Whatever happened to those “lazy days” of summer? My family certainly hasn’t had many of those this year. It seems like we are always loading up in the car to go somewhere. I’m sure your family is as busy as ours is, too.
We are learning that life with children usually involves a lot of time out and about. And whether it’s a trip to the doctor or a trip to the pool, here are ten tips for making your life easier and more efficient while on the go.
10. Keep a fully stocked diaper bag IN THE CAR. It saves you from having to carry a diaper bag to and from the car every time you go out. (Just remember to re-stock your bag with supplies when you use something out of it.)
9. Prep sippy cups in advance. I take advantage of any free time in the mornings to fill a juice sippy cup and a milk sippy cup for my son. That way, whenever he gets thirsty as we are heading out the door, I can grab the premade sippy cups without the hassle of having to stop and fill them.
8. Pack a travel activity bag in advance and keep it handy for longer road trips. You don’t have to have a trip in mind to go ahead and stuff a bag with a few car-friendly activities like coloring books, crayons, and stickers. It will save you the trouble of running through the house trying to grab something at the last minute to keep the kids busy on a long road trip.
7. Stuck waiting on someone or something while you are out and about? Keep your reading material, such as books and magazines, in the car. That way, when you have some unexpected free time, you can make the best of it. I especially like to do this with my magazines, since the articles are usually short enough to read in a few minutes’ worth of time.
6. Check your e-mail from your mobile phone. It is so easy to stay on top of e-mails when you can simply glance at your phone. If I’m gone all day away from a computer, it can take hours to dig out from under a pile of that day’s e-mail activity.
5. Be ready for sports activities. Keep a gym bag packed with the clean uniform, shoes, baseball bats, gloves, and hats – or whatever your child uses for their sports practices and games. Having all of the right sporting equipment in one place can save a lot of time trying to locate the individual items when it is game day and we need to be at the field on time with all of our gear.
4. School Backpacks. During the school year, we always try to have the next day’s backpacks packed and ready at the door BEFORE the kids go to bed at night. No more running around looking for lost homework in the morning before school. Packing backpacks ahead of time has really helped us get out the door on time.
3. Keep a phone book and a road map in the car. I can’t tell you how many times I have used a phone book to look up businesses’ and people’s addresses and numbers while we were out and about. And I have gotten a lot of use out of the road map too! Both of these items are especially necessary to have in your car if your phone is not capable of getting on the Internet and you don’t have a GPS to tell you where to go.
2. Keep a stash of extra napkins, straws, wet wipes and Kleenex somewhere in the car AT ALL TIMES. How many times have I had to turn around and go back through the drive through window at a fast food restaurant since they forgot to include straws and napkins? More than a few! And anyone who is on the go with children will never regret having wet wipes and Kleenex on hand. I will personally guarantee you of that.
1. Make a list and plan errands and trips to the store ahead of time so you can consolidate them and hit the places you need to go in the right order. Not only will this increase your efficiency while you are on the go, it will save time AND gas!
Most of us need some form of refreshment while we are running around – and Seattle’s Best would like to know where I would like to enjoy a can of iced latte this summer. To be honest with you, I don’t drink iced lattes, BUT IF I DID, I am sure there would be no better place to drink it than on the beach at Kapalua Bay in Maui. Hey, if I can pick the place from anywhere in the world, why not dream big?
Where in the world would you drink your iced latte? Don’t forget to dream big and let me know in the comments.
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.