We're planning a trip to England and Ireland. And we're taking the kids! Oh, what an adventure it will be. Traveling anywhere takes me out of my comfort zone, so I'm trying to keep a low-key, laid back attitude. I'm asking Hubs to plan most of our excursions and focusing on my strengths—perfecting my packing techniques, keeping the kids entertained in transit, and making a list of souvenirs to collect.
I'm a Tetris whiz; packing suitcases and cars has always been a fun challenge for me. I'm definitely planning to pack a few days worth of clothes for all of us in each suitcase (instead of one suitcase for each person) in case anything unfortunate happens to a suitcase or two.
I'll admit it—I'm relying on iPod apps, in-flight TV, and naps to take up most of our flight time. Cuz we be flyin ALL DAY LONG. But I picked up some blank notebooks for the kids to journal/collect scraps in, we'll bring some books to read, and I'm seriously considering picking up a pack of wreckable books for the kids to explore. Heck, I want one for myself!
And: snacks, snacks, and more snacks.
Maps are #1 on my list. I love using maps for wrapping paper and other paper crafts, and they're so much cooler if they come from somewhere far away.
Ornaments are another high priority. We have a collection of tree ornaments and/or magnets from almost all of our family travels. I'm pretty picky about our ornaments—they can't be cheesy or excessively touristy—so seeking out the right ones will be a challenge. It's my version of hunting. My favorite ornament-from-elsewhere is a green ceramic saguaro cactus from Arizona.
So now, friends, I need your help. (And I know there are more of you out there than I thought, thanks to some wonderfully supportive comments on my last post. Thank you!) What am I missing? Are you an expert packer with tips for me? Do you have THE solution for keeping 6- and 9-yr olds happy while traveling? What unique items should I be looking for to bring home from our trip?