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It’s now been three years and while once again, we have another 2 yr old, we feel ready to attempt another camping trip. I feel better this time around as 1) we’re sticking closer to home; 2) we’ve already scoped out the camping site and picked one that is level and the fire pit is not dead center of the site; 3) Our other children are older; and 4) I’m not 4-5 months pregnant and sick.
Our house has been seriously been abuzz with camping chat. We’ve been talking about it and tossing the idea around for about a month now and since my husband has Labor Day off, we’re making a 3 day weekend of it. The kids are so excited that I’ve had to stop them from packing 3 weeks early in preparation for it.
The fact that is has been 3 years since we last went camping, and we felt a bit ill prepared that last time, I decided I better start making a list in advance for what all we’d need to pack. I’ll be honest, our lack of camping trips left me uncertain on what all I want to make sure we’ll be taking. A little bit of online research helped get the packing ideas flowing and I starting making a list. It didn’t take me long to discover that some of the lists floating around out there contain everything but the kitchen sink. Frankly, I needed something a bit more practical… after all, there are 7 of us and we only have the suburban. We have to really plan what all we’re taking and there won’t be a lot of extras.
After a couple hours of going through everything we already have, we’re now able to figure out what we need to buy in prep. It’s been fun as we start to gather things together. I hit a sale at Safeway last week to stock up on some snacks that we’ll use for the trip there, as well as while we’re there.
Here’s a FREE Camping Trip Printable Pack to help you plan!
Here are my tips for preparing for any kind of trip:
- Plan Your Trip – First things first, how far are you going? How long will you going to be gone? A couple days, four days, a week? Are there laundry facilities? Will groceries be extra pricey because of location? Etc.
- Make a Packing List – Start making a list of things you know you need to take. Don’t wait until a few days before where you’re scurrying around trying to find things at the last minute.
- Menu Plan – Unless you know you’re eating out 3 meals a day, make a menu plan and figure out all your meals and snacks.
- Make a Grocery List – Once you have your menu plan, you can hit your store sales between the time you start planning and the time you actually leave.
- Pack What You Need – Seriously, if you can make an item count for multiple purposes, do it. Our snack holder for the trip there is also going to be our dish pan while there and instead of taking a whole box of pancake mix, I’ll pre-measure the exact amount we need and just take that.
- Prioritize Your Packing – Keep the things you’ll need sooner closer, like a bin of snack foods, closer to the front of the car so you’ll have to do minimal rummaging through your load of stuff while on the road.
Since we’re not going far away, I’m not worried about making an activity kit to keep each child busy. However, we will be leaving as soon as my husband gets off work and not having dinner until our site is set up so I’m preparing some snacks for everyone to have on the way in order to tide us over until dinner. I’m making a veggie/fruit snack bag along with a sweet ‘n salty snack bag for each child and of course drinks.
Fruit & Veggies Snack Bag:
Slice the carrots and celery into sticks and add sliced apples and grapes.
Sweet ‘n Salty Snack Bag:
- Mini Pretzels
- Small Crackers
- Chewy Granola Bars
You can leave the granola bar in it’s package or take it out. I removed the packaging because my kids tend to just through wrappers on the floor of the car. No wrapper = less trash. 🙂
Place your snack bags, along with your drinks in an easy to use container (ours is going to double for our dish pan later) and keep it in a handy spot in the car.
So what are some of your best road trip packing tips? I’d love to hear them. And be sure to head over to Best Road Trip ever for a chance to win big! (Disclaimer: Practical Savings is not responsible for prizes.)