by Henry Moore
Family vacations are a wonderful way to create lasting memories with your children, but traveling with kids can be tricky. Boredom, hunger, and anxiety can all bring on tantrums from your kids and more stress for you. By taking some time to prepare for your trip, you can head off problems before they arise, and keep your entire family happy along the way.
Prepare as You Pack
You want to be sure you are prepared for all types of situations and weather, so make sure you keep this in mind as you pack your family’s bags. Make a packing checklist and have your kids help you get items together. Bring extra sets of clothing and layers in case you or your child gets cold. Think of where you are headed and where you will stay when you get there. What kinds of activities will you be doing? If you plan to walk around, pack a couple of pairs of your kids’ comfiest shoes to help with tired feet. Bring strollers for younger children if needed and don’t forget to pack for yourself as well.
Get Your House Ready
As you plan your family trip, make time to prepare your home before you go. Take a walk around the inside and outside of your home to check for any potential issues that could be a problem while you’re away. You could even have your children help you take a look around and make any necessary repairs. Patch up any loose or worn fencing to keep animals out of your yard. Cover and secure patio furniture and any other items that could get damaged or be blown away. Check your roof for loose shingles, and latch any screen doors to prevent them from banging against the door frame. Taking some time to make sure your home is secure can prevent damage, reduce stress, and also prevent annoyances to your neighbors while you are gone.
Bring Healthy Snacks
Nothing will create stress faster than hungry kids traveling, and you don’t want to rely on fast food and convenience store options to fill them up. If you’re driving, bring a cooler or tote of nutritious, tasty snacks for them instead. Bring snacks to suit a variety of cravings, like popcorn, fruit, and trail mix. Keep kids hydrated as well by having plenty of water and drinks on hand. Flying with the family? You can still bring food along but make sure liquids are limited to 3.4 ounces and always check TSA guidelines before you get to the airport. Packing you own snacks keeps you and the kids healthy and happy, while preventing tons of stops along the way.
Kids can get restless on long trips, so it’s always a good idea to think of some activities to help keep them occupied. If they’re old enough to read, now is a good time to get them started on a good book. If you have younger kids, finding a way to play their favorite movie or TV show can be a great distraction. Of course, you’ll want to keep the noise down in the car or in public, so it may be a good idea to invest in a comfy pair of headphones, like the ones listed here. Look for a pair that has volume control to prevent damage to tiny ears, and try to snag headphones that will last for many trips to come.
Traveling with your kids can be stressful, but it really doesn’t have to wear you out. Take some time to plan your trip, and keep these tips handy to help you out. You will be thankful to have less hassles while you create lifelong memories for you and your family.
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