So when we do go away for a few days there are some tricks that I have. They have proven to be helpful and successful. Now traveling has changed a bit since we have a little one so I am adjusting to how to make the whole packing process streamlined. We like to pack light and consolidate as much as possible so we share a suitcase and shoe bag (there is no way I am having dirty shoes in the same bag as my underwear!!)
Tips for traveling adults:
One thing that I have done since we got married is that I have duplicates of items that are solely for traveling. I have soap, a hair dryer, deodorant, a curling iron, a hair brush, shampoo/conditioner, razor and shave cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste that stay in our suitcase at all times. This is a great tip because these are items you are going to need but you don't need to worry about packing because they are already done!! So all we have to worry about are clothes, shoes, and my makeup. This makes for a quick packing experience. This was also so helpful when we were preparing for the 6 hour drive to Spokane to pick Ellie up at the hospital and stay for a number of days.
Tips for traveling children:
While we have only traveled with Ellie twice (bringing her home from Spokane and then to Lake Chelan) we have had pretty smooth experiences. Both trips were done in the car so we had the luxury of bringing more items than if we were going to fly.
For Ellie we packed all the essentials in 3 bags plus our diaper bag. One bag: diapers, wipes (new package), swaddles, play blankets, travel baby laundry detergent, burp cloths and bibs. In a second bag were all of her clothes and hair accessories. The third bag had all her bottles, water and formula. This time I just used cute reusable bags I received as wedding gifts that were open and had handles on them. Her stroller was already in the car and we brought her swing since that is what we currently have her napping in.
We had a great time and it all went pretty smooth. We had everything we needed and weren't missing a thing!! We had discussed moving Ellie to the bassinet for night sleep at two months but made the decision that since we would be traveling it would be best if we just continued with the cosleeping in our bed. That was the best decision because we didn't have to pack the bassinet too nor disrupt her sleep training for three nights.
One thing that has been important to me since Thomas and I started talking about having a family five years ago is that I wanted our children to be adaptable and go with the flow as much as possible. To me that means introducing them to various situations often, take them out of the house, out to family friendly restaurants, and vacuum while they sleep. I do see the value in creating routines and believe they are important but you can't be too big of a stickler about them otherwise you might have a problem later on when things don't go as planned.
I would recommend that if you know you are traveling in the near to distant future start figuring out what the sleep situation is going to be and start practicing at home so there can be a "smooth" transition to the changes if possible. So if your little one is a light sleeper and so are you but you will have to share a room while on vacation- start at least a month in advance having "sleepovers" in your room so that you or your little doesn't have a meltdown and is used to the idea.
Hope these help and you have a great family vacation!