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Category:  Vacations

Related Links:  | Vacations | | Family Fun |

Clean Up On the Go

Ten Tips to Deal with Messy Meltdowns

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 necessary.

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.

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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 . Sign up for our fr*ee newsletter and get an online Creativity Toolkit as our gift to you!  

 

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