It's that time of year again: holiday trips, cottage weekends, camping excursions. They all involve loading the gear, the kids and sometimes the dog/cat/hamster/fish into the family car and heading off down the highway. Here are a couple of tips to keep all that stuff organized so you can relax, enjoy the view and arrive ready for your time away.
- Take only what you need, clear out the rest - Before you pack the car, clear out all the debris that you don't need for the trip. You'll have more space for yourself and your family, more room for your holiday/weekend gear and less clutter to manage.
- Contain, contain, contain - Try and get everything into a container whether it is a bag or box. Try a laundry hamper for last minute items. It is also great for bathing suits and towels. You can even bring them back wet in the hamper after your last dip in the lake.
- Give the kids a container - Assign each child a container for their car entertainment such as books, electronics, games and snack if you permit eating in your car. It will help keep the bits together so you are less likely to hear 'Where are my earphones?" when you get to your destination. A container that closes is even better - kids aren't so careful when tossing things around the car and again, bits are less likely to get lost or broken.
- Mom's/Dad's bag - If you have small children who are not yet happy to sit plugged into their electronics for hours on end, consider sticking a couple of special activity treats into your own bag. You will be the hero when you pull out the special glittery markers halfway into your trip.
- Pack Snacks - Unless you and your children get car sick, you are likely going to need some food and/or drink before your trip is over. Food can be expensive on the road. While your vacation food may be packed into the cooler in the back of your vehicle, consider packing a smaller day cooler which can be easily accessed by your or your children. Drinks in containers that won't spill, fruit, dried fruit and nuts all make great travel snack.