I travel all the time for business. I love to “go” and I will fly anywhere at any time. However, when traveling with my family, I become a different type of planner. Because when you travel with kids, you have to be prepared! Whether it’s one child or six kids, planning is the key to having a stress free vacation. Here are my best tips for traveling.
  • Checklists – A must! Make a checklist of all the items you have to do BEFORE you leave.
    • I usually type this on my phone on Notes app
    • Also, each child has a checklist too
    • We have a whiteboard in our kitchen, so I will handwrite some items here too
    • Since it’s a family trip, have your children involved, let them write their checklist out and put in their room so they have their chores too. Plus, this gives them responsibility in the planning.
  • Family meeting – yep it’s mandatory to discuss all the items we need to do before we leave on vacation (my boys don’t really like family meetings but Moka our puppy absolutely loves them) So Moka and I host the meetings and we try to make it as painless as possible. Moka helps because she does give kisses to anyone, unconditionally of course.
    • The goal of the family meeting is to get everyone prepared to go on vacation. Clean rooms, clean clothes, clean house, all the essentials before we leave right? Well, at least I try and usually my house is pretty cleaned before we leave. You got to have goals!
  • One bag per person please – One of the most critical tips I can share with you – is each person has their own bag or suitcase. Don’t try to share, it becomes complicated and creates stress!
  • Have snacks on you at all times when traveling! Seriously, we have bottled water and snacks with us about everywhere we go.
  • Baby wipes a must. As soon as I hand my son the coke bottle, he squeezed it and boom, sugary coke everywhere on him and me. After it dries it becomes super sticky and then you know what happens “Mommy, my hands are sticky. Mommy, my hands are sticky. Mommy, my hands are sticky.” You get the point. Reduce your stress and bring baby wipes regardless of their age.
  • Honey do checklist – my husband usually has one for the house, items he needs to do before we leave. For example; turn thermostats down, empty cat boxes, change air filters, have neighbors get mail, etc. Prepare your home for being gone. He has a handwritten checklist in our kitchen; he marks off items as he completes them. This would be the old fashion way but very reliable system to say the least.
  • Travel Comfort – If driving I always pack blankets and pillows. You just never know what can happen on the road, trust me bring them and they will be used.
  • Electronics critical mission – first he week before, download whatever everyone needs. Movies, TV shows, books, etc. Get them downloaded. Make sure everything is charged up the night before! The day of make sure you pack everyone’s electronics and chargers.
    • My son has his own small bag for his headsets, phone, kindle and chargers. This way he or I can carry it.
    • I have my own bag as well, with all my items too so we don’t get confused whose is who’s. Use different colors or put names on bags for each child but important they each have their own. When they are young I held onto them when traveling but as Dax got older, he carries it and makes sure everything is in it before we leave. Plus, kids need to be responsible for their items!
  • Credit Cards/Cash – Call the bank in advance to let them know where you are traveling. Instate or out of state it doesn’t matter. Make the call. Also, always have cash.
  • Get the car ready – my hubby usually gets it all cleaned up inside and out before we leave. This is such a blessing, we all feel better in a clean car. And a full tank of gas too.
  • Check the weather – I use my weather app and put in the location that we are going to and check the 10 day weather to make sure that I am prepared. If it rains, I will bring cards, games and load up movies on the iPad or kindles. If it’s sunny and fun, swimsuits, balls and games for the water or sand.
  • Pet patrol – Moka (usually with her cousins, Shari’s dogs) have to go to doggie daycare for a few days. However, I have been lucky to have some college student’s stay at the house to watch our animals. Whatever works best for you but make sure you have it planned in advance.
Again, this is overall travel, whether you are taking a car or a plane to get to your family vacation. These tips will help you start your vacation stress free and hopefully remain that way the entire time so you can enjoy your children and your partner, to just have fun and see your family relax and stress free too. Enjoy and always remember, make a checklist before you go!

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