Before I had my daughter Scarlet, I had my travel day routine down pat. I was so good at it that I could pack perfectly at about 3am, right before the flight. Cut to: 4 years later, me racing through the house, throwing together a suitcase for my daughter and I, while also trying to shovel any bit of food into her mouth to avoid an inevitable airport meltdown. I guess you could say things have changed a bit. Scarlet is six now, and throughout the years of traveling together we seem to have mastered a routine that keeps us all pretty happy.
Here are a few of my tips that have worked for us …
1. Last Minute Checklist
In a perfect world I’d remember all those last minute things I think of before I go to sleep, however, I’ve learned that the Notes app on my phone is pretty handy too. Instead of trying to keep it all in your brain, keep a pad of paper and pen (or your phone) by your side the night before you take off on your trip. When you’re going through your list you can jot down the last minute essentials (chargers, extra snacks, meds, etc). Knowing that you’ve written it down can also help you sleep better without that added stress.
2. Enjoy a Big Breakfast
One of the things that has made a huge difference for us is sitting down for a big meal before we take off. Making sure that everyone is well fed can help avoid the meltdowns and help everyone think more clearly. I’ve also noticed that it helps me gather my thoughts before all the chaos of travel begins.
3. Pack the Car the Night Before
If you can pack up the entire car the night before, props to you. If that doesn’t really work for you, at least start with packing up the kids’ essentials. When you’re taking a road trip, get the car ready with their games, blankets, and suitcases. For those of you that are heading to the airport, you can still be a step ahead by making sure all your luggage is in order and ready to go. Then, in the morning you just have to get together those last minute necessities and make sure everyone is dressed and fed.
Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman), follow up fill-in journal My Prudent Advice, and founding co-editor at Pretty Prudent, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family. Follow Jaime on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.