I come from a long line of list makers - my mother, my grandmother, my aunt. I too am an avid list maker. I have notebooks in different areas of the house - each with a different running "to do" list! I have lists for my work, lists for the kids' school, lists for things to do around the house. I have tried making the "honey do lists" but they were never well received in our house! My sister and I laugh about our lists. She is a list maker as well, and we have even gotten to the point of making quick little lists of things we need to talk about. As we get older (or, I like to think just busier!) we start to forget things!
The current list I am working on is a packing list! Spring Break is next week and packing for a family of Six is no easy task! I had high hopes of getting the majority of the packing done this past weekend. That didn't quite happen - I was only able to pack one small tote bag! I did get most of the kids' summer things washed and tortured them by having them try on clothes from last year and the few new things I picked up to see what does and does not fit. I currently have three lists for spring break:
-Kids' bag to pack for hotel (this one is done!)
-Things to Pack for Kids
-Things of list to buy at Grocery Store when we get to our destination
I need to make a few more lists:
-My things to pack
-Car snacks/activities (we have a 10 hour ride ahead of us!)
-Tennis things to pack
-Beach things to pack
Lists help me stay organized and also help me not to over pack! It is inevitable that a few extra things get thrown in at the last minute - but this way I can avoid a lot of extras being thrown in that we won't use! It also feels really good to be able to cross things off your list - it is a visual that you have accomplished something!
My family loves to travel. Before we had the twins we did take a lot more trips. Now, we pretty much just stick to the East Coast and go to places that are drivable for us. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years:
-If you are traveling with a baby, and won't have access to a car, ship what you need to your destination. This makes getting around the airport much easier. When my oldest was a baby he and I would tag along on my husband's business trips. We would always send a box to the hotel in advance that had baby food, formula, bottles, wipes, diapers, paper towels, etc. This way I didn't need to worry about navigating a strange place by myself with a baby and didn't have to pay the high premiums that hotel or convenience stores charge.
-Pack some surprises. Go to the dollar store or target (or where ever!) and pick up a few things for the kids that they have never seen before. This can be some stickers, a new coloring book, a new story book, etc. I also like to have on hand some "non-messy" treats that they do not have on a regular basis - lollipops and skittles are magic! My girlfriend always picks up glow sticks - the kids love these and make it so much easier to spot your group when in a crowd. We had these at Disney and they were so great!
-Keep a small notebook or pen in your diaper bag or purse. Great to have on hand when making your lists! But also can keep the kids entertained while waiting at a restaurant or airport.
-Put some band aids and tissues in your purse or diaper bag. Go do that right now. These are things that you should always have on hand anyway. I am now known to carry these and have passed out band aids to kids at birthday parties and even church.
-Pack some healthy snacks that can help stabilize blood sugar and avoid meal time meltdowns! These can be for the parents too!
-Pack clothes that mix and match. If you have a spill only on a shirt, no need to change out the entire outfit. Also, if kids are going to be sitting for a long time either in the car or on the plane, pack things that are comfortable for them to wear: soft cotton, no tight waist bands.
As I continue to get ready for this trip and our upcoming Summer Vacation I will be sharing a lot more of our tips and tricks! Please feel free to post some of your favorite travel tips below!
Now, I can go cross blog entry off my list for today!
Have a great day!