1 of 7
PLAN YOUR TRIP TOGETHER
Don't designate the scheduling to a single person, otherwise that individual (OK, it's usually Dad) will get blamed for everything the family didn't like about their vacation. Day-long visit to the beer museum, anyone? I'm a big fan of Microsoft's OneNote. Not only can you use it on your home computer or iPad, it allows you to share documents, maps, itineraries and spreadsheets with the whole family. Believe me, you'll avoid lots of complaining down the road.
2 of 7
Do NOT travel on a holiday, as most experts suggest. It's actually busier than you think. Likewise, the Saturday before Thanksgiving or the Friday before Christmas. Instead, take a day off from work and head out as far from the holiday as possible for a more blissful journey.
3 of 7
FLY AS A LAST RESORT
The holidays are not the best time to fly, especially if you're traveling with kids. If you must do it, pad your schedule (one hour for domestic, two for international) and be prepared for long delays. And pack your sense of humor; you'll need it.
4 of 7
BE TECH READY
Whether it's a handheld gaming device or tablet, it's a good idea to pack more than one digital pacifier. It helps you keep the kids entertained without battles over sharing and avoid meltdowns if a tech toy is lost (trust me, it's happened to us). Also remember to bring extra batteries and power cords to keep the juice flowing.
5 of 7
If you have kids, go minimal. I have a half/double rule for packing, which means you pack half the clothes you would normally bring and double the food. You can always buy extra clothes on the road or do laundry, but cranky kids are difficult to pacify with an extra pair of underwear. Seriously: More food, less socks.
6 of 7
PLAN FOR DOWN TIME
Don't rely exclusively on technology to keep kids entertained. Cards, books and toys are just as engaging, especially if you travel by airplane. Remember, there's at least one hour in which you're not allowed to use any electronic devices.
7 of 7