My grandmother was once asked if she wanted to go on a family vacation and 8 hour car trip with me and my 3 younger sisters. Her response was, “I don’t want to drive to the end of the driveway with you crazy people!” Family vacations can be crazy, but they are always worth the effort though… except when you are traveling to Wallyworld while they are closed for renovation.
There are always a lot more logistics to factor in when kids are involved on road trips, plane rides, hotels, and any other moving part of your travels. Here are a few tips for traveling with your family:
Call for Hotel Hospitality – Let them know that you are traveling with your kids and see what they have to offer to make your stay easier. Some hotels have cribs they can offer that will allow you to leave the pack-and-play behind. They may even have certain rooms that have a little more space if they know that there are going to be several people sleeping in the room. It never hurts to ask, and their goal is to make your stay great.
Packing Light – Airlines and car trunks don’t like a lot of bags. If you have one big suitcase, use it for multiple family members, but keep it under 50 lbs to avoid additional fees. If you are checking bags for a flight, let each person carry a backpack with one change of clothes and things to do on the trip. Take an inexpensive and light umbrella stroller instead of the behemoth if you can. Lastly, you never need as many clothes as you think, especially for little kids clothes. If the place you are staying has a washer/dryer, plan to use it, and your packing will be much easier.
Save the Screen – My wife and I used to put the kids in the car and immediately turn on the DVD player. The problem is that the kids lose interest after a little bit and the “Are we there yet’s” and “I’m hungry’s” crank up. If your secret weapon is a game on an iPad or a DVD player in the car, see if you can start the trip with books and small toys to keep them happy and save the entertainment for the area of the trip you usually experience the primetime meltdowns.
Bottles Up & Down – If you are flying with a baby or a small child, give them something drink on the way up to 30,000 feet and on the way down to keep the pressure in their ears down as well. For older kids, chewing gums does well too. Also change that diaper quick – while you and your spouse like to play “Who’s gonna change it” with each other, your fellow passengers are not as used to that lovely aroma.
Yakkity Yakk –In the middle of the trip and somebody is getting sick? If you are in the US, use your smartphone to find a good doctor nearby. Apps like ZocDoc and BetterDoctor are great for seeing local doctors, their specialties, and their customer ratings. If you have travel insurance and you are out of the country, call them first to see what guidance they can provide for your medical needs.
We understand that the trip with your family is a lot to plan and execute in order to create a lifetime of memories. This week, Protect Your Bubble released a new Travel Insurance program that allows you to add up to 3 kids for free to your policy for every insured adult or parent on the policy. That’s right…free!
So while you are planning how to get the whole family through security at the airport, you don’t have to worry as much about unforeseen doctor visits or trip mishaps for your kiddos during the trip. Buy the travel insurance policy for you, and cover the kiddos too for free!