??

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post! I love this idea! I'm definitely going to have to try it on our next road trip.