There’s nothing quite like the joy of a family vacation, and there’s nothing quite like the dread of getting there without pulling your hair out. Traveling with kids can be tough, whether you’re taking a road trip, boarding a plane, or sailing away, but it can be much easier with some simple solves. We gathered the best tips from parenting ninjas who know how to make “getting there” part of the fun.

TIP #1: Everybody gets a map.
Kids love maps like Kardashians like selfies. The number one way to combat incessant whines of, “Are we there yet?” is to include kids in the navigation. Whether you’re driving or flying, print out a simple map of the journey, including stops or layovers to help them identify markers along the way. As you pass various places, have them mark it on their map. (Bonus tip: Supply them with crayons and stickers to decorate their map any way they like.) 

TIP #2: Individual outfits in sealed bags. Plan out the kids’ wardrobes in advance and fold or roll each complete outfit into a simple Ziploc bag. Not only does this keep you from over-packing, it allows the kids to dress themselves without making a mess of their bags. Simply pull out a bag each day and you’re set!

TIP #3: Utilize sleep times. Whenever possible, plan your travel when your kids regularly sleep. Not only does it make the trip feel shorter to them, it provides parents some peaceful travel time as well.

TIP #4: Earbuds for all. While it feels impossible to get some alone time when crammed into a car or plane, earbuds connected to a favorite movie or game provide a sense of privacy. It’s worth having a pair for everyone.

TIP #5: Utilize surprises. Nothing breaks up monotony like the unexpected. That sign indicating a scenic outlook in one mile? It’s worth a stop. Not only will everyone get some fresh air and stretched legs, but you’re likely to discover beauty and wonder you never knew.

TIP #6: Use a timer. The best way to avoid whining about who got to play with a certain toy longer is to use a timer—a simple kitchen timer or even the one on your phone. Determine the amount of time that each person gets, set the timer, and watch how easily the kids pass the toy off when their time is up. Best part? You don’t have to play judge and jury!

TIP #7: Give the kids a job. Managing a family trip requires a lot of small tasks that can add up to exhausted or overwhelmed parents. Think about simple tasks that the kids can take on. Put one person in charge of all the electronic chargers, one person in charge of the snacks, one person in charge of collecting garbage. This will not only take some of the burden off of you, but the kids get engaged, occupied, and invested in a job well done.