Picking up the kids at school this week, the most talked about topic was ‘I can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving.’ I feel like Halloween JUST happened. The most traveled weekend is right around the corner so that means a lot of planning, movement, and stuff is to be done. I’m here to give you my three cents on my top ten travel tips for the weekend.
- Travel on off days- take your time! If at all possible, go on off times. There are so many of us, and as of our last family trip, we required a ton of stuff, so we’d normally drive. I don’t mind waking up uber early so I’d often pack the car the night before and throw everyone in the car just before 5 am to get to wherever.
- snacks -I cannot stress this enough. I pre-bag a ton of dry snacks, pack pouches and mini waters. If in the car, I give each kid a shoebox bin filled with all of their snacks, minus Travis. He’d eat everything before we got on the 405. But I give them a box and they can ration out their snacks and I’ll refill at the halfway point. This way, every 20 minutes I’m not being bothered by “Can I have a snack?” I can barely handle the “Are we there yet.. “
- baby wipes/ pull-ups & extra clothes ( Mom & Dad included) – We’re finally at the point where we just don’t need baby wipes any more– hip hip hooray but sometimes I just need a wipe. LIke bad. Someone spills or touches something nasty and I’ve got nothing. It’s crucial to pack an extra set of clothes for each kid and a shirt for each adult that is separate from the luggage. I swear it’s Murphy’s law, but something ALWAYS happens. My mom uniform is a white shirt and jeans and undoubtedly, the shirt gets messed up within an hour. Pack extra.
- external battery – I got one off of Amazon and it has 3 ports and what a coincidence, I have 3 kids. You never know when something may die or be on the fritz and it’s a true bummer if you’re on the last 30 minutes of the trip and your crap dies. So do yourself a favor and make sure all of your electronics are charged and that you have the appropriate cords– that’s really the worst.
- surprise bag – Way back when, when I used to go on childhood trips, my Mom would make us a present bag. It was awesome. Every hour everyone got a present to open. She hit up the dollar spot and got all of our favorite things– bubble gum, corn nuts, little toys. It really made the trips better. The clincher though was.. packing enough surprises for the way back. (eek.)
- public transportation – Depending on where your final destination is, public transit may be your best bet. We need a lot of car seats and it hinders us from traveling without a car a lot. But we frequent the bay area and public transportation is super accessible and here in LA the kids never take the bus or the Bart so it’s a win-win.
- call ahead- If you’re staying at a hotel, call ahead. Use their pack and play, grab a mini fridge and a microwave and hit up the local target. Having all of these at home luxuries while on the road will come in major handy.
- ASK around – I’ve been finding that local Facebook Mom groups are SUPER knowledgeable. Ask your Mom groups about recommendations, to borrow a double stroller, pack and play, doc a tot, ski’s– whatever! Honestly, I’m sure we all have that crap laying around and it takes a village. I’m sure someone would be more than happy to loan it out.
- Don’t forget the essentials – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten a pack and play sheet or the kids lovies. It’s brutal. Don’t do it. If your kiddo is super attached to something and you have more than one, it may behoove you to throw one in your luggage. Being stuck somewhere without it could be a disaster. So with that being said, don’t forget your sound machine, lovies, toothpaste, a brush and a freaking razor. (I always forget a razor..!)
- Lastly, ditch the routine. It’s a few days that you’re gone and more often than not, the majority of your family doesn’t eat dinner at 5 pm. Feed the kids a hearty snack, let them nap a little longer or later and pack your reinforcements.
I hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.