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Family Road Trip Essentials – What to Do & Pack for a Great Road Trip

July 20, 2016

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Road Trip Essentials Last week, my hubby, daughter and I went on a great road trip from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, New Mexico. (See our fun little family road trip video below)

We’re evidently not the only ones hitting the road this summer.  With gas prices so low this year, (AAA reports that travelers hitting the road will pay the lowest summer gas prices since 2005), more travelers than ever are hitting the road.

If you’re hitting the road with your family, you want to make sure you’ve got everything you need.  We got you covered.  Here’s your Ultimate Family Road Trip Checklist and Packing List.14533913873_0d5025b02d_z

2-4 Weeks Before You Go On a Trip

  • Ensure that your car battery is in good conditioning
  • Check your vehicle’s engine oil level and its color
  • Check the vehicle’s coolant
  • Get any major repairs done to the vehicle
  • If you don’t have a car or will be driving a rental car, make a reservation to rent one.

1 Week Before You Go On a Trip

  • Check the tire pressure
  • Check the vehicle’s air filter
  • Buy a road atlas or free maps from AAA if you’re a member
  • Buy snacks and first aid kit supplies
  • Check your Vehicle’s Load Capacity

1 Day Before the Trip

  • Check GPS for travel suggestions and traffic or detour warnings
  • Prepare a map as a backup
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged in case of emergency
  • Check your car insurance policy and carry the valid proof of insurance in the car
  • Pack all the items you will need from the Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Families (below)

The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Families:

Health & Safety

  • Bandaids in various sizes
  • First Aid kit
  • Flushable wet wipes
  • Extra Diapers (if necessary)
  • Benadryl for surprise allergies in new places
  • A bucket with several plastic grocery bags tucked inside for surprise “travel tummy” scenarios
  • Sunblock
  • Children’s Tylenol
  • Tylenol or other headache medicine for adults
  • Heartburn meds for adults
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers
  • Large scissors and/or Seat Belt Cutting Tool

General Organization:

  • Change of clothes for each kid, easily accessible in case of spills or sickness
  • Pens & Paper
  • Sunglasses by each kids’ seat
  • Window shades for babies
  • Travel pillows
  • Blankets (for when you can’t agree on air conditioning levels, or for impromptu picnics at rest areas)
  • Diaper/pull ups for all kids up through age 5 just in case
  • Umbrellas
  • Car Phone chargers
  • Auxiliary Cables
  • Towel: can be used as seat cover, cleaning tool, picnic blanket, and more
  • Slippers: more comfy than shoes for a long drive
  • Cash in varying denominations
  • Coins for tolls
  • Batteries &/or chargers for any devices you bring

Food

  • Bags for garbage
  • Re-usable water bottles
  • Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks (e.g., bite-sized goldfish crackers)
  • Hard to bruise fruits (e.g., apples, berries) and/or fruit roll-ups or fruit leathers
  • Trail Mix

Entertainment

  • Playlist of family music (you can find great playlists on Pandora or Spotify)
  • Headphones for each kid
  • iPad or other tablet with movies & educational games
  • External battery charger for digital devices
  • Audio books that are good for the whole family (e.g., Harry Potter or Narnia)
  • Swimsuits and towels for the whole family in one easy to grab tote bag
  • Jump ropes and balls for exercise breaks at rest stops

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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Family Beach Day Checklist

July 12, 2016

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Family Beach Day ChecklistIt’s time for a family beach day!  Grab this Family Beach Day Checklist and start gathering your items to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for a day of fun in the sun with the whole family.

Get the free printable Beach Day PDF Checklist here.

Gear:

  • Beach Towels
  • Umbrellas/ Beach Tent
  • Beach Chairs
  • Water Resistant/Outdoor Blanket

Clothing & Accessories:

  • Beach Bag
  • Swim Suit
  • Cover Up
  • Swim Goggles
  • Floaties
  • Flip Flops/Water Shoes
  • Rash Guards
  • Change of Clothes
  • Hair Tie
  • Hair Brush

Sun Protection:

Kids Playing in Water

  • Water-Proof Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Food & Drinks:

  • Lots of Drinking Water
  • Juice Boxes or Other Beverages
  • Snacks (e.g., sandwiches, fruit, cut up veggies, pita chips, hummus, crackers, etc.)
  • Cooler with Ice or Ice Packs
  • Napkins, Plates, Utensils
  • Extra Bags for Garbage 

Pinterest Beach Day Checklist

Entertainment:

  • Beach Toys (buckets and pails, beach balls)
  • Frisbee
  • Reading Materials (books, magazines, tablet)
  • Headphones or Bluetooth Speakers
  • Boogie Boards or Surf Boards 

Extras:

  • Wallet
  • Cash
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hand Sanitzer/Wet Wipes 

Beach Hack Items: 

  • Plastic Sandwich baggies
  • Baby Powder
  • “Fake” Dirty Diaper/Empty Jumbo Sunscreen Bottle
  • Uninflated balloons

That’s all you need for a great day at the shore!  Enjoy your day and let us know how it goes!

Click here to get the free printable Beach Day PDF Checklist.

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at Checklist Parent.  She has made it her mission to empower parents to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, yogi, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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Fourth of July BBQ Checklist

June 28, 2016

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The Ultimate 4th of July BBQ ChecklistThe Fourth of July is coming up!  Are you planning on having a party?  

If so, we’ve got the ultimate checklist for you to make sure you’ve got everything you need handled. Just follow this list and enjoy your shindig with less stress, less mess, and much less fuss.    

TWO WEEKS BEFORE

  • Make guest list and send out invitations – for a casual affair like a 4th of July BBQ, e-mail invitations are fine.

WEEK BEFORE

  • Enlist help. You will need assistance with cleaning, bringing dishes, manning the barbecue, serving drinks, etc. Figure out who can help with what. And many of your guests will offer – to help set up, bring a side, or clean up. Take them up on it and add what they are doing to your list!
  • Clean the house. Top to bottom. Yes, the week before. This may seem like it’s a bit ahead of schedule but if you do a big clean ahead of time, the day before your BBQ you’ll only need to wipe down your kitchen, the surfaces guests will see, and the bathrooms guests will use. [Unless you live in my house, where within 12 hours, the house looks like it’s never been touched. ;)]
  • Confirm Guest List. Make calls or send e-mails if you haven’t heard back from people you have invited.
  • Decide where you’re hosting your party.
    • Make sure you have enough seating and shade.
    • If it’s your backyard, schedule when you will mow the grass, set up tents, etc. Also make sure you have a contingency plan in case of rain.
  • Plan your menu. Consider how many people you expect and what food you’d like to serve. Make lists of what you have, what you need, and any other necessary items Items you’ll need
    • Meats for the grill (e.g., burgers, hotdogs, ribs, salmon)
    • Buns
    • Vegetables for the grill (e.g., corn, bell peppers, zuchini, eggplant)
    • Side dishes (e.g., baked beans, guacamole, potato salad, cole slaw)
    • Chips & Dips
    • Desserts (e.g., ice cream, cupcakes)
    • Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
    • Plates
    • Cups
    • Napkins
    • Cutlery
    • Table cloths
    • Serving platters
    • Serving spoons
  • Decorations. Decide which decorations, if any, you’d like. Decorations can be as simple as red, white and blue napkins and table cloths and decorated cupcakes.
 A FEW DAYS BEFORE
  • Do your shopping. Unless there’s an item you need to buy fresh the day of the BBQ, picking things up ahead of time will save you stress.
  • Confirm Your Serving Dishes. Match up your many to any cooking/serving dishes you will want to use. Missing something? Borrow or buy it now.
  • Pick Your Outfit. You don’t want to be trying to figure this out as your guests ring the doorbell. Keep in mind you want to be relaxed and comfy.
THE DAY BEFORE
  • Set up. As much as possible. Lay out your serving dishes, set up tables and chairs, and put up any decorations your heart desires.
  • Do a Last Minute Tidy. Wipe down surfaces, and make sure guest bathrooms and party areas are neat.
  • Buy Ice (or have tap someone to buy ice for the day of the party)
  • Cook and prep any items that can be done in advance  
    • Make your pasta or potato salads.
    • Shuck your corn on the cob.
    • Make your dips.
    • Marinate your meats and vegetables.
    • Bake your desserts but leave the icing for the day of the party so it’s fresh.
  • Create a music playlist.  Great music always helps set the perfect vibe.  Organize your playlist so that when guests come, all you have to do is hit Play. If you don’t like having to make your own, you can find lots of great ones pre-made on Spotify.
TWO HOURS BEFORE
  • Last Minute Prep. 
    • Cut up your veggies,
    • Put chips in their bowls,
    • Set up drinks in coolers with ice.
    • Frost any deserts that need to be frosted.
AN HOUR BEFORE
  • Glam up. Shower and get ready before your fabulous guests arrive.
PARTY TIME
  • Party! Put out appetizers and greet your guests. Make yourself a cool drink and relax.
  • Have fun! You’ve worked your booty off to have a great party. Enjoy it!

4th of July BBQ Party Checklist

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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The Perfect Day Camp Checklist

June 21, 2016

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Perfect Day Camp Checklist

Today is the first official day of summer and you probably, like many other moms, have kiddos that are off to day camp.

My 7-year old with an entrepreneur’s soul is at a girls’ business camp. She started yesterday and is in heaven.  I was, however, a little ashamed because I arrived with her unprepared for what she needed.  Yikes!  I didn’t have a checklist.

So… I’ve since made a checklist and want to share it with you.  Without further ado, here is the PERFECT DAY CAMP CHECKLIST (and by perfect, I mean “probably good enough.”).

This is a checklist for the items to put into your kid’s backpack for day camp.  

___ Sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 45

___ Insect repellant wipes, wristband, or lotion (I don’t recommend the aerosol can of insect repellant–the spray can sting if it gets in your child’s eyes.)

___ Water bottle filled with ice-cold water

___ Sun Hat

___ Bathing suit and towel (I recommend a super thin towel to create less bulk in the backpack.)

___ Extra set of clothes (especially a pair of socks and shirt if they get wet from the rain or water play)

___ Comfortable running shoes or closed-toe sports sandals WITH socks

___ Rain poncho (not something we often need in Los Angeles, but if you’re in a rainy place this is good to have.  Ponchos are good because they roll up small too)

___ Medication: All camps should have your child’s medical information on file. Having an extra note with details in their backpack and attached to their Prescription medication and/or Epi-Pen is helpful.

___ Food: Many day camps will provide lunch and snacks. If you pack a lunch it should be easy to eat on the ground and not need refrigeration. A sandwich, fruit and a juice box or water makes for a healthy lunch. Granola bars make an excellent snack. Some camps may have vending machines or snack bars — find out the rules and cost of items ahead of time so you can plan if and how much money you want your child to have every day. I recommend putting money in a zippered change purse or zip-up sandwich bag. Notify the camp of any food allergies your child may have.  And be careful about sending your child with peanut items (e.g. PB&J sandwiches) for any other children that may have that allergy.

___ Other: If your child is at a specialty camp like my daughter, your child may need to bring other objects or gear.  You can note it here.

Day CampOptional:
___ Change purse with $1-$5 for snacks
___ Benadryl cream for itchy mosquito bites.

With these items in your child’s backpack, it should help your child have a happy and healthy day at camp!

 

 

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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