food & water:
Instead of spending your money in restaurants, put it towards gas for your next day trip! And pack easy-to-eat foods! Finger foods! Raw fruits and vegetables, crackers, popcorn, wraps, sandwiches, granola bars, etc. These are great for picnic-style and/or car eating.
extra extra food:
I don’t know why, but it seems we are always hungrier than we think we are going to be. My suggestion is pack what you think you’re going to eat, and then double it.
I pack wet washcloths in baggies for dirty hands and faces, corn starch/baby powder to get beach sand off of the kids before they get into the car. Also paper towels are a good idea, my two year old gets car sick once in a while.
I bring all the kids an extra set of clothes, you know, in case of car sickness. The temperature changes depending on if you are at the beach or in town. If you’re going to be out all day, it’ll also be colder in the evening. Nothing ruins fun like being chilled! So, pack those extra layers, and maybe long pants if you will be leaving the house in shorts.
Ya never know when you’re going to pass a lemonade stand, or a place will charge a couple bucks to get in.
wear the little ones:
The really young kiddos will get tired out easily. If you have an ergo, or other baby carrier, take that with you. It’s a nice place for a toddler to have a snooze. A lot of people may want to opt for a stroller, as wearing a child can be hard on the back. The great thing about wearing your baby is, you can go off roading! When your back gets tired, hand the baby off to another adult.
go with the flow:
Don’t get too hung up on “the plan”. Sometimes the kids don’t want to take a hike, they would rather stay on the beach. Sometimes they are fascinated with an area you didn’t plan on spending three hours at. But, hey! Just go with it.