Traveling with a family is always an adventure. Whether you are driving or flying, there are a few tips that can help make the packing less stressful and the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
- Make a list of what each child needs to pack. Give the kids the list and a grocery bag to put their stuff in. Then you can place their bags directly into your suitcase, after a quick mom check, of course! The bags help give division to all the stuff, especially small things like socks and underwear. Upon arrival at your destination, the kids can each pull out their bag and put it in their spot.
- Give each of the kids one backpack to take with their travel “entertainment”. All kids, ages four and up, can be responsible for packing their own backpack (feel free to make a few suggestions). If you are flying, it is important to also make them responsible for carrying their own backpack. This frees you up for more important things. If traveling by car, this helps keep the kids from over-packing and reduces the clutter in the car.
- Let the kids have a few snacks in their backpack. You might even give them a time span for the snacks. For example, “These are your snacks for the morning. I have more for you for after lunch.” This gives the kids responsibility for managing their food and it helps reduce excessive eating because of boredom. The best part is it takes you out of the the food loop. No more “Mom, I’m hungry”, “Mom, can I have…”, “Mom, will you pass the…”
- Ziplocs come in handy if your kids are packing a collection of small things, like Hot Wheels or Littlest Pet Shop, in their backpacks.
- If you want to be really organized, you can have the kids make a list of what they put in their backpack. This list can be helpful when you are leaving a destination.
- If you’re driving, try to limit the movies. They do help pass the time but remember we have a beautiful country that the kids will never see if they are always watching a movie.
- Bring maps and stop at the visitor centers along the way. The kids can explore all the brochures and learn about the area, even if you’re just passing through. Try to make time to enjoy the simple things along the journey. Sometimes those are the best memories your kids will have of your trip.