Staying organized just before leaving and while on a trip helps keep me on track and keep my family on track. These past few years I’ve traveled more than ever. While some are road trips, some are weekend trips or even longer stays, it’s always important to stay organized. To keep it all together, I’ve learned a few tips along the way I’ll share. Let’s face it, we all have mishaps and out of those arise some great ideas and reminders!
5 Top Tips When Traveling With Family
1. Selection Of Where To Stay
This may seem like a silly thing, but trust me it’s not. I’ve stayed places where you lived out of your suitcases. Staying with 5 people all living out of suitcases is a mess and problems waiting to happen, not to mention crankiness sets in. I have some tried and true favorites that stay in my rotation, but just knowing what to ask and what to look for will help you in your selection. Look for plenty of closet space, drawer storage for each person, bathroom storage, etc. We’ll be whisking off next week to Indian Shores (right outside St. Pete) for a week of relaxation. For many years we have traveled to this area for a weeks stay and always stay with Florida Lifestyle Vacation Rentals. Because we’ve stayed with them so often, they know our favorite condo units, but more importantly, if they are unavailable, they know my criteria after so many years.
2. Don’t Wait To Unpack
Once you get checked in, wherever that may be, immediately unpack your things where you want them. If you wait, you are just too tired later and it just keeps getting put off. Our first day is always planned that we simply check in, unpack and the rest of the day is just leisure time at that location so that you focus on the important task of unpacking and organizing. This not only gets the items that wrinkle out and hung up, but if you need something quickly, you’ve put it away and know where to find it!
There are certain things we all need to be focused and organized. For me, I need a desk area, lamp and charging area as I also need to be able to write while on vacation. For you, you may need something different but it’s important to think of when booking so that you aren’t caught off-guard.
Here are some of the features that I look for…
- Space-When you have kids with you, you really need the extra bedrooms. I go for suites, condos or homes. Remember, you’ll also have space to relax when they are asleep.
- Full-size kitchen-Hotels or not, I find one of my top items is a kitchen. You already know this makes your trip cheaper to eat in the room. But there are sometimes unforeseen issues that arise that make a kitchen helpful. This can be anything from a long day at a park and too tired to go out to someone being sick and you need to stay in.
- Wi-Fi- This may sound crazy since you’re on vacation but trust me, you need it. First, if you have to find time to work on vacation, you’ll need it. You never know if you need a tablet or computer. While you’re at it, load the tablet up. Being able to have our kids occupied with their favorite movies, games, coloring programs, etc can be a lifesaver.
- On-site laundry- I like to pack one carry on and one personal item per person. Lighter is easier and if you have laundry facilities there’s no need to worry.
- Free breakfast-This is a huge money saver. Fill up before your days’ activities. I also grab a piece of fruit for my snack later.
4. Have The Right Stuff At Your Fingertips-I have a bag just for diapers, wipes, snacks (non-messy like bars, goldfish etc) even a bottle of water, meds you may need, etc. These need to be at the ready for mishaps whether you are on the way, in the hotel or out on an excursion. Expect the unexpected.
5. Keep A List- One of my best tips is to have a list of what you want to take on vacation. This ensures nothing important is forgotten. You never want to be miles away and have forgotten necessities like medication. I also take this list with me and check items off as I pack to go back home. This ensures nothing is left behind.
Are you nervous about family travel? Share your questions, tips or comments below.
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