Photo Credit: TN
Millennials With Kids: Preparing for Summer Vacation
Summer is just a few months away and children around the world are counting down until the last bell rings and summer break begins. Nowadays, the words summer and vacation are almost synonymous and the warmer months mark the beginning of the busiest time for family travel.
If you’re a millennial preparing for summer vacation with your children, here’s a guide to preparing for an epic adventure with all the kiddos in tow.
1. Start packing early
When preparing for summer vacation with your children is it vital you start packing early. Long gone are the days when you could wait to throw a bunch of clothes in your suitcase a few hours before your flight. With packing for multiple people, procrastination can cause you to forget important travel essentials and items you’ll need on your trip.
Once you’ve sorted out all the clothing to be packed, take the extra time to roll each item up before placing them in your suitcase. Rolling clothing will save a ton of space in your suitcase so you’ll be able to fit more in when traveling with multiple family members.
2. Review the itinerary with your kids
Traveling to a new place can cause some kids to experience anxiety and stress. This could resonate as overexcitement or as withdrawn, antisocial behavior. You can help curb some of your child’s anxiety by reviewing the itinerary with them. Take some time to go over each excursion planned for your family vacation and hold space for them to ask questions and voice their excitement and concerns. You can pull up photos and videos of the hotel and activities for them to get a feel for what they’ll experience on vacation.
3. Include them in the planning process
Including your kids in the vacation process is not only informative for them but also a fun, bonding moment for families to enjoy together. Allow your children to check out the hotel options and voice their favorite picks. If you’re still undecided on a destination to visit, give them an opportunity to express places they’d be interested in visiting. By allowing your children to be involved in the planning process, you’re empowering them to make travel decisions at a young age.
4. Explain how airport security works
If you plan on traveling by plane with your children this summer, be sure to sit down and explain to them how airport security and the TSA screening process work. TSA can be scary to children especially if they have never flown before. So it’s important to talk to them about what to expect once they arrive at the airport.
Be sure to cover things like why they have to remove their shoes and jackets, placing items in the bin, raising their arms to be screened, and other important things that might catch your children off guard when preparing to board the plane.
5. Opt for comfortable clothing
Cute Instagram photos of babies dressed in their Sunday’s best might be trending on social media. However, it is not always realistic when traveling with children. When traveling with your kids this summer, opt for comfortable clothing over being photo-ready. Although they might not be ready to flick it up in the airport terminal or a road stop, your children will thank you for dressing them comfortably and relaxed as they prepare for hours of travel.
In addition to comfy clothes, be sure your children have dressed appropriately for the temperature of the vehicle. Both airplanes and cars can get cold when the air conditioning is on. So make sure you have a jacket handy for each child in case they get chilly. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a blanket available too.
6. Have activities and electronics handy
Kids get bored easily and there’s no easier place to befall boredom than riding in a car or on a plane for long periods of time. Counteract this boredom by making sure you have plenty of children’s activities and electronics available for them to indulge in. Many parents let their kids play with tablets while traveling to keep them entertained while commuting. Other travel-friendly activities include coloring books, small dolls, and stuffed animals.
7. Make sure you have toiletries and medicine
Because you already saved yourself a headache by packing early, you should have plenty of time to make sure you have all the toiletries and medication your child may need on vacation. If your child suffers from chronic illnesses and has necessary medicines, set a reminder two hours before you depart to remind you not to forget them. Additionally, if you’re child suffers from any airborne allergies, be sure to have an auto-injector handy in case they have a reaction while traveling or on vacation.
Make sure you also pack travel essential toiletries in your carry-on like tissue, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes just in case there are any accidents while traveling.
8. Take advantage of child discounts
Many airlines and travel activities offer child discounts. Take advantage of these discounts as long as your child is of qualifying age. To find out if an airline offers a child discount, check their website or call the airline directly before booking your tickets.
9. Teach your child your contact information
One of the scariest moments any parent can have is getting separated from their children while on vacation. If you have children old enough to talk and communicate with others, teach them your contact information so they know how to reach you in case they ever get lost. It’s also important to walk your children through what to do if they ever get lost. Be sure to educate them on what security means and how to find the customer service desk in case they ever find themselves separated from you while traveling.
10. Always have a back up plan
With having children, nothing is predictable and you never really know what is going to happen next. Because of this unpredictability, it’s important to always have a backup plan when traveling with children. You never know when someone is going to get sick, poor weather sets in, or any other mishap that could go wrong while traveling, so prepare for the unexpected. You can protect yourself even more by getting insurance on your flight and on your entire trip in case of last-minute cancellations arise.