The Babble List: 25 Family Travel Tips
Stress-proof your next vacation! by Annie Bacon
May 18, 2009
We’re facing the return of the sun, the end of school, the start of family vacations and, economy be damned, the perfect time for a little adventure. Here are 25 tips for making it less stressful, more efficient and therefore more relaxing for everyone! –Annie Bacon
Check in the online yellow pages if there are any laundromats near your hotel, or call and ask the front desk before your trip. They’re incredibly cheap when compared to what most hotels will charge you.
Unless you’re vacationing in the middle of the African jungle, there should be drugstores and grocery stores at your destination, so only pack enough diapers and baby food for 24 hours, and plan a bit of shopping on your first day. Things like sun block, baby shampoo and even sand toys can also be bought on arrival… and left behind on departure!
Don’t bring the baby monitor in hope of sneaking to the hotel’s restaurant once the children are sleeping. You should never leave your child unattended, even behind locked doors!
Avoid the “one huge luggage” solution; all aircraft carriers impose steep penalties if you go over the weight limit. Make sure to look your airline’s luggage limit weight per person AND the limit per luggage.
Airports carts are helpful, but you should always be able to carry your kids and luggage without help, or you could find yourself stranded a few hundred meters from the taxi stand! When traveling alone with a child or baby, don’t hesitate to go for a less stylish, but oh-so-useful solution: the backpack. Your carry-on is heavier than your child? Put the bag in the stroller, and bring a baby or toddler carrier.
As prep for any massive delay, carry on a 24-hour survival kit: diapers and wipes, re-sealable plastic bags, a change of clothes for everyone, lots of snacks, minimal toiletries (toothbrush, contacts, deodorant), and the “must have to sleep” blanket or stuffed animal. Pack any remaining space with books and toys.