Traveling with the Big Kids

Last week I talked about our family road trip to visit my sister and brother in law in Kansas and the essentials we are preparing for baby Harv. This week I bring you the older kids edition. They need just as much stuff it seems, but the bonus is they can help pack!

The essentials we have for Carson (almost 11), Ava (almost 10) and Jack (8) are very different than a baby and definitely not essential to their survival. Although it is essential for Caleb and mine!



  1. Chargers, chargers, and chargers. If you allow electronics in your family, yes we do within reason, then you can’t forget the charger. This goes for grown ups too! I always seem to forget mine. Our kids have Amazon Fire’s. We love them. They have parental control, the ability to limit access unless you read and/or play outside (totally cool!), and automatic curfews. Even though we set rules, the tablet itself allows the rules to stick. Each kiddo also has their own color so no mixing them up. Perfect.
  2. Books! Each one of our kiddos brings a book, or two, or three +. We have them read in the car and at night before bed so having a few around is always good. Carson is into mine crafting and spy stuff lately. Jack is way into the “I survived” series. And well Ava who knows. She rotates lots and will pick up anything from a “Babysitter’s Club” graphic novel to a how to nail art design.
  3. Art Supplies. This is mostly Ava, but there will be lots to make up for the boy’s bringing none. She is into adult coloring books lately! So fun; I love picking them out with her!
  4. Pillows. Since we are planning on getting up super early (like 4 am) so Harv will hopefully sleep in the car lots, the kids will be exhausted too. I’m loving this flashy pattern pillow! I can assure you this is not in our house, but I wish it were. Also, neck pillows. Yep. They rock. This fox pillow is adorable! However the site isn’t in English. Good luck 😉
  5. Food. It’s 7 hours and we’ll stop for breakfast, but snacks. They always need snacks. Since we aren’t the biggest fans of eating in the car. I’ll pack some snacks in my 31 thermal and we’ll stop at a park later in the morning, let the kids get out and escape for a while. Good for everyone, but Caleb. He’d be much happier driving all the way. I don’t blame him.
  6. Ear buds! This should go hand in hand with chargers. I don’t want to listen to Stampy on Minecraft for 7 hours. Ok not really 7 hours, but you know. 5 minutes. Each kiddo has their own that coordinates with the color of their tablet.
  7. Movies. I went out a bought a couple cheapo ($3.75/$5.00) movies for the car ride. Oldies but goodies! The van has a DVD player built right in with 2 screens. We used to have 2 headsets, but who knows what happened there. So it’s an everyone listens type deal now.
  8. Reading lights. Since we’re leaving at 4AM we’re really hoping they just sleep till the sun comes up but on the way back we’re leaving between 7-8PM so it’ll be getting dark and they won’t be ready to sleep. We have lights in the van, but I think they’re too distracting for Caleb (yep backseat driver here!). I like the ones that attach right on the books.

There’s always more things, like clothes and blankets, but these 8 things will get us through the long trip and still keep our sanity!

What are your sanity savers?! Would love to hear!


psst! this is not a sponsored post. We just love this stuff and wanted to pass along the info!

2 thoughts on “Traveling with the Big Kids

  1. This list is very close to what I need, so I guess I am just a big kid! I always read a ton on car trips so I load my ipad with a few books. and snacks are key, twizzlers especially! Which aren’t very messy at all! Safe travels!

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