Summer Travel Tips
1: Give your kids some ownership: Kids love to be given responsibility. Who doesn’t? And as parents, we love it when this responsibility helps them grow, teaches them something, and makes our lives a little easier. Why not let your kids take some ownership in the vacation planning stage? Depending on their age, this could mean a few things. Here are some Little Passport suggestions:
- Give your kids 3 options and let them choose their favorite destination (this is for our younger travellers).
- Let them do some research online for hotels, kids activities, places to eat, etc… Let them propose an itinerary. (* always keep in mind safe internet usage)
- Give them a budget and let them take the role of Travel Director. This one incorporates all the aspects of b above, but also sparks great conversations about budgets, prioritizing, and compromising.
Parents- you always have the veto power, so make sure your kids pick a location that is good for both adults and children. A perfect example would be a few days at the South Carolina beaches combined with a trip to Charleston for great food and history. Remember, if your child’s choice doesnt meet the parent/kid friendly criteria- send them back to the drawing board!!!
** Fun Fact: One of Little Passports Founders, Amy, has been planning all her family holidays since the age of 12!!!
2: Don’t let GPS take control: Most cars today have a built in GPS- or one sitting on the dashboard. We all know how valuable they are. We would literally be “lost” without them. But do you remember car trips as a kid? The route was planned out on a map nights before (in our house it was even highlighted in yellow). Someone was always holding the map during the drive- left here, right up ahead…. You missed the turn!!! So put the GPS to the side (or on mute). Give your little ones a map (photo copied with a highlighter if possible). Let them guide you to your holiday destination!!!
3: Make a master list of everything you will need: (diapers, kid’s headphones, goggles)… Every time you travel, pull the list out. This saves at least 30 minutes of packing time each time you travel. We promise!!! Keep the list electronically or hand written. Either way, make sure to add/update items as your kids needs change…at some stage diapers will get replaced by undies and ipads!
If you are really organized, why not keep a travel dop kit ready to go for the kids? Include items such as travel sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, and soap. This way you dont need to think about it- just grab the bag and go! Don’t forget to restock it when you get home!
4: Over pack and under pack for the journey: Seriously! Here we are talking about your actual travel time and we recommend over packing on the following items:
- Snacks- Bring twice the snacks you think you’ll need.
- Clothes (for both you and the kids)- Dont be surprised if your in flight entertainment involves up to four wardrobe changes !!!
Activities- Stock up on games that your kids dont get to play often. If your budget allows, purchase a new game or two just for the journey there and home. It always helps to have something special that holds their attention.
We recommend under packing on the following items:
- Activities- the games your kids really love but lose interest in after 5 minutes. Dont weigh your bag down with items that hold little time value.
- Just for you Sorry, we hate to say it, but you probably wont have time to read that favorite book. So leave it behind or pack it in your suitcase.
5. Build in time for you and your kids to get over jetlag: When you have landed at your destination, dont forget the impact of jetlag. It can turn any amazing activity in to a cranky cry fest. Know your time zones and leave room for recuperation. When you are ready to explore, don’t over-schedule yourselves with activities. Most importantly, be prepared to drop things from the schedule depending on how everyone is feeling. A family trip is meant to be enjoyed by all so dont sweat the small stuff and have fun!
6: Think Global- Stay Local: Not everyone can travel, so summer is a great time to get creative in your home town. Little Passports has a few tried and true tips for taking local adventures with a global theme.
- Overnight Camping: Yellowstone National Park in your own backyard! Dont forget the sleeping bags, yummy treats, and camp fire stories!!!
- Bahamas Beach Day: Whether you belong to a neighborhood pool or have the pop up floaty in the backyard, bring out the coconut smelling sun screen and silly sunglasses… arrive for a day of sun and relaxation!
- Neighborhood party: Invite your neighbors to a block party. Ask everyone to bring a dish that their parents or grandparents had handed down to them. You will be amazed to learn everyone’s different backgrounds, taste new foods, and hear about places you have to look up on the Little Passports map at home!!!