I’m from Indiana, but I’m currently in Colorado for a little getaway with my family. Preparing to travel with two young children, a big kid (aka husband), and myself isn’t always the easiest task, but it was definitely less stressful than what it could have been because I was prepared!
If you want to vibe ‘stress free’ for your next vacation, check out the list below to get some great tips that will make traveling with your family a breeze. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, so let’s make sure they stay that way even before you jet off to your destination!
1. ALWAYS have snacks.
We decided to fly because being in a car for 16 hours with two kids under 4 years old didn’t sound like a fun time to me. But whether you’re flying or driving, snacks always come in handy. They keep the kids calm… and quiet. We like quiet.
2. Make an itinerary.
Having a plan before leaving makes things SO much easier once you get to your destination. Only plan for what you think you and your family can handle, though. We try not to schedule more than one big activity each day when we’re on vacation because otherwise, my husband and I would be stressed to the max. It’s a big event just to go to the grocery store with my kids.
3. Put outfits in Ziploc storage bags when packing.
This tip comes from Buzzfeed and it’s pure genius. You can do this for you, your husband, and your kids! It makes getting children dressed sooo effortless.
Put everything that goes with each outfit into one storage bag; shirt, pants, socks, hair accessories, etc.
4. Pack as minimally as possible.
I learned this the hard way. I initially tried to pack light for our Colorado trip, but ended up packing way too much! This caused my husband and I SO much stress in the airport; dragging around two kids, two car seats, luggage, AND backpacks. Ugh.
5. Prepare an easy meal plan.
We didn’t want to buy all of our meals from restaurants while on vacation because 1. That gets expensive, and 2. We try to limit sodium intake most of the time. We’re also camping for a few days, so it made sense for us to do this.
I came up with a quick meal plan (nothing fancy at all) before leaving. I wrote down simple breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that aren’t difficult to make or prepare. (Examples: Cereal with milk for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch). Once in Colorado, we stopped at a grocery store and bought the foods I had on my grocery list. Easy.
If you deviate from the meal plan, don’t sweat it. It’s difficult to have 100% structure while on vacation. Gotta focus on being chiiiill.
Note: Even if you plan to eat out every day of your vacation, you can still write down which places you plan to eat at for your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners if you want. This just takes the guess work out of meals, and it’s one less thing you have to think about.
6. Bring activities and toys for the kiddos.
I went to Dollar Tree and stocked up on a few new activities and toys for my children to play with on the plane. Since these items are new, the kids were preoccupied for a bit longer than usual. I did bring some of their old stuff from home too, like my son’s card games and a few of his small cars. Oh, and books. Lots and lots o’ books.
7. Have down time.
When we go on vacation, we feel like we need to see and do EVERYTHING. But with this mindset, we’ll have whiney kids by noon, and the whole fam will be burnt out by day 2.
Even having just a short period of down time to relax each day will keep the stress away. Taking a break from the scheduled activities will do wonders for your kiddos, and yourself.
A picture from our trip. Isn’t Colorado beautiful?!
And those are your simple tips for a no stress vacay! Do you have any of your own tips for a stress free getaway? I would love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below. Happy travels!
Until next time…