Although no where our as stressful as our trip to India, planning a weekend getaway was stressful. If you’re like me, you pack four bags just for yourself for a weekend trip. One for clothes, one for toiletries, a daypack (like these) to carry around when I’m out and about and one for accoutrements (wine, chips, cheese, etc.). I don’t like to be without the necessities wherever I go.
So, when it came time for my husband and I to plan our first trip with all three kids, the task seemed immediately daunting. My husband informed me I would have to sacrifice one of my “usual” bags. I know he meant my accoutrements, but I opted to consolidate my clothes and toiletries into one giant bag. He wasn’t exactly pleased. I argued for sanity, but in the end, I sadly eliminated my extras.
The key life saver when traveling with three kids came in the form of one of my favorite items in the world, the roof top luggage box. It straps to the top of your car and you can put all of your luggage in it.
This frees up the rest of the car for necessary trip items like three giant car seats (really, could they make them any bigger?), snacks, baby wipes, diapers, the potty, and toys. We were driving quite far to camp, so we were planning to be in the car for almost seven hours. The toys had to come.
One big concern you must plan for when traveling with kids is sickness. When you have three, someone is always sick. So, make sure to take a barrage of medicines with you when you travel. There’s not always a store nearby.
I’ve been caught with my pants down a few times with my first child. She gets ear infections and will sprout a 104-degree fever in a matter of minutes. Not having my Tylenol on hand makes for scary times for a parent. I now have a medicine bag tucked neatly in the top of my closet just for traveling. It’s always stocked and ready to go.
You need a thermometer, band aids, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen and ibuprofen to cover your bases. I’m not a fan of “cold medicines” for kids, so I don’t ever carry those. You just really need to be able to treat pain and inflammation. Anything more needs a doctor anyway.
Another concern I have is losing one of the kids when we are in a new location. It’s hard to watch three at once. I bought a GPS watch for my middle child who particularly likes wandering off for this reason. It gives me great peace of mind.
We did not have to lug camping gear with us luckily. We were meeting my parents who have a 43’ trailer. It’s basically a house on wheels. The only way I camp. And, it turns out, they were fully stocked with “accoutrements” just for me!