1. Pack Light! With so many gadgets, toys, clothes, blankets, bedtime bears and favorite pillows to consider for the trip, it's easy to over pack. Very easy. Combat this by making a list for each family member, and sticking to it! Then, once every one's necessities are packed, allow each member of the family to pick ONE favorite item to take. It's not like you're leaving for good, it's a week!
Road Trip Tip: Clean and check the headlights and taillights. While giving the exterior some love, double check tires' air pressure and tread and look for nails or debris that could be potentially dangerous. You may want to invest in an air freshener too!
2. Snack Attack. Whether it's a hungry kid or a chatty Cathy, snacks will come in very handy. Skip the traditional sandwiches for bento box lunches to keep kids busy.
: Freeze small bottles of water and use them in the cooler instead of ice. The frozen bottles will keep things cool and the cooler from filling with melted ice water that sloshes back and forth with every turn, begging to pour out all over the floor of the car.
3. Floors Are For Feet Only. Let's face it, the floors can be valuable real estate when traveling, but not so great for the person losing the foot space. Free up the foot space by hanging bags on the back seat. Backpacks fit nicely over the 'shoulders' of the seat or secured by the headrest or airplane tray-table.
4. Check Your Tech. Before embarking on any trip, check your tech; make sure the camera has batteries, all phone, tablet and laptop batteries are fully charged and accessories are packed IN THE SAME BAG! When it comes to a crying kid over a dying tablet, the last thing you'll want to do is search four bags to find it. Keep all tech together for easy access.
5. Organization is KEY, especially when traveling with kids. Not only do you have to keep up with the kids, itinerary, tech, snacks, money and tickets, you have to stay a step a head of your kid's needs to avoid meltdowns! Needless to say, without stellar organization, trying to keep up with everything will cause you to have a major meltdown.
Road trip tip: Whether you're traveling with a child or not, invest in a box of baby wipes. The pre-moistened wipes clean messy faces and surfaces in a pinch, and without stinky harsh chemicals! Not to mention, those little wipes will be a lifesaver at those grimy roadside and airport bathrooms that haven't seen an attendant in at least a decade.
MOM TIP, I have a Global Travel Jacket that features huge pockets and lots of them, I pretty much empty my handbag into the various pockets. It's great for carrying EVERYTHING completely hands free. They are pretty cool. I have one and so does FTD.
Look at all of the features!
Last but not least, Be smart, Be Safe and use the buddy system as all times. Especially in large crowds.
What are your best tips for headache free family travel?