Family day trips are wonderful memory-makers, but they are also work, especially for mom. We are the ones who make sure the "logistics" happen- meaning everyone gets fed. Everyone makes it to the bathroom in time. And everyone has fun. At least that's the goal!
Several times in the summer, our family goes on a day trip. We don't stay overnight and the trip is typically no more than a 2 hour drive, but it still takes preparation time in order to provide each family member with a wonderful opportunity to have fun and make memories. (See Summer Creed for Parents here.) Today I'm recommending 10 tips for enjoying family day trips - enjoy!
1. Think through the trip and prepare the day before as much as possible.
Packing bags the night before or least laying out all needed clothing (swimwear and towels also!) saves time in the morning. Thinking through the day is easier when you don't feel rushed.
2. Pack an activity bag for each child just for travelling.
My older children pack their own and they know it should include a game, a DVD, and books to read. For the younger ones, I sometimes keep the bag by me and then pass back a "new" item occasionally. These items could include a coloring book and couple crayons or silly puddy or a different toy.
3. If you have a portable DVD player available for the trip, buy a new movie for the travelling time or borrow movies from the library just before the trip.
Or listen to new or borrowed music CD's or download new music or apps specifically for the trip.
4. Even though you don't plan to stay overnight, have an extra set of clothes for everyone, even if you simply leave them in your vehicle for any "unexpected circumstances." (I'll leave the unexpected circumstances up to your imagination.)
5. Plan your meals and snacks for the trip.
Even if I'm using the weekly meal plan, I make a day trip meal plan list to include snacks. Prepare and pack the meals and snacks the day before as much as possible.
6. Determine your drink needs.
For us, each individual in the family has their own water bottle or sippy cup. Have a plan for refilling and decide your method for keeping cool, especially on outdoor days. Planning ahead prevents buying expensive drinks.
7. Doublecheck opening and closing times and event days of parks or recreational areas.
8. Pack a Ziploc bag for germ war.
I include a couple plastic grocery bags (for used diapers), hand sanitizer, and a packet of wipes.
9. Keep a travel- size first aid kit in your purse or bag.
You could make your own with a Ziploc bag. Mine holds bandaids, pain meds for children and adults, antibiotic cream, and anti-itch cream.
10. Pray, pray and pray some more.
I'm not joking! I pray over day trips like we're about to cross the Red Sea because I just feel like the situation can be so much bigger than me. Our family needs God desperately on day trips, just like we do every day.
Alright, Friends! That wraps it up for now. I would LOVE to know:
What is your best tip for making a family day trip fabulously fun for everyone?