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5 Ways to Prepare for Family Travel and Summer Vacations!

Although this feels like the winter that just won’t end (at least here in New York, where we’re trudging through snow yet again), warm weather is finally within our grasp. And with warm weather comes summer vacation season — finally.

We have our first big airplane ride planned for May, which means I’ll be traveling with my 2 year old on a cross-country flight. (Tell me it isn’t as bad as I’m expecting!) While he loves airplanes, he doesn’t quite grasp what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be going, so we’re trying to get him psyched — as well as prepared.

Are you in the same boat (or plane, or car…) this year? Here are 5 ways to prepare the little ones for family travel:

1. Give Them a Visual

traveling with kids

If you’re heading to a big city this summer, get your kids excited about the adventure with the Look Out World DVD and book series, which explores new cities through adorable characters that sing and dance their way around. We told you all about the New York edition, but Look Out World is releasing Chicago and San Francisco editions on April 1!

2. Incorporate maps and globes

If you’re making an international trip this summer, start breaking out the globes and maps to familiarize your kids with where exactly you’ll be going. Isn’t this sectional paper globe incredible? Even cooler: This paper globe is designed to sit at 23.4 degrees — the exact tilt of the earth’s axis — and the inside is designed to replicate earth’s interior structure. So you’ll be teaching more than just where France is on a map! (Buy this paper globe from Upon a Fold for $34.95.)

**Use wall maps as stylish, cheap wall art! See design inspiration here.

3. Pick out some cool travel gear

And it doesn’t get much cooler than the Trunki — which is a carry-on-size suitcase that kids can ride on! You can find a Trunki through Melissa and Doug here in the States ($39.99).

** See our Top 10 picks for air travel gear when flying with kids!

4. Start picking out travel toys

Although it might be better to buy these closer to your departure (before the novelty wears off), there are plenty of non-electronic travel toy options out there — such as the FeltTales storyboards ($19.95) and airplane/car travel trays ($24.99).

5. Buy some cute summer bathing suits

Like these boys board shorts from Haiden Surf ($38) and girls bathing suit from Baby Wit ($52). See more of our favorite bathing suits in our Summer Style Guide.

What are you doing to prepare for your upcoming family travels?

[Main image: Babble.com]

Also check out:

Top 10 Air Travel Must-Haves when flying with kids!

The Best Travel Crib we’ve found

The Best Travel High Chair to stick in your suitcase

The Kindle vs. The Nook: Which is the ultimate travel companion?


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