Practical Tips for Traveling With Kids
Summer is here and families are planning trips before the kids head back to school. Traveling with kids is great times but planning has to take place to make the trip memorable and successful. I can remember when my kids were little, we would plan our yearly trip to the beach and I would start weeks in advance planning. Planning the travel, the place to stay, the activities as well as what to wear on a daily bases. I think I might have went a little overboard in this area. We had daily schedules. Over the years I have relaxed but there are many tips that I followed then that I still do today.
I think this is probably the biggest part of making your traveling so much easier. Prepare for your trip. Don’t wait until the night before to start packing and getting everyone ready. Use the week before to gather and pack . Here is a quick list of what I do before a trip.
- Put together a travel folder. In this folder I put our travel itinerary such as airline tickets, cruise tickets, etc. I also put our passports and any other official documents that is needed. Confirmations of hotels, condos & prepaid activities. This puts everything in one place.
- Make a packing list for each person in your family and place it on the refrigerator or somewhere that everyone will see the list and possibly help you gather the items needed to be packed.
- Put suitcases all in one room. I use an extra bedroom or the laundry room. Have them available to start packing throughout the week. When clothes are washed, then fold and put in suitcase. I keep them all together, that way I can see if I need to share space with another or if I can combine two into one.
Night before the trip
The night before I make sure my folder is complete and I have all the documents we need to travel. I place this folder in my purse or carry on bag. That way it is with me and not packed in a suitcase. Before I head off to bed, here is a few tips that I do the night before traveling.
- Layout everyone’s travel clothes. This makes the morning easier and it ensures that no one will be digging into the already packed suitcases.
- Make sure each child has a back pack packed with activities to do while traveling as well as a snacks. If flying, I always pack an extra change of clothes in the backpacks as well.
- Have your toiletry bag laid out to where it will be easy to put the last minute toothbrushes, shavers, etc in it to pack in your suitcase.
Vacation day is here! I think I get so excited each time I wake up and it is time for us to head out of town. Still today, when it is usually just Gregg and I heading out of town together, I get excited. Over the years, I have relaxed and I have not stressed as much about the schedules once we got on vacation. But let me share a couple of bits of wisdom that I have learned over the 28 years of marriage.
- Vacation starts as soon as the house door is shut and locked. If you want ice cream on the way to the airport, why not, you are on vacation. Don’t wait until you arrive at the destination to start relaxing.
- The goal is to connect and reconnect to your family when on vacation. Don’t be the one to stress everyone out. Enjoy life together and remember you are not on a schedule. You are on a journey to make memories together with your family.
- If you have forgot something, don’t panic. There is always a store that will have what you need, or UPS can deliver it. There is very few items that a doctor, delivery service or Walmart can’t help you get anywhere in this world.
The biggest tip I have is, enjoy your family. Make memories that they will talk about for days and it is not about the amount of money that you spend on your trip but the amount of laughs and time you have with each other.
For more tips, Janell at Saving you Dinero wrote a blog post several years ago about how she travels with her young children. It is really good, Click here to read her article.