Summer is officially here and for most of us that means vacation time. If you are traveling with your family, planning and executing a successful trip may sound like an impossible task. You are probably already overwhelmed with your daily routine, between work and the kids, you don’t have time to think about what you might need for your excursion. After taking our kids all over the world, my husband and I have learned a few things that may make your vacation planning a little less daunting, or at least save you some time and stress along the way.
Make a List
The best place to begin is with making a list. You can list out things you want to see and do during your vacation. Maybe family members each make their own list and you compile it into one after paring it down to what is most important to everyone. This will give you an idea of what you are doing, and what you may need for certain activities or outings. After you decide what your days will be like, make a list of what you will need to pack. This will help you in the beginning when you are packing for your trip, but will also help you at the end of your trip to make sure you don’t forget anything when it is time to pack up and leave.
For the benefit of both you and your children, make sure to pack plenty of travel entertainment. This means both electronic and non-electronic entertainment. Do not rely solely on tablets and cell phones. Check out some ideas for other games and toys to keep your kids busy in the car or on the plane. One of the best purchases we ever made was a headphone splitter. This will allow more than one person to listen to a device at a time. That way both of your kids can watch a movie on their tablet without disturbing anyone around them. These also come in handy at museums when using an audio tour, a headphone splitter will save you a little bit of money.
The last thing you need while on vacation is a sun burn. Whether it is you or someone in your family, a bad sunburn can ruin a good time for everyone. Depending on where and how bad the sunburn is, it could prevent you from doing certain activities you had planned, not to mention be very painful in general. When packing sun protection, you want to think beyond just sunscreen. UV protection shirts, hats, sunglasses, and lip balm are all just as important, especially if you are going to a destination where the sun is stronger than what you are used to. When thinking about sun protection, go back to the list of what you will be spending your days doing. Having a pair of Oakley sunglasses will be great for both the active parent and the beach bum.
Packing cubes are a life saver when you are packing for multiple people. Having the ability to reach into your bag and pull out only what you need is so useful and keeps things from getting too chaotic. Invest in a good set of packing cubes that are easy to get in and out of, but also save you space when compressed.