With the end of the school year, the celebration of summer solstice, and red, white and blue sales on every single one of my online shopping homepages, I think it is safe to say that summer is here and we can cut the metaphorical ribbon for the 2014 travel season. If your family is anything like my family, the idea of airline travel is about as appealing as, well, airline travel with a four year old that can barely sit through a meal let alone six hours strapped to a chair. But there are a few things to pack whether you’re into the whole beach camping via roadtrip like us or bigger trips like, say, taking the family to Brazil to a catch the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Here are some universal packing truths:
1. Always bring a snack, preferably something with a scent that will ENHANCE your possible cramped traveling quarters and not nauseate any already-irritated traveling companions. No to tuna sandwiches. Yes to oranges and cashews.
2. Your cool. That’s right. Your cucumber-like-cool, because nothing will test your patience and your character more than family travel via public transportation systems, not to mention fatigue and general child-moodiness maladies.
3. Hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Never trust the wilderness or global travel to provide you with either. Properly maintained facilities are a privilege not a promise.
4. A map, despite popular belief, GPS is actually NOT everywhere.
5. Polyester. Cotton kills! Or it does when you’re camping, caught in a downpour, unable to light a campfire and are stuck with wet clothes for a bitterly damp night. The same goes for most of the World Cup games that have been played in 80% humidity or in a deluge of rain. Pack right!
6. The American Dollar. Whether stuck at a border crossing in Nepal or stuck in a Mom & Pop grocery store high up in the Adirondacks trying to buy those marshmallows you promised, remember, cash is king.
7. Water, water, water and in some places a Steripen Traveler Water Purifier.
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