You Got This! Travel Boxes on the Road with Kids

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Life on the road can actually be kind of laid back if you take the time to pack travel boxes for the family!

Most families love road trips  … except for when the kids get bored and whiny.

Here’s a fast solution for each child and for the whole family to make life on the road more fun: Travel boxes for kids and family! Use plastic storage bins for travel kits in different sizes holding items for each child, cutting down on floor mess. Let the kids know they are in charge of their box and keeping things together. (Some bins are slim enough to fit under the seats).
Before leaving on your trip, make sure each child has a bottled water in their cup holder, their own set of ear buds and a small pillow. If you’re night driving provide each child a small blanket.

Here’s what goes in individual travel boxes, but use your imagination and your child’s interests to stock each box.

KID BOXES (1 per child)
• A collection of small items found at a discount store that your child’s never seen before. Before purchasing, ask yourself, “How long will this item keep my child’s attention?” Consider a small pack of Colorforms, sticker books, magnetic games. Stencils, ear buds, writing items with tops attached, journals.
• Snacks that don’t crumble or melt and are easy to pack, such as fruit roll-ups, cheese sticks, sliced grapes, apples, juice boxes with holders, carrots and celery. Consider a treat for each child but keep them in your box of Odds ‘n Ends (see below).

Box 1, Odds ‘n Ends & Surprises
Think of it as the junk drawer at home holding all those little things you’ll need: A large roll of scotch tape, pencil sharpener, kid scissors, extra markers, post-it notes, flashlights, batteries, etc. Also use this box for tiny surprises you can pull out for the kids from time to time and kid treats.

Box 2, Electrical: One box for electrical cords for all of your devices, batteries and flashlights. If you’re staying overnight on the road, you’ll be able to charge all things all in the same place at the same time.

Box 3, First Aid: hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, anti-bacterial wipes, baby wipes, band-aids, gauze rolls, latex gloves, sunscreen, zinc, aloe, bug spray, thermometer, tweezers, clippers, matches, antihistamine, ibuprofen, any special medications for the kids.

Box 4: Media Box: A book or two for each family member, magazines, comic books. A small DVD flip container so movies don’t end up on the floor — because movies are so popular on the road, you may have to enforce reading from time to time (win that battle!), so monitor the box to keep items from floor trampling.


Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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