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Vacation Essentials for Family Travel


Gone are the days of completely carefree travel but that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy and de-stress the time away. We prepare to make sure that everyone has everything they need and inevitably we forget something on our list like our toothbrush. Even after traveling together I always seem to find something else to bring next time to make it easier to relax.


Staying steadfast to my mission, I want to help moms enjoy the time they have with their kids and not just survive motherhood. We deserve fun, joy, and frivolity. We deserve to relish in the happiness of childhood not only for our kids but also for ourselves.



With all of that being said, let's pack our bags and head out to have some fun! These vacation essentials are part of the overall puzzle to de-stress family travel







Large Empty Reusable Bags: This is more practical when you are driving to your destination than flying but inevitably you will need something to carry souvenirs, odds and ends that have nowhere else to go, or my favorite--dirty laundry. Yes, you can use those tiny laundry bag plastic bags they give you but have you ever seen how many clothes your kids run through while away? Seriously, it seems like they now decided that clothes are awesome and we have to wear multiple outfits a day when they scream at you they don't want to wear pants when they are at home. Putting one large bag for everyone to put their dirty clothes in stops from it all being on the floor and makes it easier to do laundry once you are home. For some reason, vacation is the one time everyone gets the concept of a hamper---who knew?!


Water Bottles: I assure you, your child will never be as thirsty as they will be on vacation. I chalk it up to the fact that they know that everything isn't readily accessible so they naturally want whatever isn't there for them. If you are driving, I suggest always packing a cooler with enough water to cross the desert and if you are flying in I would arrange to either go to a local supermarket or have some delivered. You will also save a small fortune versus paying $5 per bottle at parks or at the hotel.




Sunscreen Made Simple: While we should be using this all year round, I know that it’s often easier said than done. Usually putting it on is a WWE fight and a half especially when it gets to the face. Spray sunscreens can be a lifesaver but not usually ideal for the face. My friend showed me this trick she uses and I thought it was genius, award-winning level innovation. She uses a makeup brush to put sunscreen on her tiny human face! Squirt some sunscreen on the face or the brush, brush it on, and TADAH!!! Plus cleaning it up is just as easy as cleaning your regular makeup brushes (which I know you do regularly…..right?!?) If you aren’t sure how to clean, you can either to warm water and a mild of soap or pick up some handy makeup brush wipes to do it on the go! 


Water Shoes: Every time we go to the beach, water park, or any of the equivalent we are met with “MOMMA HOLD ME IT’S HOT!!!” Do yourself a favor and get water shoes for the whole family. Every year I debate spending the money on them and every year I’m thankful I do. I recently read a horror story of someone stepping on a earring at a water park and I figured it was worth the reminder that water shoes are cheaper than a tetanus shot.


Garbage Bags: I have never stayed in a hotel one time and not filled those itty bitty trash cans in 1 hour or less of checking in. They hold a water bottle and thats about it. I started bringing a big trash bag to set up so I don't have to play Tetris every time we have to throw something away. The great part about it is it won't take up any room in your suitcase regardless if you are driving or flying and you don't have to take it with you.




Screen Time: It’s always a crap shoot of what to let kids watch that you don’t have to pre-screen or worry about. Sometimes you need to just set them up and have a few minutes of silence and entertainment that you aren’t in charge of and to give them a break from the stimulation that comes with travel. These are some of our go-to's that I don't have to worry about them watching.


TV Shows:  Movies:

Molly of Denali  Sing 1 and Sing 2

Wild Kratt’s The Super Mario Brothers Movie

Butter Beans  Smallfoot

Dew Drops  Wish



I am open about the fact that I don't love giving parenting advice since everyone and every child is different. However, I do not view this as parenting advice but more as a reminder for us all to zoom out and to look at the bigger picture.


Memories: Kids will remember the fun times, staying up late, having fun with them, and the quality time that you spent with them. They won't remember the souvenirs they didn't get, how much money they spent, or that you brought snacks vs bought them at the park. Take the time, unplug, and take a

break from everyday life.



Looking for more Mom Life? Be sure to check out the Mom, Life, Schmidt Podcast and share more discussions, tips, and all the "Schmidt" you need!

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