Sometimes, the family road trip is a whole lot more peaceful in theory than in reality... more >>
Packing TipsStreamlined Packing
In the wise words of Ben Franklin, time is money. This fact is not lost on you. Well – at least in most areas of your life. But when it comes to packing your family for a weekend trip, your process-management skills sometimes fade into a tornado of strewn nappies and Bugaboo accoutrements. Packing can feel like it takes longer than the trip itself. But here to help are a few quick tips to help you minimize prep time and maximize vacation time:
1. Create a master packing list for each member of the family. Note each person’s essentials, customize lists for each type of destination (i.e. balmy island vs. ski trip) and then save it online.
- Reality check: Baby’s list will be longer than yours. That’s OK. Don’t skimp on the daily necessities here. The more prepared you are up front, the less you’ll have to try and figure out how to handle a diaper malfunction without a wardrobe change.
2. Ship some things ahead of time. If you order from Amazon.com or Diapers.com, bulky items like diapers, wipes and snacks can be waiting at your home away from home.
- Reality check: If you can’t ship, pack what is absolutely necessary for the trip, and then buy or rent the rest upon arrival. Think of it as an opportunity to explore a new area. Who knew foreign supermarkets could be so interesting?
3. Eagle Creek pack-it cubes keep everything organized – you can stash dirty clothes in the back of the two-sided cubes for your return trip. Every family member can have a designated color and they come in different sizes for different-sized humans.
4. Limit everyone to one outfit per day; you can mix and match as needed. If you’re going away for a long time, take full advantage of the laundry service.
- Reality check: If your destination doesn’t offer laundry service, pack a laundry kit with scent-free detergent and dryer sheets.
5. Keep a stock of travel-sized containers of your favorite baby-safe staples.
6. Think of your carry-on as an emergency backup bag in the case of delays, in-flight accidents or lost luggage. Stash an extra outfit for everyone, a few extra diapers and travel pack of wipes (they serve many purposes), essential feeding and cleaning needs, medicine, entertainment and a first aid kit.
- Reality check: Don’t forget an iPad, favorite book or stuffed animal to keep everyone distracted and happy en route.
7. Ditch the diaper bag and grab a large tote that can fit your wallet, passports and essential documents, diapers and wipes, bottles/cups, iPad and snacks. Less is more when it comes to hauling bags and babies.
8. Utilize your little helpers. Pack one backpack per kid with everything they need for the plane or car. (New toys wrapped as “presents” make this extra fun).
9. Plastic sealable baggies in all sizes really come in handy. You can use your imagination to identify the moments in which you’d want to isolate a smell. Just carry lots.
10. Include copies of all travel documents in carry-on and packed luggage. And with that, packing will become as natural and easy as, say, raising funds during a financial crisis.