10 Hacks To Give Moms a Better Vacation
No matter how much we get go away with our kids, Moms and Dads are never completely on vacation. We still spend a lot of time taking care of everyone else and scrambling to take care of ourselves.
So it’s on vacation that shortcuts matter most. Anything that let’s us carry less, stay more organized, and take care of ourselves and our kids more easily leaves more time for the fun stuff. It makes us feel more like we’ve actually gotten away from workaday life.
Here are ten travel hacks from moms and dads who travel a lot. We hope these short-cuts and tricks make your vacation feel more like, well, a vacation.
Ten Travel Hacks for Moms and Dads
1. Phone Case Hack: The sturdy and relatively slim *Speck Card Case has a slot in the back that holds cash or cards. I received it in the mail earlier this spring and wondered what I would do with it, but over the summer it’s been incredibly handy for times where I don’t want to carry a purse. For a day at the beach I slipped in my driver’s license and some cash. For a stadium concert I tucked in cash and a credit card. On vacation at the Nemacolin Resort I tucked my room key into the back and needed nothing else.
2. Charger Hack: Writer and mum Jenny Eaves travels with a power cord to get around the shortage of outlets in many hotel rooms. Everyone’s electronics can be charged at one time and are less likely to be forgotten since they aren’t scattered around.
3. Organizing Hack: Travel writer and dad Dave Parfitt packs pop-up hampers and over-the-door shoe racks. They both pack flat but unfold to help him keep his hotel or cruise ship room clutter free. The Shoe rack keeps shoes off the floor and is also place to tuck toiletries and small toys and electronics. The hampers keep dirty laundry off the floor and separate from clean clothes, and can also be a place to toss books, toys, hats and other items that get scattered around (and forgotten).
4. Bug Spray/Sunscreen Hack: Hate getting your kids to stand still for sunscreen and then stand still longer for bug spray—then having to double-goop yourself, too? Travel writer and parent Jessie Voigts combines these two essentials with am SPF-30, DEET-free spray or pump from BullFrog. (Read our Travel Hacks for Kids, too.)
5. Shaving Hack: I also received a sample of Busy Beauty’s Showerless Shave Gel, which allows you to shave your legs (and other body parts) without water. I couldn’t imagine why you would need it other than for removing leg hair in the deep wilderness (and how often does that come up?) But if you find yourself sharing a hotel bathroom with your entire family, it’s helpful to not need that extra long shower time for shaving. I used it for the first time when I stepped out of the shower and realized I’d forgotten to shave my legs. I imagine it could also be handy on extended camping or RV trips. But if you don’t have water to rinse your blade, plan to bring a few disposable razors to go with it.
6. Shampoo Hack #1: Even if you’re a relatively low-maintenance mom there is still a certain amount of primping that has to happen before you head out for the day. To save time on vacation some moms bypass blow-drying their hair by carrying dry shampoo from brands like Pantene, Aussie, Batiste or Bed Head. You spray it on your hair and work it through to remove excess oil and add volume back. Just be careful of using too much on your ends, which can dry them out.
7. Shampoo Hack #2: Travel Writer and former expat Michele Chan-Thomson eschews all those little travel bottles for a solid Shampoo Bar from Lush. “It doesn’t count as a liquid, and it’s much lighter than a bottle containing the same number of washes.” Go a step further with Beauty and the Bees’ conditioning bar or a shampoo and body bar from Whidbey Island.
9. The Dry Skin on Planes Hack: Birchbox recommends donning a nighttime moisturizer before any flight to fight that dry airplane air. I love Origins’ Drink Up Overnight Mask when I want a little extra skin hydration.
9. Make-Up Hack: Another way to shortcut your morning routine is to pack a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen to combine three steps into one. Elle magazine likes M.A.C’s Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30, with more sun protection than make-up often carries.
For those long days out when you need more SPF than make-up provides, i just discovered two great brands selling tinted mineral sunscreens for faces. Cotz, founded by a plastic surgeon, sells a water-resistant SPF 40 sunscreen with a tint that will add a hint of color to fairer complexions and smooth darker ones. I’ve been using it and it doesn’t feel as thick and pasty on your skin as some mineral sunscreens. I’ll be bringing it on vacation this summer. Babo Organics, whose products you’ve probably bought for your baby, is offering an SPF 30 sunscreen that gives faces a sheer outdoorsy glow. Babo also sells tinted lip balms with SPF 15 in 4 sun summer colors. I have the plum rose, which is super moisturizing and gives my lips a slight gloss, perfect for beach days and sightseeing.
10. The Laundry Hack: I will go to great lengths to avoid doing laundry on vacation. Three Products that help me put it off or avoid in entirely: Downy Wrinkle Releaser for clothes that are rumpled but clean. Tide Stain Remover Pen for ice cream dribbles on kids’ clothes. And The Laundress’ Fabric Fresh spray for countering for mild odors. (Read more Travel Laundry Tips.)
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