Travel Organization: Planning for a Family Vacation


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Spring break and summer road trips are on the horizon! As parents, we want to get from point A to B as efficiently and peacefully as possible. Here are my best organization tips, including a thorough, editable packing list for family vacations. The more you can declutter and organize beforehand, the higher chances of a smooth trip while away from home!

Day(s) Before:

The Car

  • fill the gas tank on a separate outing BEFORE the road tip
  • clear all clutter from the car
  • vacuum car and spot clean as necessary
  • pack extra plastic shopping bags in middle console or seat pockets of car
  • replenish clean cloths, napkins, rags, hankies, vomit bags, etc. in middle console of car

Electronics & Entertainment

  • charge tablets, headphones, phones, etc.
  • download movies/shows, ebooks, or audiobooks
  • prep activities and make a separate bag for each child that they can reach independently. 


  • purchase car snacks
  • prep car snacks for both there and back in separate pouches and store them under a seat. This way you don’t have to think about it right before hopping in the car, especially on the way home when food might be sparse.
  • freeze ice packs


  • prepare for any animal care needs
professional organizer canton mi
Day Of:


  • make lunches/dinner and place near front seat with ice pack
  • water bottles filled
  • perishables packed
  • cooler filled

The House

  • trash out
  • lights off
  • air off
  • doors and windows locked
  • animals prepped
Minimal Clutter Car Activities for Kids
  1. Doodle boards – our kids have used these since they were 1 on up to currently 6.5 years old.
  2. Magnatab – not going to lie, I have fun with this too.
  3. Sticker by letter or sticker by number – letter is best for 3-6ish, the number is smaller and more detailed.
  4. Triangle crayons + construction paper or coloring book
  5. IQ Puzzler Pro – is fun for adults too. Ages 6ish and up. But my 3-year-old is having fun with it too.
  6. Mini Etch A Sketch – all ages. 
  7. Road trip bingo
  8. Small figurines
  9. No mess coloring pads
  10. Headphones for music, podcasts, audiobooks, or shows
  11. Clean snacks: cheese cubes, salami, crackers, cheerios/fruit loops, grapes, blueberries, pouches, bars, suckers, M&M’s, etc.
Additional Tips and Resources

For the Car

Easy Packing

On Location

  • Store luggage in closets to minimize clutter in bedrooms
  • Keep a dirty clothes bag for each person

Here’s to happy traveling!

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Ashley Tauscher

A goal in my life is to leave people and places better than when I found them. I provide personalized one-on-one services to simplify homes to help life run smoother, and photos to enjoy the memories made along the way.

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