Growing up in my family we often lived away from at least one side of our extended family. My mom grew up in Pennsylvania and my dad in Indiana. We lived in both states at one point, and eventually settled in South Carolina for about 10 years.
Because of all the moving and traveling my mom became quite a seasoned planner and packer when it came to trips. Vacations and trips were always fun and relatively stress free because of how she planned for each one. Obviously, there were bumps in the road sometimes, but we steered clear of anything as chaotic as Home Alone.
In a phone conversation this week I asked my mom what her top tips are for young moms when traveling. They are listed below. I will interject here and say that she was incredible at getting us kids involved. If you want your children to be independent and take some of the stress off of you in the future teach them young. Let them get in the way when they are toddlers and when they are 5,6, or 10 you won't have to worry about packing their clothes or tying their shoes. When you have 5 kids in 6.5 years like my mom independent children are not something to take for granted.
8 Hot Travel Tips
- Plan a day to clean before you leave. There is nothing quite so comforting as coming home to a clean house. If there is no time to clean, because lets be real, sometimes there isn't, at least clean up and vacuum floors.
- Pack age appropriate games, books, and activities for long drives. We used to save new magazines for upcoming trips. Other travel games to play include the ABC game, the License Plate game (track all of the license plates you see to collect as many states as possible), and sometimes the adults may need a good game of Little Red School House for some peace and quiet.
- Packing can be a monster. Create a packing list for kids old enough to pack their own clothes. Help older kids to create a list and pack their suitcases independently. Be specific with what you will need each day so kids can just read the list and check it off. If you plan to leave early, have suitcases packed but open to throw in last minute items such as toiletries. Pack a separate bag for a one night stays at motels. Keep toiletry bags stocked at all times so you can grab and go when its time to travel. Make sure to keep your travel clothes out and ready to go in the morning.
- Pack a snack bag of favorite snacks that are special only for trips. We always got Twizzlers, chicken and biscuit crackers, and six packs of drinks. This cuts down on the need to stop constantly for food.
- Everyone brings their own pillow, because you sleep better even when traveling. If you're child has a favorite blanket or cozy, keep a duplicate in a travel bag. In the event that it is lost on the trip, their favorite one will be waiting for them back at home.
- If you stay overnight at a hotel always do a walkthrough to make sure nothing was left behind. This is also something older kids can help with.
- Make rest area stops fun by racing each other to see who can get out to the vehicle first. This gets the wiggles out as well as reducing stop times.
- Be safe at stops, and pair your kids up with each other. Don't let them wander off and count heads when your back in the vehicle.
My mom used to use whatever notepad was available around the house for our lists. You can do this too, or you can use the handy dandy notes section in the back of our Studio 331 Planner. There is so much space to write multiple lists for multiple trips. Just one more way this little planner can help you stay organized in your lovely, lovely life.