There is hopeful news on the horizon — with multiple COVID-19 vaccines emerging, you can once more dream of seeing the world without your mask fogging up your glasses. If you have little ones in tow, that means taking them on your trek.
Hitting the road with your toddler or teen requires more preparation and thought than taking off solo. Here are eight tips for traveling with family — including your youngest family members.
1. Pack Early
It’s probably safe to say that everyone who has ever traveled has arrived in a strange destination at least once, minus their toothbrush. It’s one thing when the concierge can bring a suitable replacement — but there’s no substitute for your child’s security blanket.
Hey, you’re human, and you take for granted the fact that your glasses will always be on the nightstand where you left them — when you aren’t sleeping at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Instead of waiting until the night before, pack a few days early. This space gives you time to remember those essentials you frequently overlook. You’ll save cash by not having to pick up as many incidentals on the road, and you’ll eliminate one potential tantrum source.
2. Get Extras of Frequently Used Items
Does your child take ongoing prescription medications? If so, the next time you see your pediatrician, ask for a travel set. Assuming that your little one doesn’t take a biologic requiring refrigeration, you can leave a week’s worth in your suitcase for when you travel.
Pay extra attention if you travel overseas. You probably know it’s hard to find the local Piggly Wiggly in Botswana, but some countries restrict how much medication patients can carry. Check with the embassy to make certain.
3. Stash Water Everywhere
Are you hitting the open road instead of flying the friendly skies? If so, please take ample water in your vehicle for emergency radiator repairs and human consumption.
Remain aware that exertion, climate and your bodyweight all affect hydration levels — those eight 8-ounce glasses a day only cut it for a 120-pound office worker, not someone much heavier traveling a deserted highway in search of a gas station. Mild dehydration can strike even before you experience symptoms, so carry plenty and frequently take sips.
4. Carry Food Provisions
While you can live for a considerable time without food, you won’t enjoy every minute. Your vacation is your time to treat yourself, not listen to whines of, “are we there yet? I’m hungry.”
Take plenty of food with you. You’re on vacation, so don’t deprive yourself or your kids of some treats. However, keep in mind that carrot sticks and hummus dip make less mess than crumbly chips.
5. Provide Ample Entertainment
When it comes to nature’s immutable laws, the sun will always set in the west, and your patience will always run thin when playing “Punch-Buggy.” Unless you want to listen to “I spy with my little eye” for 2,000 miles, pack some games and books.
With many children homeschooled this past year, why not make this vacation a break from screen time? Instead, hit your local dollar store and stock up on activity books and colored pencils. A trip to the library provides reading material if your kids don’t get motion sickness.
6. Remember Hygiene Essentials
Even though restrictions vary across the nation, please carry your mask and hand sanitizer. The CDC recommends that you wear one on public transportation, and failing to cover up, even in areas where it isn’t required, unnecessarily endangers others’ welfare — and yours.
If you travel internationally, you may need to get a COVID-19 vaccine before you can enter some countries when restrictions lift. Fortunately, you can soon use the CommonPass app to upload an eventual proof of vaccination before departure.
7. Wear Matching Outfits
You walk into a crowded stadium, but even if they mingled among you in the stands, you could likely identify your team’s players. Why? They all wear the same uniform.
Take a clue the next time you travel by dressing your family alike. You don’t have to become the Doublemint Twins, but having your squad all outfitted in neon yellow can make it easier to spot your tot when he dashes off after the costumed mouse at the amusement park.
8. Review Emergency Plans
You don’t want to think about a loved one getting sick or hurt while you are away. However, even if you stay in the U.S., your health insurance might not work the same when you cross state lines. Unless you purchase a travel policy or rider, you could face enormous out-of-network costs.
Also, review what to do if you get separated in various locations. When visiting theme parks or museums, pick one attraction as a meetup point. Make sure older teens have a cellphone and backup charger before venturing off solo.
Use These 8 Tips When Traveling With Family
When traveling with your family, please follow the eight tips above. They’ll keep your loved ones safer so that you can concentrate on enjoying your trip.