Traveling with Large Families – Part 3: Packing the Clothes

On a longer road trip, we don’t pack suitcases by person, we pack by what we are going to need on any given day (unless we’re at the same place every night, which we never are.)   This way,we only have to carry one medium suitcase and one duffle bag into our overnight place.  Here’s what we did this last trip, and it worked pretty well . . .

  1. Everyone’s PJ’s and toiletries went in a duffle bag (along with overnight diapers) to last the whole trip.  This went into every place we stayed.
  2. Each change of clothes, undies, diapers, etc. that we needed WHILE ON THE ROAD went into a separate suitcase.  (We made our outfits last for at least two days.)  This was so much easier than lugging in (and messing up) one or more big suitcases.
  3. We used one big suitcase for the time at our destination.
  4. I packed an extra suitcase with out-of-season outfits that we might need in case of unexpected weather.

Here are some notes regarding clothing that I have made to myself  while on road trips in the past…

  • Plan the clothes ahead of time like I plan the menu; decide what everyone is going to wear, and when.
  • It takes a LONG TIME to pack all the clothes!  (Not a half-hour; more like 4 hours!)
  • Don’t leave any laundry to be done on packing day.
  • Tell the kids what they can (or can’t) wear the day or two BEFORE the trip so they don’t wear their “travel” clothes and get them dirty!  We don’t have a lot of clothes.  🙂
  • Most outfits last two days (except those of young kids), but we should have a back-up somewhere in the van.
  • The less clothes there are in the suitcase, the less messy the suitcase gets.
  • Also, suitcases do not get NEARLY so disorganized you’re starting fresh every other day or so!
  •  Matching clothes are GREAT!  All you have to do is count kids by that day’s shirt-color!  (Woe is any little boy not from our family who is wearing our color that day!) 

(Yes, I actually made a “chart” on the floor with everyone’s clothes.  And these are only the boys’ clothes!)

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tonya on June 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Debbie you inspire me with your planning and organization. You may feel you fail so many times but you are so far from a failure! Your desire for simplicity and your attention to diligence is giving me much to think about and consider. Thank you for sharing!! Love to you and your family!! ~Tonya

    Reply

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