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  • Writer's pictureJenna van Bentum

Packing For A Christmas Road Trip

I have a lot of family that don’t live in Sydney which means we are often travelling to visit them. Most of my extended family live in Adelaide, so we travel there fairly often and sometimes we spend Christmas there to. We drove over to Adelaide for Christmas last year and I know your all thinking ‘why drive?!’ It does help having the car while we are there and easier to transport gifts!

Even when you have the car you still need to be conscious of space when it comes packing and gifts. I remember that last year my husband bought me a new food processor for Christmas, but instead of packing the huge box he just wrapped up one of the parts and only brought that. It was fun opening my random piece of my food processor and nice knowing I had a new toy to use when we got home! That works great for adults but not so great for kids!

So how do we do Christmas road trip style?

First of all, our ‘Elf on the Shelf’ had made two busy bags for the kids to enjoy in the car. Elf had them at the bottom of the Christmas tree the morning that we left with a card saying farewell until next year. Inside the bags were:

  1. Colouring Books

  2. Their iPads loaded with a couple of new apps and movies

  3. Snacks (special treats like character cookies, muesli bars etc.)

  4. Small lego sets with a container to use it in

  5. Christmas story book

  6. Matchbox car

  7. Stickers

  8. Glow sticks


I love to pick a theme for gifts, it makes it easier to brainstorm and shop. For example – if road tripping to the beach then why not go with a beach theme for gifts? At least you know its stuff that you can use on the trip.

Here are some gift ideas that are fun, pack well and/or usable on your trip.

  1. Body board (its flat and lays well on top of everything)

  2. Beach towels

  3. Swimmers

  4. Beach toys (Wahu brand are great)

  5. Snorkel and goggles

  6. Coloured zinc

  7. Coloured hairspray or hair chalk

  8. Puzzles and games (Uno is a fav)

  9. Bike (if boxed then wait and build it when you get there and the kids are asleep, but don’t forget to check what tools to bring)

  10. Bike helmets (don’t pack old ones and let Santa save the day with new ones!)

  11. iTunes cards to buy movies, apps, music etc.

  12. Dress ups (they pack flat)

  13. Small toys (Shopkins, matchbox cars, Sylvanian Families, Character figurines, Barbie)

  14. Pajamas (We often get new PJs on Christmas Eve)

  15. Water pistol

  16. Coloring books

  17. Thongs/Flip Flops

  18. Summer clothes

  19. Character undies! (My kids love them)

  20. Bucket and spade sets (Kmart do great ones)

  21. Remote control car

  22. Lego (also pack zip lock bags for storage)

  23. Headphones

  24. Smoothie cups (I found cute character ones)

  25. Magnadoodle

  26. Etch-a-sketch

  27. Think of a ‘Family Gift’. Something that everyone can enjoy. (Ours this year has 4 legs and came early! ??)

The list is endless, but I hope these give you some ideas.

Wrap and pack gifts into a suitcase and keep it locked! When it’s time to leave, put the whole suitcase in and the kids would have no idea what is inside. Don’t forget to pack the Christmas stockings/sacks and extra wrapping paper incase you need to add to the pile.

If the kids are worried that Santa won’t know where they are this Christmas then leave a little note to put their minds at ease. Maybe even put in a handful of decorations to decorate a tree branch in place of a Christmas tree. Be creative!

It is possible to keep the magic of Christmas alive even when travelling, it just takes a little more thought and planning. I hope this helps you get a start on the silly season!

~Merry pre-Christmas~


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I like to keep things simple. Not complicated. Just well thought out. Anything to make a flight more enjoyable for the kids and for us as parents too. I also like my kids learning how to be self-suffi

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