There were some things I was thankful I’d remembered to bring along on this trip, and they might not be at the top of the packing list, so I thought I’d share them with you today.
1) Rolls of coins: Our kids saved all their money from wintertime on, until we left for our trip. I put most of it on Visa gift cards for them, and left some in small bills. Most importantly, I took $10 from each of their savings and got a roll of quarters for each of them and 50 cents in pennies for each of them as well. I knew that they love the pressed penny machines that are often found in tourist locations, and that would make a great little souvenir for them. I did not want to have to be searching for one penny and two quarters times three kids at every stop though, so I was happy to have thought ahead and gotten the change for them. As they made their pressed pennies at each stop, they’d slide the finished penny right into their change purse.
2) Change purses: The change purses were an unexpected gift from our friend Gina in Florida who also made the quilted map I use each week to show you where my Cranston Herald articles are spotlighting. On the day before we left, the girls and I had our eyes open in every store we went to, looking for the perfect change purse to fit their small bills and their rolls of quarters and pennies. We could not find anything I thought was going to be right. I didn’t want anything too big, but yet most of what I was finding was really too small. We went home empty-handed, and that same day when we opened our mailbox, there was a package from Gina with change purses inside. She had no idea what I was looking for, and I had no idea she was sending these, but they have been a lifesaver the entire time on this trip and they were exactly what it was I was looking for. They are not too bulky, yet big enough to hold their money, and they are even labeled with their names so it was easy to grab them from my backpack and hand them out to the kids.
3) Postage and address labels: I knew our family would want to keep in touch throughout the trip by sending out postcards so I took a great idea from my cousin Valerie and I bought our postcard postage ahead of time. The last thing I wanted to be doing was searching for postage for postcards or for a post office. I also printed out address labels. We’d all work on the post cards to get them written out, but addressing them was easier using labels. This was a great system for us and I’d definitely recommend it.
4) Birthday supplies: We were celebrating a birthday while we were on the road, so I made sure to have our usual decorations, which consisted of streamers and the birthday banner we usually hang up each time a birthday rolls around. I also threw in some candles, just in case we needed them here, but we did not, since we celebrated with family at their houses and they had candles there.
5) Bills: Although we pay the majority of our bills online, there are a few that have to be mailed. If I had them in advance, I took them with me, but if I did not have them, I made sure to take a picture of the prior month’s bill so that I’d have it with me and have the account number and mailing address with me. I also made sure to have regular postage, blank envelopes, the login information for online billing, and our checkbook with me as well. Most campgrounds have a mailbox or will put your mail in their outgoing mail, so as long as I had my supplies I was all set.
6) Prescriptions: Our eye doctor recommended that we take paper prescriptions for all our glasses with us, just in case of an issue with any of our glasses breaking while we were away. We could replace them on the road, if need be. We also had to fill all of our monthly medication prescriptions early. This was very difficult (and costly) and one of the hardest things to do before we left. Additionally, I also made sure to have a list with me of all the medications we take, just in case we needed it.
I’m sure there are things that your family might need on their list that would be different from what is on our list, but hopefully these tips will help you plan for a future vacation of your own!