Monday, January 21, 2013

Travel Hacks

Here are a few items that I always like to pack when we head out for a trip:

1.  Pump hand soap
Hotels will supply bar soap, but we have contracted the stomach flu on vacay, so I always like to make it as easy and as close to our home routine as possible to wash our hands.

2.  Baby wipes
In between babies when everyone is potty trained, we still carry the wipes around.  How does anyone get along without these things?  I like to use baby wipes for peanut butter smeared faces and an antibacterial brand for wiping questionable hotel surfaces.  Wipes also come in handy for cleaning up puke on the side of the road.

3.  Paper towels, plastic baggies and a little trash bucket from the dollar store
We learned a little late to pack this essential.  Don't let car sickness find you unprepared.  Think about how long that smell is gonna linger in the car seats.  I also think you can figure out how helpful a plastic (airtight) baggie can be in this situation, unless you are cool to throw out soiled clothing.  I think we have discussed this one enough.

4.  Duct tape for road trips
My Daddy swears that this will keep your car going those last 10 miles in multiple scenarios.  Think busted hoses, hoods that won't close, etc.  Trust me, you may have the car washed and waxed and perfectly organized when you leave on vacation, but by the time you pull up at your destination you very well may look like National Lampoons.

5.  Tylenol, Advil, (whatever pain reliever/fever reducer your doctor recommends)
You may all leave for vacation the picture of health, but if an earache hits a little one at 2 am, you and all those in the camp sites or hotel rooms around you will wish you thought to bring this along.  My apologies to Big Sur campground and all its campers on 7/21/2011.

6.  A sense of humor
When you end up needing any of these items, whether you have car trouble, car sickness, or any of the minor bumps that seem major when you are far from home, remember that the vacation is not ruined.  I read a book by Gary Smalley where he asked his kids about their favorite vacations.  They all agreed that it was when the family had gone camping together.  He was shocked, because they were often caught in a deluge of rain, or stuck with mechanical difficulties, or found they had forgot some important item at home.  The kids had enjoyed working through the challenges together and looking back at them later.  I always try to think about that to help me get through the situation without feeling like a failure and move forward.  And my kids really do seem to forget the little set backs and remember the fun times.  Or they enjoy making fun of us for the set backs.  Which is okay, too. 

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