We are taking a road trip to Kansas City today so before I checked out for a few days I wanted to share the Flylady tips for traveling. When you have kids (and even if you don't) packing and preparing for a trip can be a stressful experience. It doesn't have to be, so let's find out how. The Flylady Travel Guide can be found here.
I'm just going to talk about a few of the things that have really helped me, plus a few that are specific to kids.
First of all, this is so much easier if you are already using the Flylady Method for your household cleaning.
Because I am packing for everyone, I start a couple days ahead of time by setting aside clothing that will be worn on the trip. I also like to have a "staging area" for my packing things. This can be a spare room or a spot in your bedroom, just wherever the kids won't get into.
Make sure your laundry is clean (duh) and make sure the house is tidy. It's so much easier to pack when the house is neat and tidy. Don't try to pack in chaos. It means your stuff will be chaos. It was alot easier to gather things when they were where they were supposed to be.
I printed out the Flylady list and sat down a few days ago and prepared my packing list. I will put it in my suitcase and use it when I leave too :) This TOTALLY helps!
It's almost 9:30 the day we leave (we are leaving at night) and we are basically done packing aside from checking the list and finishing packing the snack bag.
So here is the snack bag. It's a good size bag but it's not huge like a cooler. You can put ice packs in it and it has separate dry and cold sections. I bought plenty of healthy snacks to minimize drive thru stops and gas station candy bar stops ;) Plenty of water and juice too. Got it at Walmart for $9, not bad :)
Here's a big one. The fridge. We will be gone for a week, so I made sure that I didn't get tons of refrigerated items at the grocery store this week. I also did my fridge cleaning last week so it was nice and clean to begin with. Since the fridge is totally bare (eek!) I put our leftover ziti in the freezer (hubby suggested!) so we have dinner when we get back :) Any remaining produce will go in the compost this afternoon. Make sure there aren't any science projects in the back.
Here's a cool Flylady tip. Put some Mr. Clean or Pinesol down the toilet and all your sink drains. It's supposed to help with that weird stale smell. We'll see how it works when I get back.
I cloth diaper my daughter, but will be using sposies on this trip. Right after I finish this I will be washing her remaining diapers so there are no stinkies in the diaper bin. Also make sure to take out ALL YOUR TRASH before you leave.
Make sure your house is nice and clean before you leave so you come home to a nice clean house. This will make it easier to unpack, get reorganized and skip the post vacation chaos that tends to linger for a week after.
The Flylady suggests that as soon as you get home, start a load of laundry before you crash, good idea!
A lot of the "before you leave" stuff will only be easy to do if you get the majority of your packing done ahead of time. Preparation is everything, I printed the list a week ago and did everything spread out over a few days, so today I just have some minor tasks to complete. Not stressed out! No sense in getting completely flipped out before having to spend 19 hours in the car with a 3 yr old and almost 2 yr old :)
So if you have a vacation coming up, start planning now! Print out the list, modify as needed and make the start of your vacation as stress free as possible, so you can enjoy the rest! It totally works. I promise :)