Portions of this post can also be seen on my Examiner Entry
As you know, we just came back from our five day Redwoods Trip. I am a packing fiend, especially for the kiddos. But my weakness has always been the overnight trip, or the short, domestic trip. I can fit both girls and my things in a 40 liter backpack for two months in foreign countries, but for a four day road trip I pack the rented Volkswagon Reuton with 5 shopping bags of food, three bags for personal stuff, two backpacks, a case of diapers, a cooler and a case of water, bedding and two strollers. For some reason, I always take too much on the short trips. It's as if my brain is saying, "We will definitely use THIS. We don't want to have to go back and pay overblown tourist prices for something simple." It really is living in luxury as they call it.
A few awesome snacks I recommend for road trips?
Two items that you can open, and toss over your toddler:
Snack trap cups with Cheerios or Gerber Puffs.
Stuff we had in our cooler:
Half and Half (for me and Papa's coffee)
Case of foil wrapped juice packets
8 diet sodas
3 energy drinks.
Extra tips: Have your hotel info and/or vouchers, maps, paper information in one designated place, so much easier than digging.
I also like to put the designated gas money or card, in that folder or envelope also, so that I know I don't spend it on other stuff that isn't gas, also this way, we don't have to worry about it on the trip itself.
Make sure you have what you need for baby within an arms reach of you, in case you need to reach him.
Clear a spot in the trunk (if you are taking a van, this is especially helpful) where you can change diapers. If you are taking a car, make a changing station that can easil be folded or rolled up and put on the ground where you can make a quick change. Have all this stuff handy, diapers, wipes bags.
Bring your own trash bags and dispose of everything properly. Be a responsible visitor.
Make sure you are both agreed on driving and being able to pull over and switch when you are tired.
Find something interesting where you should stop, if there is anything. Most of the time there is. These are the stops where you can see an Alien Diner, use the restroom, change diapers, feed the kids that need to be fed. Of course, if you are breastfeeding, your stops need to be more frequent, as we did this on our first road trip to Utah when Myles was 5 weeks old. Making the journey part of the trip makes all the stops worth it.