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In January 2021, we decided as a family to sell our house in Central Oregon and move back to the midwest, Minneapolis to be exact.
As we planned for our move, we decided that a roadtrip would be a fun thing to do, to take some time together as a family and visit family along the way! Our roadtrip took us to LA, Phoenix, San Antonio, Okoboji, IA, and Chicago.
We roadtripped in two cars, with two kiddos, a dog and two rats!
A good roadtrip requires planning, but more importantly having easy access to the things we needed as we hauled things in and out of homes, hotels, families homes. This was all well we were also home-schooling and working from the road.
Here are some of the things we couldn’t live without (and even some things we wished we would have thought to bring. What are your essentials for a long road trip?
For the Car
What We Had
Car Seat Organizers
We loved these car organizers. Each kiddo could have their own to keep their stuff in. Plus we could move them between cars or take them inside if we were staying somewhere for an extended period of time.
Plug In Cooler
Snacks are a MUST! We loved having cooler that could plug in to the car to help keep things cold while we’re on the road. Plus, when we were in a hotel we’d have extra space for cold drinks and leftovers!
Because we had two cars, walkie talkies were critical! These allowed us to have quick conversations about potty breaks, gas stops, and just keeping us all entertained.
Plastic Bins for Snacks
We had one bin in each car. It had the dry snacks that the kids could choose from on the drive. This helped us save money on snacks and they were also easy to wipe out and clean.
What We Wished We Had
Car Trash Can
We were held hostage by the fast food bags we happend to have when it can to garbage. Even when we asked the kids to pull their garbage, they rarely got it all. I wish we would have had a garbage can to make all the clean up easier!
On roadtrips there are never enough plugins for all the different types of devices. Especially when you’re running navigation on your phone for hours. Having an adapter that had both USB and AC outlets would have come. inhandy!
For The Hotels and Houses We Stayed At
What We Had
Organized Business Supplies
I had lots of things that needed to come on the road with me. Yes I had my computer bag, but I also had supplies like my direct sales samples, shipping supplies, product, notebooks, planners and more. This 3 drawer plastic organizer on wheels was a game changer and made it easy for me to bring it in and out of our various locations.
Suitcases Separated by Location NOT Person
As we left from one location to the next, we would reorganize suitecases. That meant that we had less that we needed to take in to the next spot, especially if it was a short stop. We’d also use one suitecase as dirty clothes holder to keep it easier!
What We Wished We Had
Epicure Steamer Basket
Being on the road means a lot of eating out which can be expensive and is also unhealthy. This Epicure Steamer basket can allow you to make healthy meals in the microwave – which most hotel rooms have.
Travel Toiletries Bag for Each Person
Our toiletries were in several bags and all over the place. I wish we had had dedicated bags to each person that were hanging to take up less space on the bathroom counters. These ones from Thirty-One look great and have all the space you need.
Because we were moving, and going to be gone for a long time we brought big full sized products. It was great for our longer stays but I wish I would have packed some smaller stuff, especially when it comes to skincare. Travel sets of skincare, like this one from Lemongrass Spa Products, would have allowed me to stay on my skincare better and not have so many bottles.
While a long road trip can be stressful, taking some time to get organized and think about the different spaces you’ll be in and how to keep everyone entertained is helpful!
Want to dive deeper? Here are some additional resources you might find helpful.