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EAST COAST MOMMY: Make family travelling easy with a little organization, planning

- Gina Bell

Family travel tips and tricks

Family travel can be the cornerstone of childhood memories, but it can also be a stressful time for parents.

There is a lot of work that goes into taking a group of people (especially young people) on the road. My family has gone on several family trips, where we have travelled by land, sea and air, and I have learned a few helpful tips and tricks along the way.

For me, the key to successful family travel is being organized and planning ahead. My favourite tool for keeping us all on track is a family travel folder made with a simple Duo-Tang filled with clear plastic pockets. A folder filled with easily accessible travel documents is a genius way to organize family travel. The plastic pockets can be used for itineraries, tickets, confirmation numbers, insurance info, addresses for mailing postcards and maps/directions to accommodations and attractions.

Giving kids well-stocked backpacks is also helpful. On plane trips, a backpack with a bathing suit and a change of clothes can become a lifesaver, if luggage is lost. On road trips, a backpack filled with little dollar store trinkets, games and activities goes a long way toward keeping kids entertained.

Keeping travellers well fed is also a key to success. Feeding kids on the road can be a challenge. As a mom who needs to keep up with three growing boys that are constantly eating, I am always packing lunches and snacks. It’s definitely more convenient and economical to be prepared. I make it a priority to have healthy options available for my boys, but on special trips, I put together individual “travel snack packs” for my boys to take in their backpacks.

To make a simple travel snack pack: start with a plastic hardware storage box from the dollar store, clean it, and pack each section with a different vacation treat. Individually wrapped items are best because they travel well and will stay fresh for the duration of the trip. Taking travel snack packs on family vacations has become a cherished family tradition in my home, and my boys look forward to it. My boys really enjoy this simple and fun idea, and I love that my kids aren’t constantly asking me for snacks.

The other “must pack” item on our family packing list is a travel journal. I buy inexpensive composition books from the dollar store, and we decorate them with pictures and stickers. Travel journals are perfect for recording adventures, and they are a great place to preserve photos and tickets stubs. They really are wonderful and inexpensive keepsakes.

In addition to these special items, families should pack; a camera, first aid kit, resealable plastic bags, for wet clothes and food, and multi-functioning clothing items that can be layered (to prevent over-packing).

Family vacations aren’t always the most relaxing vacations, but they are very special and they provide a wonderful opportunity to bond and make memories together.

The family travel tips and tricks above have helped me, and I hope they help you.

Have safe travels.

Gina Bell is a writer, content creator and mom of three. She lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, with her husband and three sons. She is constantly on the lookout for easy and inexpensive ways to have fun with her family. Follow her adventures at

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