When it comes to packing for road trips, my kids are just about professionals. They have packed and unpacked more than many adults have in their lifetime. Six years of heading to hotel rooms, temporary apartments and the camping life has really honed their abilities.
They can pack in record time and rarely forget anything that’s essential. You may be surprised that when it comes to packing, I tell them where we are going and when and they jump into action. I don’t have to lift a finger. In fact, I’d say for the past 7½ years, I’ve not even helped to pack the vehicle- my boys take care of that. They think of it as their ‘job’ to make sure it’s packed and ready when it’s time to hit the road. Yes, traveling with older kids certainly has some benefits!
I recently asked my kids to share some of the things they consider essential when it comes to taking a road trip. They responded with these lists, though not necessarily in the order of importance. The first list is mainly a compilation, the latter two are more specific to my children’s interests.
Essentials with Roadtripping with Teens- according to my Teens
- Cell Phone– This is pretty much indispensable. Our smartphones allow us to listen to music, cruise the internet, post to Facebook and Instagram, text our friends, take pictures and watch videos on YouTube.
- A Camera– Our phones can take pictures, but sometimes it’s nice to have a camera too because we always see something neat.
- Laptop– You never know when you’ll find a hot spot and score free Wi-Fi! The computer is also good for watching movies. We rent them at various Redbox locations and return them on our way.
- Bubble gum– You don’t want to be in the car with someone with stinky breath (go figure) and its fun to blow bubbles.
- A pillow (pillow pet) and a blanket– We like to be comfortable! Besides the air conditioner can get cold.
- Snacks, Pop & Water– We’re teenagers, remember? We eat all the time!
- A sweatshirt– In case we get cold, besides it doubles as a pillow.
- Money– We like to have our own money on the trip.
My daughter added a few of her own:
- Stamps– I like to mail post cards to my friends from the road. Sometimes I even like to mail one to myself so it will be postmarked from places like Paris.
- An Extra Pair of Shoes– In case you step in something not so nice. (You may remember our trip to The Crater of Diamonds )
And here are a couple thoughts from the boys:
- A Pocket Knife or two – Just to be safe. You never know when we may need them. (You can tell they’ve been camping)
- A journal and pen– Just in case we get the urge to write.
- Books– We pack books too, but not books with too many words because we get headaches from reading in the car.
- A tablet – as in an electronic tablet.
Depending on where we are going, the boys will also pack their xBox 360 because they think they can’t survive without it. Of course, they also pack extra clothes because to go on a trip without spares, in their own words, is just…well…gross!
So, is this an exhaustive list? Of course not. What the kids pack changes based on where we are heading to, but this is a list of what they consider to be essential. I thought it’d be interesting to hear from a teenager’s point of view.
Now let’s have some fun…what ONE item do you consider essential when it comes to packing for a road trip?
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