The most recent post in a series from Seaport's wedding and social event expert, Leah Malin
School is nearly out and Summer Vacations will soon be upon us! Nobody has ever accused me of being a “light” packer, but nothing prepared me for how much you need to take along when hitting the road with your children!
Whether your summer travel plans involve planes, trains, or automobiles, planning ahead, being organized and finding the delicate balance of bringing everything you should need versus everything you could need are all keys to set you up for packing success, minus the stress!
From working in a hotel and taking several vacations over the last few years with toddlers and teenagers, I have cultivated a few tips to keep in your bag of tricks that make vacation preparations easier!
1. Keep them busy: Put together a little backpack of activities to keep kids (especially younger children) busy while travelling. I stock up on sticker activity and coloring books from either the craft or dollar store, as well as small toys or games from the dollar bins at Target. Don’t forget a full new box of crayons or (even better!) washable markers. These serve double duty as sanity-builders when dining out at restaurants or waiting in airports.
2. Keep them full. Pack travel-friendly snacks so you aren’t running to the store, or running up the tab in room service!
3. Keep in mind those around you: I used to get so stressed when my daughter was a baby and prone to crying at night when we stayed in hotels. I became accustomed (and still do) ask for rooms either on the end of the floor or with vacancies on either side. Just knowing that a toddler or teenage tantrum isn’t disrupting another guest provides peace of mind during a stressful situation.
4. Keep on top of amenities: Last summer, I was out of town for a family function and specifically chose a hotel with a water-park quality pool and slide. After amping the kids up on the three-plus-hour ride, we got to the hotel to find out it was closed for repairs. If I had called ahead, I would have changed hotels or at least not sold this to the kids.
5. Keep the tech charged: If you are prone to allowing screen time for your kids, ensure you have a variety of favorites and new things, especially those that don’t require Wi-Fi in case it doesn’t work or you are in a remote location without it. If staying in a hotel, call ahead and ensure that it is complimentary, there is nothing worse than having an unanticipated charge, or not being prepped with options if you opt out of spending extra for this service.
Wishing you safe, fun, and sanity-filled vacations this summer and beyond!