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Preparing for Your Next Family Trip

Welcome back to The Mom-entum Podcast! I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, and today we’re diving into a topic that can be both exciting and overwhelming—traveling with kids. Whether you’re planning a short trip or a cross-country adventure, I’ve got you covered with four essential strategies to make your travels smoother and more enjoyable.


What to Expect in This Episode:


1. Plan the Logistics: I’ll share my tried-and-true methods for planning every aspect of your trip, from booking flights and accommodations to finding the best parking options and rental car deals. Learn how to stay organized and avoid last-minute stress.


2. Use Technology to Optimize Packing: Discover how to create efficient packing lists using your phone’s notes app, and streamline the packing process for your entire family. I’ll give you tips on how to save time and ensure you don’t forget anything important.


3. Strategically Pack a Carry-On Bag: Get practical advice on what to pack in your carry-on to keep your kids comfortable and entertained during the journey. From essential items to keep handy to activities that will keep them occupied, I’ll help you plan for a hassle-free travel experience.


4. Keep Travel Information Organized: Learn how to centralize all your travel documents and information in one easily accessible location, making it simple to share with family members and keep everything at your fingertips.


Stay Engaged!


I’d love to hear from you! Share your travel plans and tips with me on The Mom-entum Podcast Private FB page, or send a DM to @tanyavalentinecoaching on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me in your summer travel photos!


If you enjoyed this episode, please consider sharing it with a friend, subscribing, or leaving a rating and review. Your support helps me continue to create valuable content for moms everywhere. Thank you for listening, and happy travels!


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- Instagram: @tanyavalentinecoaching

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Tune in next week for more tips, stories, and inspiration on The Mom-entum Podcast!

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Hello and welcome to another episode of The Mom-entum Podcast, the show dedicated to inspiring, uplifting and empowering women on their journey through motherhood.  I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, thank you so much for being here.  


Today, I’ll be sharing my experiences traveling with kids. From our annual summer trips to Boston since my first child was born, to driving cross-country when Serena, my third child, was just 7 weeks old and Lucia and Rocco were 4 and 2, to our latest adventure at Disney. We’re currently planning a trip to Boston, which involves flying, and later this summer, we’ll be road-tripping to Michigan.


So being that I have all this experience traveling with kids, I thought that in case you don’t and if maybe you have had this desire to go on a family trip but the thought of planning or actually following through with it seems overwhelming to you, I thought I would share what I’ve done and what I’ve learned to help simplify it for you a little bit. 


 And yes, traveling with kids is much different then taking a vacation solo or with your significant other or girlfriends.  It’s not exactly a “relaxing” vacation.  But I promise you, it is worth it.  Yes, there are going to be times when you are tried and tested.  There most likely will be tantrums and tears, there will be a lot of extra stuff to pack, and things are going to take a little bit longer like anything does with kids.  But I promise you, it will be so worth it.  You are creating memories with your kids that will last a lifetime. So the purpose of this episode is to provide you with tips  to help you feel more prepared and make your family travels a little less stressful and maybe even motivate you to start planning your next family trip.


Today’s travel tips are more focused on air travel, but don’t tune out if you have a road trip planned—many of these strategies will be useful for you as well. So without further ado, Here are four strategies to make your vacation with kids easier and a little less stressful:


1. Plan the Logistics: Take some quiet time to thoroughly plan and prepare for your trip. Create a detailed to-do list to stay organized. Start by deciding whether you’ll be flying or driving. If flying, book your flight and consider how you’ll get to the airport. Options include asking someone to drive you, hiring a driver, or parking at the airport or a nearby parking garage. I recommend using, which I’ve used successfully for years. This website allows you to find and reserve parking at major airports, with shuttle services included.


Next, book your accommodation and decide if you need to rent a car. Consider whether you’ll bring car seats or rent them. Renting car seats through a car rental service typically costs around $85 for two weeks. Alternatively, you could purchase an inexpensive car seat for travel purposes, which might be more cost-effective. For example, Cosco car seats (not to be confused with Costco) can be found online for as low as $34.


Pro tip: If you have a Costco membership, use it to book your travel. It can save you a significant amount of money. For instance, when we recently rented a car for two weeks, the quote through AAA was $2158, but through Costco, it was only $1030 for an intermediate-size SUV. Always check Costco’s travel deals to maximize your savings, and then you could use that money saved to put towards something way more fun on your vacation.


  1. Next up, use technology to optimize the creation of a packing list for your family.  I literally use the notes app on my phone for this and I turn it into a check list by hitting the checklist bubble icon (I don’t know what the technical term is for this, but hopefully you know what I’m talking about) So anyways you can turn it into a check list ( so a list you can literally check off as you are putting the items on your list into your suitcase) by hitting this button located on your notes app.  So if you have an Iphone and you have your notes app pulled up,  look at the bar at the bottom of the screen thats just above your keyboard.  You will first see an upper and lowercase letter A and then next to that you will see bullet points (or bubbles) with a checkmark.  Click on this and it will generate a bubble that you can then start writing next to. When done writing the first item on your checklist, simply hit return and it will generate another bubble under the first line item.  As you pack your stuff you simply put your finger on this little bubble and it will make a check mark and then this item will be moved to the bottom of your checklist.  Neat, right?  Now to make things more efficient, most of the things that you will be packing for the kids will be the same, right?  For example with my kids I might write for Lucia to pack 5 shirts, 2 pairs of PJs, 5 pants and 2 dresses.  So what I will do to save time on typing is just make a copy of this list and then make the necessary modifications.  So I will have a note labeled “Lucia”.  In the top right hand corner of the notes app you will see a square with an arrow pointing up, click on this, and then click “copy”.  Now I would create a new note, tap the blank screen of the new note and I will have the option to paste.  So then it will paste my list for Lucia.  I will delete Lucia’s name and write “Rocco” and then add anything that needs to be added and delete anything that wouldn’t apply to him, but for the most part their lists are the same so this part just saves me so much time in the planning process. 

  2. Moving onto the 3rd tip which is to Strategically pack a carry on bag.  Now I also make a list of what to pack in this carry on bag as well.  Think about everything that you’re kids will need and what they might want that will make travelling with them so much easier.  Make sure that you pack strategically, and what I mean by this is just to think about what you are gonna need easy access to? Ex: tissues, disinfectant wipes (cleaning surfaces like tray tables on plane and changing tables), wet wipes and hand sanitizers, sippy cups, snacks, diapers).  Make sure that you pack these things somewhere in your bag where it will be more readily found.  For example, a front pocket, or pack these things on top of everything else, instead of burying it in the bottom of your bag which will then cause you to have to dig through and empty out the contents of the entire bag in order to find it.    Other suggestions for things you might want to pack in your carry on are a change of clothes for everyone even mommys and daddys as accidents happen.  Activities to keep the kids busy like coloring books, crayons, little stuffies they might want to snuggle with, tablets, headphones.  And by the way if you do plan on bringing a tablet for them I just recommend making sure that they are charged the night before (put this on your to do list) and make sure that any games or movies they are going to want to watch are downloaded ahead of time).  Other things you might want to think about packing are pacifiers if you use these, bibs, medicine in case their ears hurt.  If you are a nursing mom, you may want to pack a nursing cover.  Put baby food, wipes, and bottles or formula together in a clear plastic bag so that it will be easier to remove from your carryon bag as you go through security.


  1.  One last thing, keep all travel info organized in one central, easily accessible location.  I Make a google drive folder containing all essential info and documents for my trip. For example airline tickets, parking reservation numbers, our rental car reservation number, those are all saved in a google drive folder I have labeled 2024 Boston trip.  And the great thing about this is I can easily share it with my Mom, Dad or Chris. Rather than sending all of these documents separately, I can just share the entire folder in one click and it has all of our travel info in there.  This ensures that everyone has the necessary information at their fingertips.


To recap, here are the 4 strategies to simplify your travels with kids:


1. Plan the Logistics: Thoroughly plan and prepare all aspects of your trip to ensure smooth travels.

2. Use Technology to Optimize Packing: Create efficient packing lists using your phone’s notes app and streamline the process.

3. Strategically Pack a Carry-On Bag: Ensure easy access to essential items and keep everyone comfortable during the journey.

4. Keep Travel Information Organized: Centralize all travel documents in one easily accessible location.


I hope these tips make your next family trip smoother and more enjoyable. Thanks so much for tuning in to The Mom-entum Podcast. I would love to hear about your travel plans this summer.  Where are you going, and what do you have planned?  Do you have any travel hacks to share?  Let’s learn from eachother!  Please share either by joining The Mom-entum Podcast Private FB page, or send me a DM @tanyavalentinecoaching.  Or take pictures of what you and your family are doing this summer, even if you don’t have any travels planned and tag me @tanyavalentinecoaching.  I would love to get to know you, learn from you, and support one another.  And if you are enjoying listening to the show, would you consider sharing it with a friend?  You can also subscribe and/or leave a rating or review to help support this podcast so that I can continue creating content that will provide value for those who need it!  A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to listen today!  I hope you found these tips helpful!  Until next week friends, happy travels!  Bye!

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