Are you planning one last family trip this summer? A family trip can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are 15 summer vacation hacks for families:
1. Keep your kids entertained on long car rides. Bring art supplies, a portable DVD player, games, mp3 players or books to keep them occupied.
2. Make sure your kids stay well hydrated. Keep bottled water and fruit juice in a cooler while on the road. Be sure to have plenty of liquids on hand throughout your entire trip.
3. Be sure to pack snacks for the road. Fresh grapes and other fruit can be stored in a cooler. Dried fruit, trail mix and energy bars can all be great snack options.
4. Don’t forget a first aid kit. You’ll want to make sure that you have bandages, burn ointment, antiseptic wipes and medication on-hand in case something happens during your trip.
5. Remember to use sunscreen at all times. Even if you’re traveling in the car or if the sun isn’t shining, there’s still a risk of sunburn.
6. Be sure to pack baby wipes. They are ideal for cleaning up all sorts of messes.
7. Consider strategically planning any pit stops. While you can stop at any rest area for the whole family to get out and stretch their legs, why not make the most of your stops? Consider stopping at a park or other tourist attraction. Or, bring along a soccer ball to kick around at a rest stop.
8. Bring a camera for the kids. Have them snap photos of anything they find interesting or enjoyable along the way. Once you’re home, print the photos and have your child scrapbook their memories.
9. Be sure to pack plenty of plastic bags. While they can be used for trash, you can use them for other things as well. You can put dirty laundry in them and use them on car seats to protect them from water or messes. They’ll also come in handy if anyone gets car sick during your trip.
10. Be sure to carry plenty of cash, including small bills. You may hit unexpected tolls, decide to stop for food along the way, use a vending machine or need them to tip a bellman for helping you carry your luggage to the hotel room.
11. Consider traveling at bedtime or nap time. Your children will be sure to fall asleep, which means they won’t have the chance to get bored or cranky while you’re on the road.
12. Have your child wear multiple layers when traveling by plane. It’s difficult to predict whether the plane will be hot or cold.
13. Bring a tray for your child to use during a road trip. It will make it easier to draw pictures or color, and it will also make snack time less messy.
14. Come up with a list of games for your child to play during the trip. I Spy, the Alphabet Game, or even counting the number of red cars on the road (or the number of corn fields when you fly) can help keep your child’s mind focused on something other than the boredom of the trip.
15. Pack lollipops when traveling by plane. A lollipop will not only keep your child occupied, but it will also help ease any ear pressure.
As you can see, your family vacation doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Your trip can go more smoothly just by following these simple family vacation hacks