Travel hacks and tips from Tonia Tomlin

Summer is almost upon us and that means family vacation time! Whether it is just you, you and your spouse, or you and all of the kids….we have some tips to make your trip easy. Having an organized trip will help ensure that you can actually enjoy your vacation!

Packing 101:

Packing incorrectly can set your trip off as a disaster but learning how to pack efficiently can make for a carefree vacation.

1. Make a list – this may sound like overkill but it makes things WAY easier when packing time comes (especially if you have kids and husbands who are packing for themselves ). Having a master list that you use each time you pack will ensure you don’t forget toothbrushes, underwear or swimsuits. You will also want to have a smaller list specific to your destination (i.e. cold weather clothes or warm weather clothes). File these so you can use them whenever it comes time to pack. Below is a free vacation checklist courtesy of


2. Efficient Packing – Use gallon size zip lock baggies to pack outfits and other accessories. Pack swimsuits in a baggie; label it with the family member’s name and “swim.” Pack hair accessories in another and label it with the family member’s name and “hair accessories,” and so on. You can also pack your kid’s outfits in baggies for each day that they are there so whoever is dressing them can grab the appropriate baggie and get them ready easily.

You can also use packing cubes for each family member. These Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes from Container Store come in three different sizes and are perfect for each family member. Use the small cube for underwear, medium for t-shirts and large for pajamas. You can also use the cubes in place of the zip lock baggies for daily outfits, hair accessories and swim items.


3. Skip the bulky items – If you have to bring diapers, swimmers, or any other items in bulk order them on Amazon and have them delivered to your hotel or wherever you are staying

Now, for the fun part……the plane, train or car trip:

1. Extras – Bring plenty of extras for the actual travel part. Making sure you have plenty for your kids to do will help pass the time with minimal meltdowns.

  • Pack an extra outfit for each kid and an extra shirt for each adult in a wet bag in case there are any en-route accidents.
  • Pack a fully charged iPad or tablet, headphones and extra chargers.
  • Pack fun treat bags for the trip and snacks for each hour of travel.
  • Finally, include some activity packs with NEW items for your kids. I.E. play-doh, markers, activity books, stickers, pencils, writing or drawing paper, small toys. You can use zip lock baggies for these or small reusable bags.

Use these tips and planning your next trip will be a breeze! Happy Traveling!

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