A vacation or business trip can involve a lot of details. Follow these travel tips to help you be organized and enjoy a great trip.
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Facebook, for all its flaws, has been super fun for me this month. A year ago while we were tromping through France and parts of London, I would upload photos via Instagram and Facebook anytime I had a smidgen of internet. Now, a year later, Facebook reminds me daily of what a great time we had.
That great time, our European vacation, was not without work. There was a lot of organizing that went into taking six kids abroad for a month. We learned a lot. Now, I’m trying to feverishly write it all down before I forget. We hope to go again next year, the Lord and our bank account willing.
And I want to remember these travel tips we learned through trial and error.
Travel Tips for Planning
Planning a trip with kids can be super exciting as well as a little daunting. There are so many little details. Where do you go? What do you see? How do you track your reservations?
- I love Pinterest for bookmarking travel ideas.
- I love keeping a file folder (in email) for all our reservations and a physical file folder for all the hardcopy printouts. (We didn’t have cell service overseas, so we couldn’t rely on always accessing this information digitally.
- I love Google maps for virtually walking our path so I have some idea of what to expect and where we’ll go.
- In addition to the regular trip planning, be sure to take precautions for safe travels.
Travel Tips for Packing
Packing is a fun challenge to me. I probably spent a week of my life packing and unpacking us, trying to narrow down the things we would need versus keeping us all sane. I have a few go-to travel tips for packing.
This was one of the best things we did. Each of us had a carry-on size suitcase for all his clothes and possessions for the month. Well, except the girls. The girls shared one small suitcase. The eighth suitcase held our “household supplies,” things like the inflatable car seats, medicines, camera tripod, and our little kits (first aid, picnic, etc.)
How did we swing it? Everyone had a capsule wardrobe where he (or she) could mix and match clothing pieces and always look presentable, even by European standards.
Use packing cubes to sort items easily.
Included with the carryons were an assortment of packing cubes and bags. These were great for organizing our snacks, games, cords and chargers, laundry supplies, and what not. I always knew where things were because they were packed in smaller containers.
Have a laundry bag for each person.
I did not want my kids pawning their dirty laundry off on me, so I made sure that everyone had a laundry bag in his suitcase. When we stopped where there were laundry facilities, and only then, could they hand me their dirty clothing. You packed it, you carry it around.
Since I have one child with a food allergy and one husband who gets grumpy when he’s hungry, I found it imperative to keep shelf-stable, nut-free snacks on hand at all times. We carted food from home and then once abroad, made sure we stopped at a grocery store every day or two.
If you’ve got an unlimited travel budget, maybe you don’t need to worry about it. But for those trying to economize, keep in mind that restaurants are not always available or affordable in your travels. And grocery stores are not open 24/7 like they are here. Make sure you have food on hand in case you can’t get a hot meal when you want one. This is a great way to save money on travel food.