spring break checklist.

P is out for Spring Break and it’s inevitable that my husband will pounce a camping trip on me in 3…2…1… Having been married to him for almost 10 years I’ve learned to expect last minute trips and have become quite adept at packing the entire family for a trip in a couple of hours. I’m not a pro, but this is a short list {10 years in the making} of packing tips that have saved a lot of marital grief over the years
{we’re still married}. I’m happy to share the love & hope it helps with your Spring Break planning.

1. Go to the dollar store and spend some money.

Really. I do this for every trip & it’s worth every penny I spend {which usually ends up being about $20}. I buy age appropriate toys, coloring books, window decals. Whatever I think has a chance of holding the interest of the kids for at least 30 minutes. The real secret is wrapping each present. Presentation is more than half the battle. Even with kids. They just don’t hold the same appeal otherwise. I hand out about one per hour, sometimes more based on how much screaming/ hitting is going on in the back seat.

P.S. Glow sticks are priceless when it gets dark and you’re still driving.

2. Assign each kid their own luggage.

I bought the kids each one of these and I have to say it’s the smartest travel move I’ve ever made. Each kid has their own color and is completely responsible for their bag. Also, they’re only allowed to take what will fit inside their bag {not much}. Which brings me to #3…

3. Pack light.

My natural inclination is to pack like I’m going to the moon, but I’ve become really good at packing light and bringing plenty of laundry detergent and quarters for the inevitable trip to a laundromat. Also, pack food {& treats} to hand out at regular intervals. Healthy ones. Gas station food is only fun for so long.

4. Don’t forget to pack Wet Wipes.

In bulk. Seriously. This is almost more important than every other tip. Wet Wipes come in handy for every single scenario I can dream of on a road trip with two kids. Especially if you’re going camping and won’t have access to showers.

5. Have fun!

Make some great road trip C.D.’s. Roll down all your windows and sing out loud. Spend quality time with your kids. Bring playing cards. And treats. Read great magazines. Relax. And take lots of pictures.

{images via flickr}.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. aurora :

    Those are such great suggestions! Wow.
    I love the glow sticks idea! It really would take the sting out of two more hours after dark! ?

  2. Scary Mommy :

    oohh! I’m totally stealing the glow stick idea. I can see it now… kids pry them open, suck the juice and glow from the inside out. Ok, mabe not :)

  3. KJ :

    Have used the glow sticks (in form of bracelets) and it’s a hit! Wonderful tips…have a great camping trip. Ever camped with an 18month old? Thinking about it since we are so close to Yellowstone/Teton.

  4. Petit Elefant :

    Oh, KJ, camping wtih kids is the best. Newborns, not so much. But M? He’ll love it! The Tetons & Yellowstone are so much fun at that age. P loved them both.

  5. jen :

    i just had to add…the wrapping of presents idea…WORKS SO WELL. we had a 12 hour flight with a 2 year old. (yes we are crazy). i not only wrapped, but double and occasionally triple wrapped the presents (and some toys that i had stolen/removed/hidden a month or so prior). it was lovely. took awhile to unwrap…completely not ecologically friendly…but highly passenger friendly. i also wanted to add books of stickers and rolls of tape go a LONG way. for some reason, they keep kiddos interested, probably because they can’t get them unstuck. maybe we’ll pay the price in therapy later.