Day Trippin to Fire Island – A Packing List

Even with a simple day trip, getting 3 kids ready and on the road can be a huge undertaking. With my sights on lying on the beach in my lounge chair listening to my audio book, I was motivated.

Planning is key! I am a huge list maker and right now my favorite app is Google Keep. Why? So much of my life is integrated into Google, it just makes sense. While I have an iPhone, I can share information easily with my Android phone loving husband with ease. With checklists, color coordination and pinning abilities, it’s a great tool when packing for a road trip.

Where to start? Stay with me, but I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and try and picture your entire road trip step by step. I do this for every trip and I never miss anything.

FIRST, you’re in the car. What do you need when you’re in the car? How long will you be in the car? For this particular trip to Fire Island, I knew the ride was going to be an hour getting there and probably 1.5 hours going home at the height of weekend traffic as everyone is going home. Added to my Google Keep list:

  • DVDs for the in-car entertainment system and small handheld games like Cube-tastic! for the kids. We love that it balances a little of both live play (what I love) and interactive play through the app (what the kids love). I can do the compromise especially since this game teaches memorization, problem-solving skills and improves hand-eye coordination. EXCLUSIVE: Get 15% off Cubetastic at
  • download for the ride there, relaxing on the beach and tuning out on the ride home, my perfect escape as I immerse myself in the story. I love that you can download Audible audiobooks to your iPhone (or Android device), or tablets for easy on-the-go listening whether in the car or on the beach.

SECOND, At the destination, Fire Island in this case. I knew we would be gone all day. Despite the best planning, I knew there would be a lot of things I didn’t know as this was our first time visiting, so I was planning a lot around the unknown. What I did know was that Fire Island doesn’t allow cars, connecting only via ferry with limited baggage restrictions, many businesses on the island are cash only, unknown food situation (can be scary for an allergy family), going to a beach, come nightfall it gets a little cold, especially on the ferry ride home. Added to my list:

  • Emergency supplies like full a Med kit (Benadryl, epi-pens if needed, band-aids, alcohol wipes, antibiotic cream, Tylenol or Motrin) and super-durable, extra-thick, sun-resistant materials T-Rex Tape for our rickety old collapsible wagon and any quick repairs. You need to keep a roll of this triple layer, double thick duct tape handy, I just leave a roll in my car. There’s no job too big or too small for the ferociously strong T-Rex Tape.
  • Wagon (TIP: Get a collapsible one in case the ferry starts to limit cargo)
  • Cash (Enough for dock parking – $22/weekend day, ferry tickets – $19 RT/adult & $9 RT/child 2-11, cargo surcharge – $5+, tip, souvenirs and gifts, snacks and meals)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Easy to pack, portable snacks like delicious Chops Snacks Beef Jerky which is 100% all-natural and contain no preservatives, nitrites or MSG, all very important things to this parent. Bonus, it’s also made from USDA Choice & Select beef brisket. It’s the perfect salty snack to tie you over until mealtime as there’s (technically) no eating allowed on the beach, but what’s a little nibble on some jerky? EXCLUSIVE: Get 20% off your first order with Code 5CHN79Z7Q1BE at
  • Beach blanket
  • Beach Towels (TIP: One per person, plus 1. The “plus 1” is the only one you should use until the day is over. Let them sun dry for the most part and use the “plus 1” to pat dry and dust off sand on everyone throughout the day. Use the individual towels at the end of the day to clean off or dry off before heading home. They’ll appreciate the clean towel.)
  • Change of clothes and comb (a must-have for my curly-haired daughter post-beach hair that many pay a lot of money for but annoys her)
  • Water – Frozen (TIP: Fill a water bottle 1/2 full and freeze on it’s side. You can fill with cold water or drink prior to leaving)
  • Light jackets for the evening ferry ride home.

But first, BREAKFAST! Before we hit the road, a stop to IHOP is in order. To be honest, I don’t need much of a reason for an IHOP breakfast. Anyone who knows me, it’s the only place I’ll go to for breakfast because nothing beats an IHOP breakfast. My absolute favorite is the Swedish pancakes slathered in my lingonberry butter with eggs sunny side up so I can break it over my hash browns well done. With IHOP, home of the world-famous Original Buttermilk Pancakes (my second favorite), celebrating their 59th Anniversary on July 18th, they’re offering a short stack for only 59¢ from 7 to 7! You can bet I’m there! Find a participating IHOP at

Did step planning work for you? All my upfront planning made going home covered right from the start and a complete breeze.

{ disclosure: This is a sponsored post with BabbleBoxx introducing my readers to my “Road Trip Essentials” –, IHOP, T-Rex Tape & Chops Snacks through sampling and discounted services. As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own. }