There’s nothing more fun than a sweet getaway with the people you love most. But getting ready to travel with a little person can bring about some unexpected worries and many questions. If you’ve never traveled with a little before or if your last family vacation didn’t go exactly as planned, you’ll want to follow these eight tips for rocking your family vacation like a travel professional.
Make A Plan
The best thing you can do to prepare your family for a great vacation is to make a plan. You need to research the place you’ll be visiting and plan out the amount of time you’ll spend there. Make a separate list for each family member and write down the amount of outfits and food they’ll need for the week. Also, find a way to keep all passports and travel money safe and organized so that you can find it easy when it’s needed at the airport or customs area. Having a plan can assure you don’t forget needed items and that you’re ready for whatever things may happen on your adventure.
Now that you’ve got a plan for what to pack and how much you’ll need, get your kid in on the action. Have them pick out clothes that they’ll enjoy wearing and that they’ll be familiar with when they arrive at your destination. Let them pick out one stuffed animal or lovey to take so that they’ll feel close to home while they’re away. For easy organization, place every outfit in a ziplock bag with the day labeled. Then when you’re on vacation, simply hand your child the ziplock bag and tell them to put on the outfit enclosed. Dirty clothes can go back in the bag at the end of the day. This will keep you from losing things or having an argument about what to wear the next morning. Always choose to pack light. Most every resort has on-site laundry facilities and you never know when you might want to bring home a special commemorative T-shirt. And don’t forget to pack the essentials. You’ll want to make sure you have a toothbrush, diapers, portable potty and bath wash, as well as, other items you’ll be sure to need during the week. Buying goods at the airport or overseas can be really expensive and impact your budget.
If you’re flying, check with your airline about the correct procedures for checking strollers and car seats. Strollers can be a big help as you roll through the airport looking for your gate. Once you arrive, they can be important for sight-seeing around town or through museums and can act as an extra seat at restaurants.
Bring First-Aid Supplies
Stock your car with the appropriate medical supplies for road travel. You’ll want to make sure to have children’s pain reliever on hand in case of an unexpected virus. You’ll also need plenty of baby wipes and hand sanitizer for sticky hands and antibacterial for small scrapes and scratches. Carrying a first-aid kit with you will save you time, money and stress should any ailments hit your family on their road trip.
Choose Kid-friendly Rentals
Make sure you look for special rooms at your destination that allow for children. You don’t ever want to book a hotel that’s full of spring breakers or honeymooners. The experience won’t be good for anyone. Look for resorts with kid programming and special meals or activities for kids. Certain cruise ships even have child care and activities specifically designed with your child’s best interests in mind. Staying in a place designed for little ones can take a lot of worry out of your vacation.
Download Before You Go
No matter your mode of travel, make sure to download some new videos or apps that will help keep your child occupied and happy during long flights, car rides or activities. Educational apps are a great way to keep your child’s knowledge fresh so they don’t forget any valuable information while on holiday from school. There are several great apps available that you can download through your online devices or app stores. You may even ask your kids to help you choose some songs to download for your vacation soundtrack. You can keep them together in a group as a keepsake from years gone by. Then, anytime you pop in the CD or browse that playlist on your I-pad, you’ll be instantly transported to those fun memories.
Don’t Overdo It
When you arrive at your vacay, fight the urge to do everything on the first night. Your kiddo will already be a bit tired from the travel trip alone and adding an event to the first evening can leave them irritable. Instead try to order food in and spend time getting used to the hotel pool and accommodations. The next few days will be much more fun if everyone is well rested and ready to have a great time.
Bring the Camera
Don’t forget to bring your camera and video camera for the vacation. Children are only small once and though it may seem like a big hassle to carry around a camera on your vacation, you’ll be so glad you did. Many years from now, you’ll be able to look back on your family vacation fondly and remember all the great moments that made your family time special.
Family vacations can seem like a big ordeal to prepare for but by making a few simple changes to the way you pack and travel, you can have a much happier experience. By staying organized and on top of your travel plans ahead of time, you can ensure that you’ll have more time for fun and less time for stress. Happy Travels!