Last week I confessed my love for bins. This week, I shall sing praises to bags of all shapes and sizes. I like to think of myself as a minimalist (despite the fact that I have 4 children.) That being said, the amount of stuff needed while on an open-ended road trip with 4 children can feel suffocating. Here’s some ways I’ve been able to live with the road-trip clutter.
1. Back Pack. Yup, each child gets a backpack, filled with clothes and undies/ diapers. They are stashed behind the passenger seat so that, when we arrive at our destination, they grab their bag on the way out. They feel very cool doing this. And I feel less heavy-laden….literally.
2. Pool Bag. Almost as important as clothing is pool gear. I mean, the majority of our trip revolves around pools. So I keep a bag filled with all our bathing suits, life jackets/floats, kick boards, sunblock, pool toys (a minimal amount), swim diapers and towels. Sammy Whammy has designated himself Bag Boy. At least for the picture. PS. this is one of many Thirty-One bags that I love!
3. Laundry Bag. My awesome sister-in-law gave me this Baggu bag and I. LOVE. IT. It serves many purposes in my life. Most recently: laundry bag. It’s durable, hangable, washable, light-weight and just awesome. An additional bonus is that it holds the perfect amount of dirty laundry (i.e. one manageable load. Not an unsurmountable mountain.) I’m even considering these as laundry bags for each family member once we get back home….er…once we find a home.
4. Trash Bag. Paper straws, receipts, napkins, apple cores, plastic spoons, juice boxes, baby wipes…..this is the stuff of road trips with 4 kids. So I affix a reusable bag to the arm rest of the passenger seat. Every time we get off the road, I ask each child to find at least one piece of trash (and no, your brother’s hotwheels car doesn’t count) and throw it in the bag before exiting. The van may not be ‘deep cleaned’, but at least it’s de-cluttered. Also, this awesome little bag was given to me by a dear, candid, inspiring friend. It makes me laugh every time I see it and reminds me of her friendship and support (another necessity while on an open-ended road trip with 4 kids.)
5. Sleeping Bags. So, my kids don’t know air mattresses exist. They still think sleeping bags on the floor (carpeted or hard wood) are amazing and adventurous. So we’re going with it. Sure makes it easy to travel when they are all able to sleep in one room on the floor. Though since we’re on such a long trip without Daddy, I let one of them sleep with me most nights for some extra cuddling. It’s amazing how a 25-45 pound child can take up and ENTIRE bed.
*I promise Caramia has a sleeping bag. And a pillow case. And pajamas. Just not in this picture!
5. Tea Bags. I know, it’s a stretch on the whole ‘bag’ theme, but hey. So there’s one area in which I am NOT a minimalist: TEA. It’s my thing. My comfort. My treat after a loooong day and an even longer bed time. So, I literally have a bag filled with tea.
Here’s some of my favorites lately. I prefer a little raw unprocessed honey, but they’re great on their own, too.
*Note the descriptions of the top two: “Eases tension and promotes relaxation” and “supports emotional balance.” I drink these 2 extra strong.
In summary, I often still feel like a pack-mule by the amount of bags I find myself lugging at any given moment, but at least they’re cute and organized, right?