It’s road trip time! Our family is heading out on the road to visit some family before all the chaos of the holidays kicks into gear. When James and I told the kids we were heading to Great Grandma and Grandpa’s they were sooooo excited. It has been several months since we have been able to head over their way. James can’t wait to get away from the business of work, I am excited about crafting with Grandma, the kids are excited to see their Great Grandparents again, and all of us are giddy about Grandpa’s cooking.
So the trip is planned, and then it hits me…PACKING, ugh. Over the years I have worked hard to improve how we get it all together for leaving on a trip, but honestly it still is no fun and a lot of work. The biggest problem to overcome with having ADHD and kids with the same, is forgetting things. I can’t begin to count how many trips we have gone on that we forgot something. Some are pretty funny looking back on. Have you ever forgotten the Christmas presents when going on a Christmas trip? Well I have. Have you left on a trip and stopped at the rest area, only to find out as you are getting the kids out of the car, that one of them left the house without shoes? Yup, that happened as well. So over the years I have learned some tricks that have helped us to make our trips a little less chaotic. Hopefully at least some of them will come in handy on your next trip.
- No School the Day Before – Since we homeschool this is an easy thing to do, but makes a HUGE difference. There are so many things to get ready, and with kids who need lots of prompts that means lots of added packing time is needed. Trust me, taking the day before you leave to clean the house, and pack makes everything go so much smoother.
- Toiletry Bag Pre-Packed – I have bags pre-packed for each person with everything toiletry wise that a person would need on a trip. When we get home from a trip I restock them and store them in each persons traveling bag. Then when it is time to pack for our next trip, everyone’s toiletry bag is ready to go, already in their bag. This has helped save us time and money running errands on vacation just to buy toothbrushes.
- Kids Packing Checklists – Kids with ADHD get sidetracked easily. Having a simple piece of paper with a list of what they need to pack helps them to feel independent and successful, at least for my kiddos. I started this when they were very young. If they can’t read well, I make picture lists. I draw a picture of socks, underwear, etc with a number next to the picture, so they know how many of each item to pack. The kids like that they can pick out their own clothes, and I have one less thing to worry about. If you can look past my bad drawings, below is a picture of the list I just made for Hayden, for our upcoming trip. When they are done with their list, we just have to double-check to make sure they have everything. But even that is made easier by having the list. One less thing for me to have to think about. I can check through their bags almost on autopilot.
- Bags Stacked the Night Before – When anyone finishes packing a bag, it is placed next to the door we will be leaving from. This way I know before we go to bed that everyone has what they need for the trip. I don’t have to worry about last-minute laundry cycles or missing teddy bears. We are able to just about pick up and head out the door first thing in the morning.
- Charge all Devices Next to the Door – The night before we leave I have everyone plug their electronic devices (cell phones, tablets, etc) into an outlet right next to the door. I like to leave mine charging right on top of my bag. This way when we start off on our trip, everyone has a device fully charged to keep them busy, and I don’t have to worry about them being forgotten at home.
- Clothes to Wear, at End of Bed – The night before, we have all the kids get out clothes they want to wear for the car ride. They set them at the end of their bed before jumping under the covers. This way first thing in the morning they can get up and dressed right away. This means that all us adults have to worry about is the last-minute details before heading out the door.
- Everything Else Goes on a List – If it can’t be packed the night before, it goes on a list, stacked with our bags. Examples for us are pillows, Bible, food needed to be refrigerated, and medication. I have learned over the years that when I think I will remember it, I most likely will forget it. Just write it down, and know you’ve got it covered.
Even with all these helps, I still forget things from time to time, but usually the things we forget are minor now. The one thing I more often forgot is jewelry. I may have nicely planned outfits but for some reason forget to pack matching jewelry. Does anyone else have this problem, or even better, a solution? What are your most often forgotten items? Spark up some conversation below, I’m listening.