Packing and Organizing Tips for Family Travel with Kids
Organizing family vacations with children can sometimes be quite stressful. Whether you travel by bus, train or plain the trip will take its toll on the little one. To pack and organize a family trip takes lots of energy, focus and planning. Time, of coarse, is another factor that needs to be taken into account. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t put everything off to the very last moment. When you’re traveling with children, it’s always a good idea to start organizing several days, even a week in advance. Otherwise there is a huge possibility your trip might turn into a disaster of mass proportions. Follow these tips for family travel with kids for a good outcome of your vacation.
Help the child pack his or her luggage
Our firm belief is that everyone under the age of fifteen needs some assistance when packing their luggage for a trip. Children usually end up packing in only impractical things like teddy bears, Barbie dolls, balls or make-up and magazines if they are teenagers. Several days before the trip offer to provide some assistance with your kids’ luggage. This way you’ll make sure some clothes suitable for the weather are present in the child’s suitcase. But don’t overdo it. If you’re going on a winter vacation pack two or threes warm sweaters, two or three pairs of pants, mittens, a hat and a wool shawl. But keep in mind there’s no need to carry your entire closet’s content with you. The same is valid for summer – two pairs of bathing suits will suffice.
Pack in the essentials
What we mean by essentials? Think of articles such as a tooth brush, tooth paste, towels, hair brush or a comb. If your child is under the age of five or six, it would be a good idea to bring special shampoo and soap. Sure, those can be found in the bathroom of any hotel room and are in fact included in the price but we’re not sure they’re suitable for babies and younger children. Most of the toilet articles in hotels are usually low quality (because they come for free) and can be very aggressive on children’s gentle skin. That’s why we believe it’s best to pack your own. Sunscreen, a hat and a pair of glasses should also be considered depending on the season.
Teach the kid to clean their toiletries
The child should learn to maintain his or her toiletries in top notch condition. What do we mean by that? Each time he or she uses their brush or comb, hair should be collected and disposed off, otherwise in a few days you’ll collect enough hair to make a wig. Don’t forget to remind the little one they should shampoo the comb or brush once every two weeks to remove oily deposits. The tooth brush should be diligently rinsed after use as well, and the same is valid for shampoo and shower gels – the bottles should not be covered in foam. If these foamy bottles end up in your kid’s bag, Lord only knows what mess they’d make!
Prepare a medicine kit
One never knows what’s going to happen on the road. And in fact accidents do happen unfortunately – your child might bruise a knee, cut their finger or get a tummy ache. Think in advance and prepare a kit with some essential medicines and tools. It should contain some aspirin or paracetamol in case the little one gets down with the flu, as well some bandages and plaster for nasty cuts and bruises. A thermometer is also a good idea if things get out of hand.
Pack for Recreation
When you’re going on a vacation, recreation and good time are naturally part of the deal. However, this doesn’t mean you should allow your child to spend the entire day splashing in the swimming pool. Think about packing some other items which are fun, yet educational at the same time. And no, we don’t have your laptop in mind. Nowadays children tend to spend enough time in front of computer screens so and so. It would be a far better idea to pack a few children’s classic books, your child’s iPod (or favorite CDs) as well as some board games and a frisbee for example.
Snacks for the trip
Last but definitely not least you should not forget to prepare something to eat while you’re on the road. The options here are practically limitless but it would be best to comply with your child’s taste and pack some of his or her favourite snacks. For example some granola or chocolate bars and a few packs of chips and crackers. Bare in mind these don’t really satiate, so make sure you prepare some filling food as well – peanut butter sandwiches are an excellent idea. And to make things healthier pick some fruits too. If you’re travelling by plane don’t forget to buy a few packs of gum – it might come in handy when your ears start popping due to the high pressure.
Going on a family vacation should be nothing but fun. Do your best to prepare yourself in advance and organise your trip properly – this is the only way to actually enjoy it. Sure, organisation and packing do take quite some time. But don’t forget why you are doing it – to spend some quality time with your family and kids.
Stock Images provided by CaribbeanGreenLiving.com.
The article was written by Kathleen Crane from CarpetCleaners Balham