Family travel presents many challenges, but with some planning things can go so much smoother. I travel all the time and over the years have come up with some odd travel tips. Like tip #3, find out why I always travel with a bag of rice.

54 Travel Tips for Families

  1. Slow Down – It is okay if you do not manage to see and do everything you want to do on your trip.
  2. Down Day – During a long trip, take one day in the middle to do nothing.
  3. Travel with rice – Take a plastic bag full of rice with you. If someone gets an electronic wet quickly through it into the bag of rice and hope it does the trick!
  4. Clip the curtains – Nothing is more annoying than being woken up too early because the hotel curtains won’t shut. Clip the curtains shut with a hanger from the closet. Most hotel hangers have clips on them.
  5. White Noise App – Sleep better in a hotel room with a white noise app. I use the Relax Melodies and set it to white noise and slow waves.
  6. Travel size Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector – Protect your family and take a little smoke and carbon monoxide detector with you.
  7. Always pack a card game – For preschoolers keep it simple like Go Fish, Spot it or Old Maid (or a deck of cards for Slap Jack). Once kids know numbers and colors you can play Uno. And then when they are older the possibilities are endless: Exploding Kittens, Coup, Settlers of Catan, Twisted Fish, more Spot it, etc. Card games are often in bulky boxes so FamiliesGo! suggests you put them in a Ziplock bag to take up less room. They’re handy in airports, on planes, in restaurants, after dinner at your hotel, etc. In transit it helps to pass the time for everyone and gets everyone off their screens and hanging out together, which is what vacation is for. 11 Road Trip games to play in the car
  8. Blend in – Try to blend in with other locals with kids. Cool Kidz Cool Trips recommends you eat a snack at a park, try all the playgrounds in the vicinity, hit the zoo instead of the galleries, walk around the center instead of a museum, go to sleep instead of a party…
  9. Take a pillow – Always carry a pillow, according to Cool Kidz Cool Trips, you never know when you might need it. I happen to highly agree with this. On any given trip we carry 2 – 3 pillows with us.
  10. Pack Laundry Detergent – Whether you are flying and want to avoid ever-increasing airline baggage fees or driving and needing every inch of your car’s real estate, the need to travel light is greater than ever before. And the best way to travel light is to pack less clothing and do laundry on vacation. The TV Traveler always packs powdered laundry detergent in a small Tupperware container or ziplock bag. I also bring a few fabric softener/dryer sheets – they take up no room at all and keep your clothes smelling fresh! Be sure to check with your hotel before traveling to confirm they have laundry facilities, but most do. It only takes a couple hours to do a load and you can usually just head back to your room while it’s washing and drying. Or, if you want a little quiet time away from your family, take your phone or tablet to the laundry room and chill out!
  11. Don’t forget medicine – Kendra always travels with a nurse line number just in case, in addition to the kid’s medicine. You should also know the number to your pharmacy in case you do lose any medicine.
  12. Use coupons – When you are going on a family road trip save money and time by purchasing deals from Groupon to restaurants that are located in the area you will be driving through and near the hotel you staying at. Planning your meals ahead of time will help you stay within a specific budget and add to your adventure.
  13. Take a bucket – If you’re planning a road trip with children, Travel Mamas highly recommend bringing along a bucket. Stow a sand pail in the backseat for a beach day or park visit. More importantly, the bucket will come in handy for an unexpected bout of stomach bug or motion sickness. Believe me, you want that bucket within arm’s reach when you hear, “I don’t feel so good,” from the backseat!
  14. Bring Baby Wipes – PointsandTravel always bring baby wipes, even when the kids grew up. You can wipe down everything from seats in the airport to the tray and seat area on the airplane, to your hands. Wipes always come in handy and help prevent sickness while on vacation.
  15. Collect Air Sickness Bags – If you have kids that get sick on road trips, collect some of the barf bags off your flights. Then you can keep them in your car.
  16. Use Caribiners – Use these to hook reusable water bottles onto a backpack or a pant loop.
  17. Extension Cord – Pack an extension cord to use at the airport. If you find somewhere to plug in the entire family can plug into the extension cord. This is also great for hotel rooms that do not have enough outlets.
  18. Pack Separate Bags – If you are taking a two week road trip, pack week one in a suitcase and week two in a different suitcase. Then when you get to where you are going you only have to take some stuff into the hotel with you instead of taking everything in each time. 
  19. Eyeglass Case – Use an eyeglass case to store electronic cords and adapters.
  20. Use to make the most of the points you’ve earned. 
  21. If you like to rent a house instead of staying in a hotel use Google Earth to check out the neighborhoods of new locations. 

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