1. Put each days clothes (shirt, shorts, underwear & socks) in a zip lock bag this will keep everything together in the suitcase and lets the kids pick out their outfit for the day quickly. We put all pajamas in one bag and then packed a separate bag with misc extras.
2. Stay as close to your normal schedule as possible. We had two days of driving. We left around 8am after a good breakfast then stopped when we needed too along the way. We ate lunch around 11:30am got back in the car and our son was asleep 12:30 for his nap. He would sleep for about 2 hours and then we would stop again. Dinner by 5pm and bed as close to normal time as possible.
3. Take a small kids lantern or flash light. This was super helpful as we read before bed and bathroom trips in the middle of the night. This was a life saver and made night time routine more fun.
4. Container with lid for toys. We got this container at Walmart and filled it with random toys from home. We picked out toys that our son hadn't seen in a while and also added one new one. He was super surprised to find his new toy.
5. Wrap up a few new toys for the trip. I packed 4 new toys that were wrapped individually. We had four days in the car, 2 there and 2 home. We gave him a present each day. We gave these to him when we thought he would need the extra distraction. These worked WONDERS! He now has the majority of the characters from Toy Story :)
6. Pack some bath toys. We planned to take these to the pool if needed Having items from home made him more comfortable staying in a hotel. He kept saying, "These from home, mommy?" Our son is 2.5 years old and potty trained. We brought two water proof pack'n play mats. These worked perfect for the hotel bed. (happy to report no accidents!)
7. Choose a hotel that has a hot breakfast. This may be a little extra but the convenience of having on site is great. They usually have fresh fruit as well so you can stock up when you arrive and have snacks for the road.
8. We are an Apple family so we loaded up our devices. We loaded two movies on my iPad and then loaded two movies on my husbands iPad. Our son has a old iTouch so we loaded that with two movies and a few new apps. He then had 6 movies to pick from. We put his two favorite on his device and he loved being able to play his movies or games when he wanted. DoodleBuddy is one of his all time favorite apps!
9. Bring along a few of their favorite books. We brought the books that we often read at bedtime. Keeping your routine is important and having those familiar books helped keep this routine for us. He also loved "reading" them to family we were visiting! :)
10. If you are visiting family who don't have kids make sure to pack things like: a thermometer, kids tylenol, sippy cups or water bottles, plastic plates, kids size silverware & lots of finger foods. There are always stores you can visit but having these items on hand will make everything a little easier!
Last by not least, relax and have a great vacation!!
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