We recently took a 10 day, 9 night, 4 hotel room, 3,000 mile, 52 hours in the car road trip. We are 2 parents, 1 pre-schooler, and by the time we got home 2 full-time toddlers (Shimri and Shimei both decided walking is their thing while we were gone). You can imagine how much we packed into our van.
The basics included 2 pack-n-plays, a double stroller, a baby carrier, 3 high chairs/booster seats with 3 folding chairs to put them on, 2 camp chairs, diapers and wipes, food, books, toys and games, cameras and computers, pillows and blankets, and of course clothes.
I packed clothes for myself for that long in a carry-on sized bag and Brett did the same. My problem was how to pack the kids’ clothes. Because their clothes have a lot less mass and volume there is greater chance of them getting all mixed up and jumbled if left loose. And the internet’s suggestion to put each outfit for each kid for each day in a ziplock bag was going to be way too many bags for me. So I figured out something better and cheaper. And as a bonus, it worked out that without having to ask, Brett knew what each kid was supposed to wear each day too.
I started by laying them all out on the floor, in order, and lined up next to each other. Iddo likes to match Shimri whenever possible and I like when Shimri and Shimei coordinate so seeing everyone’s clothes together helped. I made sure each kid had a full outfit for each day and then started bundling them up.
Instead of putting each bundle in a bag, I rolled them up and put an elastic band around each bundle. I tucked a slip of paper with the child’s first initial and date for that outfit in the elastic. Then I just put the clothes for all three kids, in reverse order, in a carry-on.
The pockets of the carry-on held spare clothes on case someone got sick, hats, and swimsuits.
It was super easy. And since a lot of the elastic bands came free with newspapers and produce, a lot cheaper than 30 ziplock bags.
If I figure out an easier way to pack the rest of this, I’ll definitely let you know.