Packing for children, especially when traveling on the road or to a campsite, takes a bit more preparation than for adult family members due to the chance of all things unexpected. Going into the trip expecting the unexpected and in turn preparing for it before hand, will save everyone involved stress in the long run.
The two major factors to consider when packing for your child is the region you’ll be traveling through and the gender of your child. The needs of boys and girls, as every parent knows, are slightly different. Plan for extreme weather conditions (layering is always a good idea) and think about which planned activities you and your children will be involved in. Campgrounds and outdoor adventures are definitely not the time to pull out your kid’s Sunday best, or even their best anything – unless you don’t mind the possibility of it not coming home in the same condition.
Here’s what you’ll require:
Underclothing: Always pack extra underclothes for possible accidents.
Play Clothes: Consider that your children will be spending the majority of their time outdoors. Plenty of shorts, t-shirts or tanks will be needed. Extras will assure that you will not run out of clean clothing for your children, especially if many items will be dirty or soiled during play.
Special Event Clothing: There may be an occasion on your trip that nicer clothes will be needed to go out to dinner, or shopping on a rainy day.
Sleepwear: For comfort reasons, pack sleepwear for all weather possibilities: hot nights, cold nights, and neutral temperatures. Though most RVs have air conditioning and heat to control indoors what can’t be controlled outside, the temperature outdoors will inevitably affect the temperature indoors.
Footwear: Different shoes will be required for different planned activities. Hiking boots or snow boots, water shoes for the beach, sandals for shower houses, and general sneakers for everyday play.
Swim Clothes: More than one bathing suit or pair of swim trunks should be packed to allow for one to hang dry while the other is being used.
Outerwear: Jackets or sweatshirts are a safe item to pack for any destination. Heavier jackets may be needed if traveling to the desert, mountains or spring/fall seasons. If traveling in the winter for snow sporting trips, pack accordingly to the activities your children will be participating in.
Toiletries: Supply medications and first aid kits tailored to your child’s specific needs. Bring all prescriptions and get your doctor to provide you with a refill option if you’re going on a long journey. Many basics such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, comb/brush, lotion, etc. can be supplied for each child in their own kit, or together in a family bag. For children still in diapers, bring plenty of wipes, diapers, and ointments to prevent the risk of running out of supplies or rashes developing without the proper treatments available.
It is helpful to pack a laundry bag or large plastic bag to keep dirty clothes separate from the others. This will also help when returning home to have laundry already separated and ready to be washed. To be prepared for anything, pack along pre-measured amounts of laundry detergent and coins for any emergencies or accidents that may occur along the way.
Proper planning before the trip will alleviate much of the worry. Rest assured, many campgrounds have carry-out style stores that are stocked with essentials, or you can almost always replace lost or forgotten items along your route.