Since the holidays are approaching we thought we would share some of our traveling tips that we have picked up over the years. We have not lived in the same town as our families since we have been married. Therefore, most major holidays, some minor holidays, and a few weekends in between we are on the road. Thankfully our kids are wonderful travelers! They have been doing it since birth and so it is a normal part of their lives.
Little by little I have been working on making our packing and traveling go more smoothly. Since we do it about every month to month and a half I want it to be quick and efficient. Of course, my husband reminds me that there is a Walmart in all the locations that we frequent, but it just kills me to buy something that I know I have 6 of at home! The one time I didn’t feel bad was when I had to buy long sleeve shirts and pants for my girls for a July balloon festival that end up being abnormally cold. Who would have guessed a cold front would come through in the middle of the summer?
So that was an exception, but to prevent me from forgetting simple things like underwear and toothpaste… I made myself a checklist. (Again, my type-A personality coming through 🙂 ) I sat down and thought about all of the stuff that I take every time we travel and made a list. I listed all the different articles of clothes and toiletries we take. Then I went on to make a list of all the electronics, medications, supplies and miscellaneous stuff that always seems to find a place in our car.
This has helped decrease the stress involved with packing 6 people. It has eliminated some of the thinking involved in traveling, freeing up brain space to focus on other things. There is also less chance of me forgetting things, which is a plus to my pocket book!
Now that my girls are older I have taught them how to pack themselves. I started this past year when they were 5 and 7. I printed off their check list and filled in the quantities that they should gather. The first couple of times I walked them through the different items. I explained how to pick out outfits and how to make sure they had pants that matched the shirts they picked out. Since they have been dressing themselves for several years this concept was easier for them to pick up.
Now I will say it is important that you are willing to take what they have picked out. If you change every outfit that they pick out, you will discourage them from doing this or at least doing it with a good attitude. If there is an event that we are going to that I do care what they wear, like a wedding, then I either pick it out or pick it out with them. For the most part though, I let them choose their outfits. My four year old son, Luke is now helping with his packing. The girls have to read him the checklist but he is able to get all but his dress clothes packed. It is heavenly! Once I get Jacob trained I will be back to just packing my clothes, and that will be a glorious day!!
Since the holidays are coming up it might be a good idea to take a free afternoon and make yourself a checklist. Trust me, it will make your packing go a lot smoother and with a lot less stress!! You can use my printables as a guide to make your own.
Here are our clothes and accessories packing printables:
For the next two Thursdays we will give our packing tips on snacks and toys for the road trip.
Let us know what packing tips you have!