I’ve been a mommy blogger for a little over two years. And I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel all over the state of Indiana with my family. I’m going to share with you seven simple travel tips that will not only prepare you for your trip, but will increase your enjoyment of your trip.

Tip #1 – Start packing a week before your trip.

I don’t know about you, but washing clothes is a never ending task in my house. A week before I’m leaving on a trip, I start packing and putting outfits away that my boys will be wearing during our visit. Each day I’m able to narrow down what I need to finish packing their suitcases. Of course, I leave toiletry’s to the day we leave. But, I’ve found it really can become stressful if I wait until the day before because a lot of washing may need to happen at that point and no one wants to begin a trip with little sleep.

Tip #2 – Have your car serviced at your local dealership a week or two before your trip.

The last thing you want to do is get on the road and have car trouble. So, about a week or two before your trip, be sure to schedule your car to be serviced at your local dealership. I’ve learned that you want to go to your car’s local dealership because places like Walmart, Firestone or Jiffy Lube will not be notified of any issues related to your cars make and model. However, the dealership will and they will let you know if there has been a recall or some other issue with your car.

Tip #3 – Take the time to prepare an itinerary.

If you are going to be in a city for 3, 4, 5, 7 days or more, I strongly encourage you to plan out your destinations for the majority of those days. By knowing exactly what you want to do, you can check the websites for those destinations to see if you can purchase cheaper tickets online ( a lot of places offer these type of discounts). You can check hours of operation. No one wants to arrive at a destination that is closed (Yes, this has happened to us). And depending on location, it may make sense to move certain activities to the same day due to proximity.

Tip #4 – Be sure to charge all electronics the night before your trip.

In this new day and age, children enjoy watching movies, youtube videos or listening to music in the car. And my boys are no different. They enjoy doing that and yes they all enjoy watching something different. Thankfully, each one of them can use a phone or iPad to watch during the ride in the car. And, I’m able to put on the music I want to hear, which makes for a very peaceful ride in the car. We pay a little extra on our mobile service for a hotspot, but it really comes in handy on rode trips. *Additional tip, don’t forget to buy headphones. While it’s definitely nice for everyone to be able to watch or listen to what they want to. But, if you have to listen to it too while driving that will quickly make a road trip miserable.

Tip #5 – Pack a few snacks and drinks in the car.

One thing I hear all the time on the road from my kiddos is “I’m thirsty or I’m hungry,” and they could of literally just ate. So, I make sure a day or two before our trip that I go to the grocery store and purchase water and gatorade, as well as fruit (oranges, grapes and bananas), chips, veggie straws and a small amount of candy. This reduces our stops on the road to just bathroom stops. And it’s a lot cheaper than buying the same types of snacks in a gas station.

Tip #6 – Be sure you have cash on hand.

Many people do not keep cash on them and I’m definitely one of those people. But, I strongly encourage you to make sure you get cash before you hit the road. I mean you just never know what you might need cash for, from toll roads to parking to businesses that only accept cash to wanting to give someone a tip. I can honestly say to you once I made this a part of my plan for my trip, those unexpected things I encountered on my trips, didn’t put a damper on my experience any more.

Tip #7 – Make sure you have your driver’s license, registration and car insurance card.

And my last tip may sound like a no brainer, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that misplaced my registration papers or had my car insurance card expire, receive the new one in the mail, but didn’t put it in my purse. Perhaps you needed your driver’s license for some reason and took it out of your purse, put it in your pocket or a coat and then forgot about it. I’m telling you the last thing you want to do is be on the road out of town and realize you don’t have one of these critical driving must-haves. If you are pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation, you don’t want that situation to become worse because you don’t have the proper information to prove you can be on the road.

I hope these seven simple tips will make your road trip this holiday season a smoother one. As I get older I find myself really trying to live in the moment when I’m with my family. I mean after all, the goal of a road trip is to make memories that your family will look back on fondly for years to come. Cheers to making amazing memories this holiday season!!!