Category: Beautiful Family
Family travel has grown increasingly cumbersome and less enjoyable. A large contribution to the travel dissatisfaction stems from airport “security.” Collapsing strollers, taking off diapers, inappropriate fondling of pre-teen girls and excessive radiation exposure are all a normal part of the airport experience. Not to mention the expense and inconvenience of luggage, high cost and low quality of food in the airport, and diminishing customer service element of airports and airlines in general – cumulatively makes air travel enough to mess up any vacation.
So what’s a family to do? Here are some tips to make the family road trip stress-free!
1. Consider driving! Unless your drive exceeds one driving day, it’s probably better to drive. After all, it is common to spend and entire waking day “dealing with” airplane travel anyway. From leaving your house 3 – 4 hours before your flight, to arriving at your destination hotel 2-3 hours after you land – makes for a 10 hr day. AND you still have to find a car, eat, and recover from your “security” experience! Driving allows you to control your diet, cost, luggage, and overall your children will be able to relax and not worry about offending other people.
2. Pack a week prior to your trip if possible. Washing the children’s clothing, and putting aside the items you’d love to see them bring on the trip makes last minute “dirty clothes” a non-issue. It also allows you to continually add things to the suitcase as you think of them, making accidental omissions less likely.
3. Have each person take their own bag, with their own stuff. This makes finding outfits, shoes, hygiene items, and everything else simple. AND, if your kids are over 3 years old, they can likely tend to their own suitcase, allowing you to tend to other travel particulars.
4. Put socks, underwear, and accessories in Ziploc baggies. This keeps them together, and allows you to see when someone is getting low on these items.
5. Always put hygiene products in plastic bags. AND put this plastic bag in a bag that is separate from your clothing bag if possible. Leakage of a product can really wreak havoc on your travel grace.
6. Confirm all hotel reservations, car reservations, plans with friends/family, and any tickets to events or activities. This minimizes surprises.
7. Be sure your affairs are in order: financially, with work, with your home you’re leaving behind, your pets, etc.
8. Plan AHEAD what and where you’re going to eat. You don’t want to end up pigging out at fast food joints just because you’re on the road! Bring a lightweight travel cooler and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids. Plot out the more natural on-the-go meals on your route (such as Wholefoods, Panera, Chipotle) and eat at these establishments.
9. Get your car serviced and clean if it needs it. Driving around with “extra” stuff costs (gas) money, and a dirty car isn’t very comfortable for long trips.
10. Organize outings and meet-ups with friends and family in the area. This will make your experience more authentic, enjoyable, and memorable for everyone.