Now before I get started, these are things that have worked for MY family. We are a unique bunch with varying ages and LOTS of children. This is an eat the fish and leave the bones situation. Take the things that are helpful and leave the things that aren’t. Do this with ALL my posts!
Okay here we go!
- Start a packing list on Google Sheets. DOWNLOAD THIS APP ON YOUR PHONE. This is seriously a game changer and gets your husband involved. I have a whole highlight on Instagram on showing exactly how I do it, so check it out if you’re more visual. Start this list a week before you leave, you’ll be adding to it all week as you go through your day and remember things you forgot. I make each column a separate category like linens, food, each person of your family, etc. THEN, and this is the killer, share it with your spouse!!! That way you both can be packing together! My husband will help me pack IF I give him direction. Team work!
- Don’t pack a lot of food. If you are going to a place where there is a grocery store, then don’t waste space packing food. Just go to the grocery store when you get there. When you have kids, they bring LOTS of stuff and all space is priceless.
- Bring a sound machine for the kids room. When we travel, all my kids usually end up sleeping in the same room. Having a good (loud) sound machine is SUPER helpful to drown out extra noise- especially if older kids are coming in later. It’s also helpful to drown out the noise outside the room when there are more people in the house than normal. We use this one!
- Pack snacks and screens for the car. When you’re stuck in the car with your entire family for hours, this is not the time to get strict with snacks and screens. We got our kids these Amazon tablets and you can download movies/ shows/ games/ books for them to enjoy on the drive. Just don’t forget to download them! You can download from pretty much anywhere: Disney Plus, Netflix, and Prime are our go to. And who does road trips without snacks? Just try not to give a lot of liquids at the beginning or you’ll be stopping a million times.
- Bring your own water bottles. You what isn’t in beach houses? Cups with lids. Bringing the kids water bottles will solve the problem and they seem to keep up with them better. I like to also buy a gallon of water at the grocery store to refill their bottles because who likes beach water?!
- Bring a small container of laundry detergent. If you’re staying in a house or condo that has a washer and dryer, USE THEM. I try to get as much laundry done before I leave that way I can just repack the kids clothes in the correct suitcase and THEY can put it away. Otherwise I’m going home with a ton of laundry that I will be washing, drying, folding, and putting away. If I don’t, I’ll use a laundry service like 2U Laundry when I get back.
- If you have a child sleeping in a pack and play, get a mattress! Holy moly. I never knew to buy a pack and play mattress until my 4th kid. He is the WORST traveler and never sleeps well. When I got the mattress, it significantly helped how long he slept. Who would have thought?! Silly me. We got this one!
- Leave the stroller at home. Unless you’re going on a trip that you know you’ll be walking a lot like Disney, then just leave the stroller at home. I like to take my ergo. Takes up SO much less space and you’re still completing the task of transporting your kid. We also LOVE this wagon that completely folds up. We stuff it full of kids and beach toys when we go to the beach.
- Melatonin. Now obviously check with your pediatrician before giving this to your children. I give this to mine on vacations because everyone is so wired and falling asleep is difficult. This helps everyone go to sleep quickly and get good rest for the vacation. I use this!
- Give yourself grace and ask for a break when you need it. For me traveling is fun, but exhausting. My dad always says that when mothers travel, it just a change in scenery. It will be harder because you won’t have kids that sleep well, they will be more wired, nap schedules will be way off, etc. Just do your best and communicate when you needs breaks. We are only human. We need rest too!
Hope these were helpful!