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Travel Tips: Stress-free Family Vacations

I’ve shared my organizing tips for business travel, but with summer coming, family vacations are on the calendar.

I like to apply my organizational skills to family vacations so that things move quickly and efficiently - and we have fun!

Family Vacation Organizing Tips

Preparation is the key to easy and fun travel.

Here are my top tips for stress-free family travel:

Pack ahead of time.

  • I start with a list of everything that I’ll need to remember, especially the items that are unique to our destination, such as sunscreen, hats, and walkie-talkies.
  • About a week before a big trip, I create stacks of outfits and other items for each child (and myself). I plan for each day of the entire trip so I won’t miss anything. There’s nothing worse than forgetting to pack a bathing suit for that one day at the pool!

Keep them entertained.

  • I was told many years ago that for travelling you should have one snack and one new toy or book per hour of travel for your children. I have made this a rule of thumb and when taking trips with the kids, I will pre-pack a backpack for each of them with a snack and new toy for each hour of flying or driving time. This is something they look forward to every time we go somewhere!

Stay together.

  • We’re a family of five so when we travel together, it would be very easy to lose someone. We combat this by wearing the same color shirts – usually bright red – so we can easily spot each other. It also makes it very easy to detect a runaway child when we see a bright red body streak across the room!

Organize the adults.

I also stay very organized so that I can focus on helping my kids while we're traveling, instead of stressing about my own packing needs. Here are some of my top adult traveler tips for navigating the airport easily:

  • I have my favorite ‘travel shoes’ that are easy to slip on and off – no tying required to get through airport security quickly!
  • All of my frequent flyer and hotel information is stored in my iPhone or iPad so I can discard all of the ‘cards’ that are bulky. My wallet is very thin now!
  • I have a small case that serves as my wallet, credit card holder, iPhone carrier and has a separate area for my ID to be quickly shown (without needing to pull it out for security).
  • I use my mobile device to download electronic boarding passes when available through the airline. I save on paper and I don’t have to fumble to find it at the airport.

What do you do to get organized for a big family trip, so that everything goes smoothly during your travels?

Tags: family, Ginny Snook Scott, organizing, packing, tips, travel