Every summer, my husband, our three children, my parents, brother, and I rent a big ol’ van and embark on our annual beach vacation. The beginning of the trip is filled with excitement: we wake the kids at 2am, stuff them into their car seats, and they groggily anticipate the open road before them. The adults are wide awake thanks to our early morning coffee, and eagerly debating which seafood restaurant we’ll go to that evening. Once the initial enthusiasm wanes-and it always does-we’re stuck in traffic with whining kids and Grandpa the Complainer.

Don’t freak out! I tell myself. This is what we expected.

While it’s impossible to head off every literal and figurative bump in the road, there are measures we can take to avoid some of them. Click HERE for those measures and make sure to come back and thank me when these little ditties save your vacation sanity!