By Anna Robertson Ham
When it comes to vacations, your mind wants to relax… But when traveling with kids, things tend to become a bit hectic. So, do yourself a favor and prep before the trip so you can enjoy making memories instead of stressing. Here is a guide to making travel with children a bit easier!
Research Activities and Eateries.
Get online and check out the place you will be visiting. Are there activities on-site or nearby that are family-friendly? Does the hotel or rental offer discounts on tickets? Many resorts and locations offer these things so that you can preplan some fun outings. Also, avoid decision-making the day of for meals and go ahead and make some kid-friendly restaurant reservations. This will also help to avow meltdowns for long wait times at eateries. All that being said, do not eliminate spontaneity– you may hear about something incredible to do while there!
Make a Packing List.
Start making your packing list in advance so you are not frantically trying to find things the night before or the day of. Start packing days in advance to make it easier and less stressful on leave day. Make sure you pack all your child’s necessities – favorite blankie, stuffed animal, sound machine, extension cord, batteries for toys, etc. Also, consider safety measures for crowded areas like theme parks and look at GPS tracking devices for your littles. It sounds crazy, but the reality is that children wander – and they do it in the blink of an eye. Investing in something to clip onto their belt loop or wear on their wrist, like an Apple AirTag or a SyncUP Kids Watch, can help a nightmare and terrifying situation.
Many are guilty of this one, but this is where the packing list comes in handy. Make sure to have the proper amount of clothing, but do not assume a surprise formal event every day. If your accommodations include a washing machine and dryer, take advantage and do some laundry there to keep the luggage lighter. Roll your clothes to make more space in your luggage. Also, pack some spare clothes in an easy-to-access bag. If there is an accident or you need to change a kiddo’s clothes, you do not have to unpack the car to reach a suitcase and dig out clothes.
Snacks and Beverages.
Do not forget the go-to snacks and beverages for an extended or short car ride! This will help eliminate tantrums, boredom and hunger during long car ride stretches between meals. Plus, it will also keep the kids from being hangry upon arrival at your destination.
Plan Fun Activities for the Journey.
Again, another to reduce the threat of boredom and meltdowns on the road. What does your child enjoy at home? Grab those activities for the car – from reading to coloring to games to electronic devices. Make sure everything is fully charged, and you have a power cord or spare batteries.
Allow Yourself Extra Drive Time.
Littles call for more breaks and bathroom stops. They are strapped in and will need stretch breaks; do not forget extra time for diaper changing. They also do not typically understand nor adhere to the “we are stopping to eat really quick” plan. So, allow for more time and do not feel rushed.
Relax, Enjoy and Make Memories.
Do not forget the reason for the vacation… To be with your family and make memories. Yes, take photos and videos, but do not forget to experience the time together. Some of the locations you travel to might be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Make the most of these travels and embrace what everyone shows interest in while there.