By Colleen Langenfeld
- It's vacation time! The car is packed. You're
on the road. Johnnie accidentally bumps his arm
and his soda falls on top of sister Suzi, trapped
in the seat beside him. She screeches and your
husband crouches lower behind the wheel while
glaring at you to 'make them stop.'
- The plane has just taken off. Your family has
been waiting for this vacation all year! Ten minutes
into the flight the baby starts crying...diaper
change time! There's very little room to change her
and you end up as messy as she is. Are you going to
smell like a dirty diaper for the rest of the flight?
Sound familiar? Or just something you want to avoid?
While you can't stop messes from happening, you can
take the sting (or stink!) out of them and keep them
from ruining your family's plans.
The key? Be prepared!
1. Of course, you have packed extra clothes for the
baby/toddler. What about you? Roll up and pack one
light-weight loose fitting neutral-colored shirt
that could work in a pinch for anyone in the family
over the age of five. It will carry you through
until you can get to your luggage.
2. Always, always, always carry two or three plastic
bags for soiled items. These can also be used as a
pair of disposable gloves or a seat cover, if
3. In your car, keep a roll of paper towels. In your
purse or bag, a supply of wet wipes. Replace
immediately when used!
4. Go disposable when traveling. Bibs, diapers, cups
and utensils. What you can throw away you don't have
to figure out how to clean. And you'll always have a
fresh one to start again.
5. As long as everyone in the family can tolerate it,
pack a lotion with a pleasing scent and use liberally.
It will help cover up the little smells that hang on
in enclosed spaces.
6. Carry a water bottle. Besides drinking, a
spot of water can clean hands, faces, and stains in
a pinch and it will dry naturally.
7. Check your gear. Sippy cup leaking? Toss it before
the trip begins. Make sure cup holders are
functioning (and used properly). Everyone needs a
napkin or paper towel and must know how to use it!
8. Take only non-messy food and drink on trips. There
are a lot of 'treats' out there these days. Choose
wisely and everyone will stay happier. (Beware of the
boxed drinks with straws. When squeezed, the liquid
travels right up the straw and flies into the air!)
9. Don't ask more out of family members than they can
handle. If jostling a fast food meal in the car
inevitably leads to spills and tears, forget the
drive-thru and eat inside the restaurant instead.
10. Don't forget to pack your patience. Crying over
spilled milk is truly sweating the small stuff. Laugh
a little, encourage everyone to pitch in and help,
and be ready with an easy distraction to get people
back on track again.
Colleen Langenfeld delivers deals, tips and
creative resources to working moms who want
the most out of their homes, families and
careers at http://www.paintedgold.com .
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