It’s easy to forget some of the most important things when packing up the family for a vacation. To help you out, we have assembled this list of tips for parents to keep in mind when planning a vacation.
1. If you are flying, try to reserve seats in the bulkhead row of the airplane (this is the aisle with no seats in front of you). You will have more leg room, so the kids can move around. And I have even changed a diaper in this area because plane lavatories are not equipped with changing tables!
2. Something else to consider when flying is to book an early morning flight in order to reduce your chances of being delayed and running the risk of missing a connecting flight. Throughout the day, the odds are greater of being delayed. And there’s little worse than sitting around at an airport with an antsy child.
3. If road-tripping, bring your ipad or tablet so the kids can watch their favorite movies on the road, which is bound to keep them happy.
4. Kids are famous for getting sick at the most inopportune times on weekends, during a special event or even on a special trip! So pack any common medicines that may come in handy (i.e., Motrin, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, etc.). And don’t forget any prescriptions your child may have. Some countries don’t have the same medicines as in the United States, and labels can be very vague and possibly in a different language. Pack medications in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost.
5. Get the kids involved in planning the trip especially if you have teenagers! This way they are less likely to complain, will take pride in knowing they helped choose the itinerary, and will know a bit more about trip destinations.
6. For families with infants and toddlers, consider mailing items to your destination. So your baby items such as cribs, strollers and car seats to be delivered to your vacation destination so you’ll have less stuff to lug around.
7. When flying, pack extra clothes for the kids in a carry-on bag. Accidents always seem to happen.
8. When staying in a hotel or rental home, bring baby-proofing items like outlet plugs and a portable gate. This will help with curious toddlers. Also, a few hotels offer these items for their guests, so ask when you call for a reservation.
9. If road-tripping, pack a small bag of essentials to keep in the front seat. Keeping certain items handy will prevent you from having to stop and dig through the tightly packed trunk.
10. Before the trip, come up with a family plan of what to do in case someone gets lost.