Packing for our summer journey

I have never packed for an 8 week road trip with 6 people before, so I can’t say yet whether I am doing it right or wrong. I will share what we are packing and how, and I will have to report back on how it all worked out. My goal is not to pack too much, or forget anything essential.

We will be leaving Nashville in early June to drive to Kiawah Island, SC. From there we will be stopping in at least 15 different cities as we travel up the East Coast through North Carolina, Virginia, D.C. NYC, Maine and all the way up to Prince Edward Island Canada.

To return we will drive back through Canada, Vermont, New Hampshire, upstate New York, crossing back over in to Canada to see Niagara Falls, after which we will head south again through Ohio and Kentucky. We will return home to Nashville in early August.

We will be gone for 60 days total and will be staying in mostly Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO rental homes that have a washer and dryer. However for one night stop overs we will be staying in hotels. Two out of the 8 weeks we will not have access to a washer and dryer at all. I would normally pack a bit lighter, only taking enough for 5-7 days, but knowing we won’t always be able to wash our clothes, I have packed for 8-10 days. The varying weather also adds some items that we wouldn’t normally take if we were staying in one area. For the first half of our trip we will be in 80-90 degree weather but for the second half of our trip the weather will only be in the high 50’s to high 70’s.

I really like the Patagonia 90L duffle bags. They are waterproof, roomy and can be worn as a backpack. We use them for weekend travel, but they are roomy enough to pack for long trips too! I was able to fit all of the following, plus diapers in one bag!

My packing list for each of my four boys:

  • Tops: 8 tees, 2 long sleeve tops, 1-2 tops that are dressier
  • Bottoms: 8 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of pants including 1 pair of sweatpants that can double as pjs
  • Swimwear: 2 pairs of swim trunks, 1 pair of swim leggings, 1 rash guard, 1 sunhat
  • Shoes: Natives and one pair of tennis shoes (one pair packed, the other worn)
  • Jackets: 1 sweatshirt and 1 rain jacket
  • Socks/Underwear: 7 pairs of underwear and 2 pairs of socks

I enjoy packing for my children so much more than packing for myself, so I am still in the process of packing for Daniel and I! We will also use one of the Patagonia bags for the two of us.

My challenge is that I will be 18 through 26 weeks pregnant during this trip so I am trying to predict just how much I am going to grow and pack accordingly! Each pregnancy has been completely different so I am trying to pack roomy clothing just in case I get huge like I did with Ezra.

In addition to clothing, we will be bringing bikes and our BOB stroller. We had a hitch and bike rack installed on the back of our van to carry the bikes. We also purchased a bag for the top of the van that will hold the bike trailer, stroller and pack n play.

There are various other items that we will also bring, and I will post more pictures and details when I am packing up the van! What items are a must on your road trips? Let me know in the comments!

2 Comment

  1. jessie zink says: Reply

    We always give each kid a car bag…. Books, activities, their electronics. Snack bag and movie bag is usually up front with me. Also we have noise cancelling headphones too 🙂 pillows and water bottles!! Do you have storage things on the back of your seats?

    1. shorttermjourney_qehkxu says: Reply

      Oh man, noise canceling headphones sound so great! Daniel and I always joke about getting the headphones that people wear in helicopters so we can talk to each other over the noise. We had one portable dvd player on our last trip and I have since purchased two more. I am going to set each of them up with their own headphones when things get crazy.
      I also have a big bin of activity books that I plan to distribute a little at a time over the course of the trip. My kids really like drawing in notebooks and friends have gifted us some games for the car.
      We have storage in the back of the front row seats, but not the middle row seats. I saw where someone used shower caddies with suction cups and hooked them to the kids windows. I think I am going to try that for storing some of their stuff.

Leave a Reply