If you're planning a family trip, you're part of the overwhelming majority. A study commissioned by Embassy Suites found that millennial parents take trips significantly more often than their previous generations did, which means you're probably one of the many parents looking for easy ways to prevent on-the-road meltdowns and to pack a little lighter.
The hotel chain asked parents for their favorite family travel hacks using #PrettyGreat, and these are the really useful make-you-stress-less ones you'll want to use:
1. No drugstore in sight? Soak a washcloth in milk and hold it on a sunburn for five minutes. The protein will soothe burned skin.
2. Forget packing huge bedrails for little ones. A pool noodle can act as a bed bumper on the fly.
3. Travel at nap time or bedtime. The Embassy Suites study said parents are taking trips, no matter how many kids they have. If you've got a few, think of how much quieter things will be if they're snoozing.
4. Does the hotel room have a bar sink? It makes the perfect cozy place to bathe a baby.
5. Packing can get a little more complicated than throwing seven shirts and seven pairs of shorts in a suitcase—you've got to pick the right clothes for the right day, depending on your plans. To stay organized, put kids' daily outfits in separate bags—shirt, shorts, socks and accessories. Mark each bag as dirty laundry after each day.
6. Forget having a mess of cords and chargers in the bottom of your bag. Instead, wrap each one into a coil and stash them neatly in a spare glasses case.
7. When you need to entertain your kid on the plane, put down the tray table, put your sunglasses on it, and use them as a phone stand for watching movies on electronic devices.
8. Curb impatience by making up games that evolve with each train station or pit stop. For example, tell a story with multiple cliffhangers. Give them a new story piece with each stop. Or designate one child as "the mayor" of each rest area, and they get to decide a funny thing for everyone to do when they get there.
9. Dress kids in layers on the plane. You never know whether it's going to be too cold or too warm, and if they spill juice on one shirt, it's easy to just take it off to reveal the clean one.
10. Pack lollipops. They do double duty as a special treat to keep kids happy and something to suck on to ease ear pressure on the plane.