5-4-3-2-1 Road Trip packing ETA: striped top option?

Next week, we're taking a 12 day road trip, sight-seeing all the way from Eastern Nebraska to Los Angeles.  We're fitting eight people in an eight-passenger mini-van, so there's not lots of room to spare.  I made the following packing list for my kids:

5 undies
4 tops (three short and one long sleeved)
3 bottoms (two shorts or skirts, one long pants)
2 shoes (one sandals, one close-toed)
1 jacket

Additionally, there will be a bag with a "nice" outfit for each of us (to wear to the wedding we're going to), and a bag for PJs, and a bag for swimwear.

We are planning to do laundry at least once, probably twice.

I'm trying to adhere to the same guidelines I gave the kids (it's not easy!)

Tops:  red, blue and gray.  All ones that I don't mind if they get ruined or stained, they're comfy and breathable.  Still deciding on the long sleeved top.  I should probably go with something sweater-like for frigid A/C situations, but I want to be able to layer it over my short-sleeved ones here... Hmm...

Bottoms: gray jeans (most comfy, don't mind if they get ruined), and navy capris (also comfy, and don't mind if they get ruined).  Trying to decide on a third bottom - maybe the gray sporty capris, or the black more polished capris?  Or maybe a skirt?  Not sure.  Should I consider blue jean capris?

Jacket: I'm not sure:  I want to take my blue denim (I'll probably wear it with my swim suit), but I'm also kinda wanting either my pink sporty jacket or my orange denim jacket, to provide some color in an otherwise pretty drab capsule.

Shoes: These Dansko sandals and my runners.  I may cheat an throw in my keens (they're red), since they're good for water.  I also have these black water shoes.... decisions, decisions...

I'll be taking my black belt, so that I have something bookend my shoes, since I'm taking nothing else black...  (Maybe I should reconsider that too...)

#1 The three tops with gray jeans
#2 ditto, with navy capris
#3 potential gray capris
#4 black capris
#5 pink jacket
#6 jean jacket
#7 orange jacket

What are your thoughts?  Advice?  What's a good third "bottom"? And what's a good jacket?  Will I be terribly bored with this few clothes?  Is there an easy way to infuse something bright into this mix?

Whoa.  I wrote a book.  Kudos to you if you read this far.

ETA: See a few comments down for a striped top option with each of these bottoms....

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  • replied 7 years ago

    I think your outfits look perfect! Easy, comfortable, but not sloppy.

  • Glory replied 7 years ago

    very nice. I love the pop of colour in the denim jacket. what dress did you decide on for the wedding - I think I missed the end decision. 

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Thanks Kate and Glory!

    I'm wearing the red twist dress for the wedding.  I'll post a pic of it once I have the accessories (necklace) assembled too.  :)

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    And just remembered that I should bring a bag too!  Ack!  what bag to bring?  I'm leaning toward my white one, because it's bright.  Or my red cross-body one (which is a bit too small if I'm going to carry my camera in it, but I could minimize into it, I think)....

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Ami, you are one of our ruling queens of the semi-tuck, and wow, does it give your outfits a modern twist. Well done! 

    I think this is a super travel capsule. (And I admire how you get your kids to do their own packing.)

    For your third bottom, it depends on your activities. Will you be camping or hiking/ hanging out at the beach? Then the casual capris. Will you be sightseeing? Then the more polished ones. 

    Can your orange jacket be used as a cover up at the beach in the way your denim one could? It looks like a denim style jacket. In that case, you could possibly just take that, if you're limited to one? But it won't work (I don't think) with your red top -- though I might be wrong. 

    For a pop of colour, can you sneak in a scarf? I am also longing for you to take that striped top....when I was away for weeks on end, I wore my stripes to death; somehow they really cheered me up. 

  • Liz A. replied 7 years ago

    Have you thought about a lighter colored casual sandal for your updated wardrobe?  Maybe lower profile?

  • shevia replied 7 years ago

    No kudos to you for looking so stylish while contemplating a 12 day road trip! I won't make suggestions because trip packing for the family is a subject I try to avoid thinking about as long as possible!

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago

    I was all for recommending the black capris, but Suzanne is right, it depends on what you need. They do look really nice though and might be good for when you want to be a bit less casual.

    The orange jacket looks *really* good. Maybe you could wear the red top when you don't need a jacket!

    I am in awe at your elegant, minimal, organized wardrobe plan for the children.

    You look breezy and confident and very pretty in your pics!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Great idea to take the orange as my only jacket.  I'll try it on with my swim suit and take a pic.

    Suz and Adelfa - my activities will be pretty much split - hiking and beach-ing for at least 6 of the days, sightseeing for  3-4 of the days.  I think I'll try to get away with taking both, maybe... (I have to wear something, right?  And I can still pack three bottoms, right?  tee hee hee)

    Suz, I wanted the striped top too, but somehow it started seeming shaped rather maternity-like after trying it on with these bottoms. What do you think?  Should it displace any of the ones up there?  (Will the black/white stripes with navy look weird?  Are the cap sleeves making my arms look fat?)

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    Eight folks in a van.  Yowza.  I'd need a "mom-pod."  You know:  a special trailer pulled at the rear.  For me.  By myself.  Alone! 

    Seriously, you'll have a great time and make lots of memories!  I like Suz's idea of the orange jacket and scarf.  I'm not sure, however, how a waist length jacket "covers up a bathing suit?  I mean, what about the, er, bottom half? I use a knit dress from Target as a cover up.  It doubles as P.J's when I travel.

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Brilliant idea Beth-Ann - a knit dress cover up to double as PJs.  I must go look through my knit fabric to see if this can happen.

    I'm thinking mostly that the jacket would be to stop the sunburn when it starts, and probably would be paired with the gray capris or something....  Good point about wanting to cover my bottom half too.

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Wow, that is a hardcore road trip! I think you did really, really well considering your restrictions. I do like the striped top and don't think it would look bad with navy.

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I think I would take the striped shirt to add some pattern into your capsule.  Do you have any shorts for the third bottom?  It may be hot in CA.  I like road trips (even with my kids) - I hope you have fun!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    These are my only shorts.  They're linen, and I thought they looked sloppy.  (Not to mention that they're pretty yellow for all the cool colors I'm taking along).  The gray sporty capris are just as cool, I think.  A skirt is cooler though, and really the "right" choice for really hot weather, in my opinion....  But I'm told that June is a "cool" month by my Aunt in LA.  And we're only in Arizona (where it's reported to be over 100) for a day...

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    Your shorts are so long that I think you're right that the capris will be just as cool and the color is better for your planned tops.

    I'm just curious, but why are you assuming all your clothes will be ruined/stained on this trip?  I don't seem to have problems when we travel with my clothes getting ruined, so I'm wondering what sort of activities you have planned that would make that a consideration.  I have two kids, not five, so maybe that plays into it somehow?

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    You will fit right in with us locals!

    I personally would like a skirt as my third bottom, but all depends on personal prefs.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I think the stripes will work really well. I wear navy and black together all the time (when one is stripes and the other not) and it seems to be pretty good. 

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Good question Sarah - and I'm not sure that I have a good answer.  We'll be hiking, playing in the dirt plenty, and in my mind, the red Arizona dirt is especially staining....  :)

    Also, I have a pretty hard time keeping my clothes clean any time my kids are around :)

    Thanks for the help on my packing list!  I do think I'll take the stripes, and I'm trying to work out an opportunity to sneak out to look at fabric or thrift stores before we leave too.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Now this is amazing! You've done a fab job. The only thing I can comment on is the Arizona leg of your journey. If you are in the car and the sun is shining in on you, it will feel like it's burning you, now matter how much your A/C is blasting (but it's not b/c all auto glass has a UV screen). I carry a white cloth napkin (Edit: serviette, serviette for any Britishers out there, I'm so sorry if I grossed anyone out.) in my glovebox to spread on my lap or chest or arm to combat this. I'm guessing you don't have heavily tinted windows, lol!

  • cjh replied 7 years ago

    Your Trip wardrobe looks fab! I know you are budget minded, but one thing I always remind myself is, if something gets ruined or, heaven forbid, lost, there are stores across the land! :-)

    Great idea on taking a white cloth, Claire. I do that also, and we never leave the Midwest. I take white flour sack towels- don't forget your kids may like to have something like that in the back, too. And if needed, they can be soaked with water to wash off or cool off sweaty kiddos, or wipe up spills, blood, etc. Oh, maybe your kids don't fight...

    Have a wonderful trip!

  • amiable replied 7 years ago

    Yes cjh (and Sarah) - that's really the essence of my packing choices - I don't want to have to care or worry about any of my clothes.  If it gets stained, torn or lost - I don't mind.  I don't want to take something I would be especially sad to lose :)

    And great idea on the white cloths - I'm adding those to my shopping list.

    (I'm definitely secretly hoping that enough gets ruined that we have to stop at a store somewhere :)  )

  • replied 7 years ago

    Heh! I like your thinking. If these are your disposable clothes, they only get a one-way ticket. 

  • Adelfa replied 7 years ago

    It will be a grand adventure!  Have fun.

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