Busy mom with kids

A lot of things change when you become a mother, and traveling is certainly one of them. What was once a relatively simple experience has become a much bigger, louder, and perhaps messier ordeal.  Gone are the days of only worrying about yourself; there are now one or more tinier human beings along for the ride and they can make things a bit more complicated. But with good preparation before you leave the house, you can ensure a safe, healthy, and fun trip for the entire family.

Here are some travel hacks that will help keep you sane on your trip.

Pack plenty of healthy snacks

The last thing you want to hear on a long car ride or in the security line at an airport is “Mom, I’m hungry!” Avoid untimely complaints about hunger by packing plenty of healthy, filling snacks like trail mixes or peanut butter and crackers. Sticking to foods that are high in protein will keep your little ones full longer.

Stock up on sanitizer

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are must-have healthy travel essentials, especially for mothers. A sick child can seriously put a damper on your trip so it’s important to be extra cautious. For a week or so before you leave, avoid taking your children places like a playground where they could easily catch something. Use hand sanitizer often when traveling and wipe down potentially unsanitary areas (like the food trays on airplanes) before the kids start touching everything they can get their hands on.

Keep the entertainment fresh

Children get bored – it’s inevitable. But a lot of times the best cure for boredom is something new. When you pack toys or games to entertain the kids, bring a few brand new ones that have never been used. That way, when your flight’s been delayed, you can whip out a shiny new toy, puzzle, or movie to keep the kids occupied.

Be strategic with the suitcases

Packing your family’s suitcases in an untraditional way can save you a lot of time and hassle. If you’re traveling with a few children, pack by day and not by person. Keep everyone’s clothing for a certain day or two together and then have a dedicated bag for toiletries and other necessities. That way when you’re hopping from hotel to hotel you’ll only have to lug a couple of bags at a time.

This is also an ideal way to pack in case luggage is misplaced so that no one will be stuck without his or her entire vacation wardrobe.

Have a plan, but be ready for the unexpected

It may sound contradictory, but it’s important to both have a plan and be ready not to stick to it. Have a plan in the sense that you are prepared with plenty of things to do, are familiar with restaurant menus ahead of time, know what to expect in terms of traffic and weather, and pack appropriately. But also don’t obsess over a strict schedule. Embrace the unexpected. These family trips will be cherished for years to come, so go with the flow of your children and enjoy every minute of it.

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About The Author

A lover of travel, Caroline Housel has spent a lot of time studying and working abroad. Her favorite destinations include London, Amsterdam, and anywhere in France.

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