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The Key to a Stress-free Family Vacation: Packing

The Key to a Stress-free Family Vacation: Packing

(NUI)- It's not just about where you're going this summer, it's about what you're bringing and how you're bringing it. Packing--the one detail that people don't give much thought to when planning a vacation-can make the difference between a fun trip and a frustrating one, especially when kids are involved.
Christine Loomis, former family travel editor of Parents magazine offers these travel tips to help you pack for your family vacation:
* Make a checklist to help you remember important things like your child's favorite stuffed animal or blanket, especially in the event of an early morning start.
* Look for ways to pack smarter. For example, have your children carry their own kid-sized suitcase. Also, save suitcase space by including clothes that mix and match, like those from Gymboree--you can get nearly two weeks of outfits from just six pieces.
* Keep kids entertained during long car or plane rides by packing a boredom-buster bag that includes a tape or CD player for each child. "Plugging in" gives each child some time apart, even if they are sitting right next to each other.
* Bring lots of snacks. Kids get cranky when they're hungry and food choices are limited while on the road. Many airlines aren't serving as many meals and with the increased security it can be hours from your front door to the airport gate. Easy, "packable" snacks include small boxes of cereal, raisins, fruit, and celery or carrot sticks with a small plastic container of peanut butter.
* Create your own travel activities. Magnetic games are great travel companions. Bring along some small cookie sheets and use magnets shaped as letters, numbers or shapes so your children can create imaginative designs and pictures--they can even add to the collection by picking up destination magnets during the trip.
For a complete list of tips for packing and traveling with your family this summer, visit

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