As I headed out on the freeway this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the greater-than-normal amount of bikes, kayaks and campers rushing by me on the road. My mind can’t help but also go to how this greater influx of traffic must look in the skies, in airports and in resorts all across America. With all these people rushing around trying to get to their summer travel destinations, Murphy’s Law echoes in my head “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Now, before you call me a summer vacation naysayer, let me be the first to say I hope everyone’s trip goes off without a hitch. Let me also say that as a realist; it’s possible that things might not always go according to plan. So, to help your summer travels to go a little more smoothly, here are a few summer travel tips to take into consideration before you head out the door.
• Think In Body Sections When Packing: Remembering to pack every last thing for each family member can be exhausting. Here’s a packing tip: Visualize your head and go down each portion of your body, and write down what you may need for each section while traveling. Do the same for your children. You can always cross items off the list later.
• Save Money: If your travels include driving, save money by packing a cooler with food and drinks. Avoid ATM fees by taking out cash with a debit card purchase at a grocery store or gas station. Also, save money on the vacation itself by bundling hotel airfare and activities.
• Pack One Change of Clothes in Carry On: Pack one extra change of clothes for each person in their carry-on bag. Twenty-nine million pieces of luggage are lost or delayed/misplaced every year. If your bag is one of them, having a set of clothes to change into while you are waiting for your luggage to be found is a lifesaver.
• Pack Old Underthings: What?! Yes, packing light might be one way to bring home extra souvenirs, but so is packing your oldest undergarments. As you wear you and your family wear old undergarments throughout the trip, throw them out the next day. This lightens your suitcase and/or makes room for cool souvenirs along the way.
• How to Keep Kids Occupied: If your destination is hours away, pre-make binders for each child that include a coloring book, blank paper, crossword puzzles and activity sheets. Also include a zipper bag of crayons and writing utensils. Free printable coloring pages, stories and activities can be found at here and here.
• Child Flying Solo? Make sure you go over the itinerary several times before they leave. Book direct flights when you can, and make sure the child has identification and reminder instructions on him/her before leaving. Other great tips for children flying solo can be found here.
These packing tips are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more things travelers can do to make sure they have a safe ad fun vacation. Tell us about your best travel tips in the comment box below.