Don’t Forget These Essentials when Traveling with Kids
Going on vacation with your children can be a lot of fun, but it also requires a bit more planning than taking a trip with just adults. You want to make sure that your children’s every need will be taken care of during your trip, so don’t leave home without packing these crucial items:
When you are traveling, it can often be tempting to just stop for fast food or grab whatever is convenient at the nearest gas station. However, this could be a recipe for disaster, especially if you are going on a long road trip. Many of the snacks available at convenience stores along the way will be filled with sugar and low in nutritional value. The last thing you want when taking a road trip is kids who are all hyped up from a sugar high. After that, of course, you’ll experience the inevitable sugar crash and have to deal with tired, cranky kids the rest of the way. Instead, stock up on healthy, nutritious snacks before you leave. Choose things like fresh fruit, granola, or cheese and crackers to help keep energy stable.
Books and Other Activities
No matter which mode of transportation you choose, you’ll need to keep your kids entertained for the duration of the journey to minimize the dreaded refrain of, “Are we there yet?” Bring along some of your kids’ favorite books and activities to keep them occupied for as much time as possible. Bring a variety of activities so that they don’t get bored with any one thing. If any of your children suffer from motion sickness, play games like “I Spy” to keep their attention directed outside of the vehicle.
Change of Clothes
Even if your kids are perfectly potty trained, going on a long trip can be somewhat disruptive to their regular routine, especially if your kids have never traveled before. Be sure to pack a change of clothes so that you’ll be prepared in case of any accidents. Although you may not need to use them, it is better to be safe than sorry. Even kids who haven’t had an accident in years may find the stress of travel to be a bit overwhelming.
Reminders of Home
Encourage your kids to bring along something that is important to them and that will remind them of home, like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Even if your trip will only last for a few days, young children can still get homesick, so you want them to have something that will offer comfort and make them feel safe. Do your best to be as reassuring as possible, and try to minimize your own stress while traveling to keep it from rubbing off on your kids as well. They take their cues from you, so show them just how much fun travel can be.
Baby Travel Crib
Although some hotels may be able to provide you with a crib, this is not always the case. If you are staying with friends or family members, they may not have a crib available for you to use either. To keep your baby as safe as possible, it is best to bring along your own travel crib. This way, you’ll have a safe place for your baby to sleep without having to impose on your host to provide it. Many travel cribs can also multi-task as play pens and changing tables as well, giving you everything you need to properly care for your infant.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should get you off to a good start in packing for your next adventure with your little ones. The better prepared you are before you take your trip, the more enjoyable it will be for everyone involved. Once you have a few great trips under your belt, your kids will get so excited about your next family vacation!