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Any parent knows that traveling with children can be very stressful. However, it can be even more stressful during the summer season as you have so much more to remember than just the children.
As a mother myself, I know that, during the summer months, it’s impossible to completely eliminate the stress – especially if the summer plans involve travel. However, with the tips below, you should be able to reduce your stress to a manageable level when you do have to travel during this busy season with your kiddos in tow.
Pack Ahead of Time: One of the biggest mistakes many mothers make is that they wait until the last minute before they begin packing for their upcoming trip. This will naturally cause you more stress and make you feel more rushed before your trip. Plus, it never fails. One very important item (the charger for a phone or a DS) will go missing requiring a full-on search of the house. Therefore, a good thing to do is pack your children’s clothing at least 3 days before your actual trip. One the suitcases have been packed, tuck them away until the night before you leave.
Make a List: At least 6 days before you leave, you need to make a list of everything that you must bring with you on your trip. This includes medications, snacks, toys, accessories, travel directions, etc…write it all down! There will probably be a few things that don’t make your list at this time, but when you think of something be sure to add it to the list. Then, as things get packed, check them off.
Pack the Car the Night Before: Many people wait until the last minute to pack the car. While it may seem like the best thing to do, it really will just add to your stress. This is why you should pack your car the night before you leave. If you’re worried about someone breaking in and stealing your valuables, then you can always save those until the next morning. However, when your vehicle is packed and ready to go the night before (mostly), you will be able to concentrate and focus on other important tasks before you leave the house.
Bring Plenty of Toys and Activities: If you are going to be going on a long road trip with your children, bring lots of toys and activities to keep them entertained. You may remember my post a week ago about Fun Travel Games for Kids and this would be the time to have a “game plan.” If your children are young, then it’s a good idea to pick up a few new toys at your local Dollar Store and keep them hidden until you’re on the road. To make them last longer, only hand one out every so often during your trip.
Allow Plenty of Time: The most important thing you can do during your summer travels is to give yourself extra time to reach your destination. In addition to extra traffic, there will also be unexpected events when you travel with children. So, give yourself at least 1 to 1 ½ hours extra to reach your destination (basically-allow for potty and leg stretching breaks).
What are your “Keep Sane” travel tips?