The Adventure Starts Here: Getting Road Trip Ready

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Getting Road Trip Ready

We spend a lot of time in our car during the Summer.  In addition to my regular routine of being a chauffeur, we also have many weekend getaways planned (as you can see from our bucket list!).  I had planned to clean out the car for our trip to Montreal and get it stocked for the 6+ hour drive.  While those plans were cancelled, I decided it was as good a time as any to get the car cleaned and ready for summer.  

Last week, Noah had to stay home from school even though he was feeling fine.  Since we were stuck at home, I recruited Noah to be my little helper.  I love that at his age he is so excited to help and gets upset if I don't let him do it "on his own".  I started by emptying out the car and letting him use the dust buster.  That wasn't getting us anywhere, so I quickly grabbed our Miele and got to work.  Noah would do his best, and then I would go back and get the nooks and crannies.  Since he still wanted to help, I gave him a wipe and told him to wipe down all the surfaces.  As Noah said, we had good teamwork.  

After throwing out trash and bringing in things that didn't belong in the car, we were left with just the necessities.  For a family with a young child, that means the car is equipped with the following:

a change of clothes and underwear
a hat, sweater, and rain gear to cover all our weather bases
wipes (regular and antibacterial)
sunscreen and bug spray
books and toys
lots of snacks 
ziploc filled with napkins, straws, and plastic spoons 
trash bag

Since having Noah, I've paired down my necessities a lot!  I find I'm good with a pouch filled with chapstick, lipstick, sunglasses, tylenol, and some personal hygiene products (just in case).  

In the trunk, I also keep Noah's stroller (in case a lot of walking is involved) and a beach chair (for me to use during soccer practice).  

When we are going away on a longer trip, we pack the big cooler full of drinks and refrigerated snacks.  And of course we grab the iPad... a true lifesaver!

^^^ I treat the front seat as my command center.  I love how this diaper bag opens from the top... it's so easy to grab wipes or a tissue to hand back to Noah while I'm driving.  I also love that I can keep Noah's sippy cups (that I grab fresh as we leave) in the side cup holders for easy access.  I keep extra snacks in that teal bag on the floor just in case he gets hungry... which is every time we go in the car!  
^^^ In the backseat, I finally updated Noah's toy selection.  It had gotten a little out of control with happy meal toys and things from when he was a baby.  We've paired it down to the following:
a pad of paper and crayon case (this kid loves to draw)
extra Octonauts figurines (Noah gets super upset if he doesn't have one at all times!)  
These entertain him in the car and are the perfect back up in case we go out to dinner last minute and don't have his "restaurant bag".  
 ^^^ The trunk has our stroller and beach chair, as well as our rain gear and some reusable bags for the grocery store (if I ever remember to bring them in!!!).  

While we got the inside all clean and stocked on Thursday, we waited for Chris to be home to do the outside.  Before meeting Chris, I always just headed to the car wash.  But Chris prefers doing it himself and Noah thinks it's fun.  Noah loved helping with each step!  Rinsing the car, soaping it up, and spraying daddy... oh wait, I don't think that last one was part of the car washing process ;)

As usual, Chris found a way to make washing a car even more fun.  He told Noah to spray him with the hose as he ran by (and I took photos).  I loved watching them do this that I kept telling them to do it again and again... even if I already had a good shot (shhh, don't tell)!  Then it was time to play with the bubbles... endless amount of fun!  And to distract Noah while Chris dried the car, we gave Noah some of his trucks to wash and rinse off with the hose :)  It was the perfect activity for as super hot and humid day!

After seeing how nice it was to have the car cleaned, we decided since we were home for 4 days, that we might as well take some time to clean out the garage.  We've only lived here for 2 years, and while it could be worse, the garage was getting a little disorganized.  This on the other hand, was not the perfect activity for a hot and humid day!  Noah was happy to help at first, but quickly lost interest.  So I set him up in the shade with his beach chair, a drink, and his iPad.  We emptied everything off our shelves and onto the front lawn.  While Chris did this, I started going through our stuff and separating everything into categories... to keep, throw out, and things to be sold.   While the difference isn't earth shattering, we now have some clear space on our top shelf and things are grouped by category.  I think we will now have an easier time finding things :)

Do you go on lots of road trips in the summer?   What are your must haves to make car rides more bearable enjoyable???

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  1. Chris got some air while Noah was spraying him! Ha ha! I love having a clean car and I'm all about the organization. I have a post scheduled for next week with how I keep things ready and organized. We have at least 3 road trips this summer, so I want to keep everything easy and read to go.

  2. Oh such great ideas. I need to get things ready for a short trip this week!

  3. Chris & Noah remind me so much of Lily & my husband! So much fun together! I'm a total suckered for organization posts. Our car is always a total disaster. Mainly because there are snacks & snack wrappers in every creavace. Ben's favorite travel pass time is to take a handful of his snacks and toss them across the car at Lily. He thinks it is hilarious. He is such a little instigator.

  4. Great ideas! Love that you made it fun.

  5. My car next, my car next :P. You got some great shots there friend the jumping one is pretty funny. I really need to give my car a good cleaning. Thanks for the tips!

  6. I am driving to Chicago in July with friends and I have a similar to do list when preparing my car for our road trip.

  7. I love that Noah and Chris washed the car together! I'm sure it took five times as long but it looks like they had a great time together!

  8. We are currently doing all the things to get our car road trip ready as well. We do so much traveling in the summer. These are great tips. We definitely make sure we have snacks, drinks, wipes, charged iPads, a blanket for Mason (we like it cool!), etc. And I always make Mason a "road-trip' bag (if the drive is over 2 hours) filled with treats and little toys and books to keep him entertained for a bit. Nate's mom did it with Nathan when he was little and I loved that we could carry it on with Mason. Noah is so cute helping with the car. You are capturing the best photos of your everyday lives lately and I love it.


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