School is out for summer, which can only mean one thing: vacation season is upon us! Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” He must never have traveled with children and all the baggage that comes along with them—literally. Here are three tips to help make your next family vacation manageable so you can enjoy the final destination.

1: Save Space

The best way to make the most of your luggage is to roll clothes as opposed to folding them. Rolling maximizes every precious inch in your suitcase and substantially decreases the number of wrinkles once you arrive. You can take this to the next level and use rubber bands to roll entire outfits for the kids—this makes it very easy once you take off the bands later and have a whole outfit right there, as opposed to searching through the entire bag.

Mother Nature never seems to be in agreement with travel plans, so bringing layers is the best thing to do. It is a great idea to throw in a sweater or sweatshirt for every family member, no matter where you’re headed. Even when going to warm destinations, it can get chilly when the sun goes down, or if the hotel has the air blasting with no controls in the room.

Packing dark colored clothes helps to free up some additional space in the luggage, especially for kids. Smearing jelly or pizza sauce on a white shirt seems like the end of the world, yet on a black shirt, the day is able to continue as planned. Packing darker clothes helps to eliminate the need to pack a few extra shirts in case one gets dirty.

2: Forget Toys

Gone are the days when you needed huge bags filled with puzzles, books, toys, and crayons to occupy the family in the car or on an airplane. All of these activities are available on tablets, which take up minimal space. Downloading free eBooks from a local library is a cheap and easy way to save space and occupy kids. There are also many great educational games, as well as apps that track license plates as you spot them on the road. Like they say: “There’s an app for that.”

3: Bring Snacks

Snacks can not only be used to fill an empty tummy, but can actually help keep your kids occupied and entertained. Clementine oranges are great to bring because they take time to peel and eat, and are not easily destroyed if thrown in a bag. Also, small cheese wheels allow kids to play with their food as they unwrap the wax to get to their snack. Finally, trail mix is the ultimate travel food and is easily customizable to the likes of your child. Things to stay away from: bananas and crumbly crackers, which are both easily damaged when walking through an airport or shifting bags around a car.

Although it may seem overwhelming at first to plan a long trip or weekend getaway with the kids, having these handy tricks in your back pocket can help make the journey a seamless and pleasant experience!

About the Author

Julie P. writes on behalf of The Parking Spot, the leading airport parking company in the United States with an array of amenities that make airport parking more enjoyable. From LAX Parking to Newark Airport Parking, consider parking reservations for safer and more convenient travel.

Featured image via Unsplash.

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