Fall Road Trip – Day 1: Loading Up

The first day of a family road trip is all about preparation, packing, and anticipation. After hours of gathering up and packing up clothes, blankets, pillows, technology, and food, not to mention the kids’ activity backpacks, it is finally time to load up the van.

Years ago when we first started taking family road trips, we had so much more space to work with. When the kids were in car seats we could use more of the floor space, but those days are long gone. In fact, K is as tall as I am, and J just a couple inches shorter, leg room is a premium. Everyone has their designated space, with the in between spaces used for activity backpacks, pillows, coats, and gloves.

Everything else has to fit up on top in the roof bag, or in the back. We bought our first roof back back in 2004  for our 13 sates in 14 days road trip, and have loved how much more space it gives us.

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After last year’s road trip to Minnesota, we realized that we might need to invest in a new bag as some of the clothes had gotten wet on the trip home.   Greg brought the bag in last night to see if we could just patch up the holes, and realized that there were just too many small pin holes. We needed to be confident that the roof bag would stay safe and keep things dry for the 5500 mile trek ahead of us, so we went out and picked up a new bag last night.

It’s now loaded up with the Space Bags full of clothes, blankets, and pillows, plus an miscellaneous bag full of some of Greg’s stuff and a few games for hotel room entertainment.  

While the roof bag is Greg’s domain, the back is mine. It’s my personal puzzle, and I’m obnoxious about how’s it arranged and organized. I might not keep a neat and organized house, but on a family road trip, how we use our space makes a huge difference in how successful the trip is.

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Everything has it’s place and as long as it’s in its place, we can find things quickly and easily.  The bottom layer of course is the heavy stuff, a case of water and the ice chest. Then on top is the various bags, organized in a way were the stuff we might need to reach into during the trip can be reached by one of the kids in the backseat. 

The small white collapsible table fits perfectly between the two captain’s chairs in the van to hold the computer for the kids. I also use it sometimes to make up sandwiches or gather up snacks.

So now, one last check through the house and we are ready to go!

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