I was just watching a segment on the Today Show about relaxing on family vacation… That seems like wishful thinking with my brood- although that is exactly what I am hoping for. I never went on a family vacation as a child, so they are super important to me now. I think family vacations create memories that will last a lifetime. It’s about quality time for us, checking out of our day-to-day routines, exploring different environments, and enjoying each other—but only if they are organized! This goes for any trip btw (car trips, stay-cations, sleepovers, etc.) I do not want this summer adventure to be frustrating or exhausting so I am prepping everything I can.
I am in the process of packing for SIX!!! This is what my scene looks like, and trust me, it is a week long prep! Check out my packing zone!
I went to a luggage store, bought one full set of the same luggage in different colors so we have one matching set to identify on the many baggage belts that we will be visiting; the worst part of our trip. I HATE airports. I am giving each of my children one suitcase for their clothes and necessities They each have their own toiletry case. I am teaching my older girls how to pack that sensibly, with travel size products, only what you need, and nothing short of that. I like them to keep this case packed so it’s ready to grab for any sleepover as well. I actually keep a toiletry case ready to go with an extra set of all my essentials, one less thing to worry about. As women we can spend many hours preparing our beauty necessities…
There are some great “Pack This Lists” that can be really helpful for the kids. I feel like a packing pro since I spent most of my life living out of a suitcase during my Wild On stint. But I do make my own reminder list and check it twice!
So here are some tips that have saved me…
All beauty necessities are in small travel size containers. I often use shampoo/conditioner sample packages (saves lots of room and weight. Most skin care companies have sample packages, just ask.
My vitamins and prescriptions are places in ziplock baggies, or even better, in daily compartment containers in case you get travel brain and forget what day it is.
I put all my electronics, chargers, batteries, cords, etc in their own bag for easy access.
I lay all my clothes out and roll them. This is how military guys pack. It saves lots of room and wrinkles. Another great trick is to keep your plastic dry cleaner bags and pack your nicer clothes in them. The plastic keeps them wrinkle free.
Bring an extra foldable thin bag for dirty clothes; a pillowcase will do the trick.
Pack light. A great rule my ex taught me is after packing, unpack 25% of it! Everyone packs too much!
I give all my kids their own bag so they can keep their stuff organized. This also limits sibling rivalry. There usually isn’t enough space with my brood for everyone to have their own drawer, so the suitcase becomes their cubby.
Take hats that can roll and use sarongs instead of towels. They act as a cover up, save lots of room in your beach bag, and dry much faster than towels do. Don’t forget your beach bag!
Bring a journal to document favorite places, things and memories.
Label everything. Mabel’s Labels makes great tags for the kids.
If your luggage is common, tie a bright colored ribbon around it to identify it on the baggage belt. This will also keep someone else from grabbing it accidentally.
Layer clothes instead of packing bulky items. Layers are just as warm. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes.
I do have a homemade first aid kit with the obvious stuff, children’s fever reducers, cortisone, band aids, tweezers, favorite medicines, Emergen-c packs, bug bite cream, flashlight, etc. All the stuff I may need in a pinch is in there.
Don’t forget to check your government documents. I didn’t check one, and it was it was a disaster!!! Horrible experience with an expired passport. You can read all about it in my book. I have to save some of my drama for that!
Remember: Anything you forget can be purchased. Breathe, don’t stress and don’t let packing get the best of you. Just get organized. Oh ladies, you don’t need a different pair of shoes for every day! Yeah, right!!!