The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Katie at Organizing Moms.
Are you planning a family trip this summer? Traveling with family can be so much fun, and it’s a great way to spend time together. However, preparing for travel with kids can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task.
We don’t live close our families, so we have traveled with our kids a lot. Through the process of trial and error, I’ve learned some things that have helped us streamline the process of traveling with our children.
Preparing for Travel With Kids – Tips & Tricks
1. Create a packing list on your computer. This has saved us countless hours of planning and mental energy. We have a packing list saved on our computer as a Word document. Each time we start to get ready for a trip, we take a look at the list, change what we need to, and print it off. This was especially helpful when our children were infants. and we had a lot of baby gear. Laura also has a free printable Family Travel Checklist you can print and use.
2. Lay out complete outfits for everyone. Put together outfits with shirts, bottoms, undergarments, socks, and anything else that’s needed to complete the outfit. That way you’ll know you have enough clothing for the duration of your trip.
3. Put each outfit into a gallon zip-top baggie and label them. I label our baggies with the first initial of each child’s name. Children who are old enough to identify letters can find their own outfits in the suitcase while you’re traveling. This cuts down on time spent searching for clothes, and keeps clothing less wrinkled.
I also create a separate zip-top baggie and label it “PJs” for pajamas.
4. Store as many items as you can in baggies to protect them from leaks or damage. While traveling bottles can explode, spills happen, and suitcases can be left on the tarmac during a rainstorm. If you have your items stored in baggies, there’s less of a chance of your things being ruined.
5. Pack the things you’ll need first, last. That way, the items you’ll need right away will be on top when you open your suitcase. I like to pack my pajamas and toiletries last so we can get to them right away when we reach our destination.
6. Put dirty clothing back into baggies after wearing them. It helps to cut down on suitcase stickiness and keeps everything less cluttered. This is especially helpful if you won’t have a chance to wash clothes on your trip.
7. Keep all of your travel documents together in a slim folder or slash pocket, and put them in your carry-on or purse. Then you can access them when checking in or picking up tickets.
8. Let kids carry their own backpacks. If they’re old enough to do this, they can keep their own jackets, books, and some toys in their own bags. It cuts down on the number of the things you have to carry, and kids love being in charge of their own special bag.
Because we’ve streamlined our planning process, and taught our children some of our family travel processes, traveling with our kids has become so much easier. It took a little more work up front to make a packing list and carefully pack our suitcases, but it has been well worth the effort.
Katie is a loving wife and stay-at-home mom to busy twin boys. She is passionate about making life at home more manageable through simple organizing solutions. Her love for organizing has spilled over into her popular blog, organizingmoms.com, where she shares realistic organizing solutions for busy moms. In addition to her love for all things organized, she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.