Whether you’re getting to your vacation destination by land, sea or air, we’ve got some tips to help you pack up the kids and keep them occupying during your journey.
We found this Interactive Packing List: http://www.bhg.com/health-family/activities/travel/interactive-packing-list/ that allows people of all ages to enter their name, age group, and click the type of vacation they’re embarking on. Then, the website does the work for you and creates a list of items you will need based on your age, gender, climate you’re traveling to and type of vacation you’re planning for (beach, hiking, formal, etc.) It’s a free website, just click around the opening ad. Before you leave the house, do a last minute check in each room to make sure you didn’t forget anything — did you remember the sun block, bug spray and a fully stocked travel first-aid kit?
For the car or plane trip, have your child pack a backpack with comfort items such as a favorite stuffed animal, blanket or pillow, a book specifically for the journey, music, and a game that cam be played in the car – you can even spend an afternoon making your own travel board game by shrinking down this version we found online: http://kiddley.com/2006/09/27/make-a-simple-board-game/.
For the extra long car journeys, pack a few surprises in your own carry-on, like small dollar store items, or those binoculars you have hanging around in the basement would be great for a really challenging iSpy! The extra fabric swatches or material from old clothes can be cut up and thrown into a baggie with a few needles and some thread for your daughter to make some new clothes for a Barbie. Have her sketch out the idea first on paper so there will be less of a change of “mess ups.” Borrow some DVDs from the library if you’re lucky enough to have a DVD player in the car – try a car theme and rent films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herbie: Fully Loaded, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and the Pixar’s, Cars.
Pack snacks in advance in individual snack bags for your child. Have them decorate the bags a few days before you leave with their name and some glitter, feathers, construction paper – whatever suits their fancy! Snacks can be put into little plastic baggies (remember, they are snacks and not meant to replace a meal, so do keep them small). Have a mix of healthy stuff and a few treats. And don’t forget to keep your kids hydrated. Try to pack more water than juice to keep the antsiness from juice sugar-highs to a minimum.
Download some fun summer music off the computer and burn it to a disc. If you really want to start your vacation off right (and surely embarrass your older kids) download this fun tune to start the trip.