5 Sanity Saving Hacks For Family Holiday Travel

After dragging my son around the world and back, I feel pretty solid about sharing a few tips for meltdown free family travel. So, if you're dreading heading to Grandmas for the Holidays, or even trading bitter temperatures for warm sands, I can help make the trip not suck, because regardless of the mode of transportation or destination, one thing remains the same, the kids are coming and you need to prepare. 

1. Pack as light as possible. Between the gadgets, toys, clothes, blankets, bedtime bears and favorite pillows, it's easy to over pack. Very easy. Combat this by making a list of essentials for each family member, and stick to it. It's not like you're leaving for good, it's a week! 

Road Trip Tip: Check to make sure the headlights and taillights are working. Give em' a wipe while you're at it. 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 kid, snacks will come in very handy.  Skip the traditional sandwiches for bento box lunches to keep kids busy.  Also, have a bribe treat. The go-to to your kid won't turn down. Like a scooby-snack. This is your miracle worker. Don't leave home without it.

Road trip snack TIPFreeze small bottles of water and use them in the cooler instead of ice. The frozen bottles will keep things cold and the cooler from filling with melted ice 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. When in flight, slip things over the back of the tray table to free floor space.

4. Check Your Tech. Before embarking on any trip, check your tech; replace the batteries in your camera, charge everything, and bring a car charger. Pack all tech stuff 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. 

5. Set expectations very low. With all the planning, comes high expectations. Kill them. Now. Expect everything to go wrong. Make sure the children think they are on their way to hell and it will take hours to get there. The lower the expectations and understanding that shit happens, the happier everyone will be. 

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.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com