Travelers can avoid bumps in the road when family hits the road
Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013 8:00 pm
By: By Donna Ryder
The Messenger 05.03.13
May is already here and, before we know it, school will be over and it will be summer.
Every summer, my family takes a vacation. It may be as many as 17 hours away or as little as three or four, but we make a point to “get out of Dodge,” as my husband puts it.
When I was young, my family did not go on vacation. My husband’s family was just the opposite. His dad was in the military and my husband spent his formative years in Germany. That meant trips to such places as Denmark, Spain and France. He’s seen castles and churches and famous paintings I’ve only ever been able to see on film or in books. I’m sure it was his living overseas that fueled his love of history.
We started making plans for this summer’s vacation several months ago. As this is a special year for the entire family — my husband and I will be married 20 years this month, our oldest son turns 16 in July and our youngest son will become a teenager in August — we’ve decided to spend an entire week at Walt Disney World and visit all four parks. We’ve been twice before, but we only went to one park each time.
When traveling such long distances, it’s always good to be prepared, especially when you’re traveling with children — whether they’re babies or teenagers.
An email from Alma Moussa, co-inventor of the Babee Cove, a baby blanket and cover, offers some excellent family travel tips.
1. Pack light — Save space where you can by using products such as the Babee Covee which have more than one use. If leaving for several weeks, think about the possibility of washing your clothes while at your destination.
2. Always have wipes — They can be used as intended as diaper wipes, to wash hands and to clean up unexpected spills in the car.
3. Bring snacks — Children and adults can get a little fussy or cranky when they’re hungry. Packing snacks at home ensures everyone gets what they like and saves money by avoiding the high-priced snack machine and convenience store food. Just make sure that what you bring is not going to melt in the heat.
4. Have a box of “tricks” — Whether traveling by car or plane, have a bag of stuff the keep the children occupied. This can be achieved relatively inexpensively by buying books, toys and destination-related items at a dollar store.
5. Layer up — As has been evidenced in Union City lately, the weather can never really be predicted. This is especially true when you’re on vacation. Wear layers of clothing — even in the summer air-conditioned buildings can sometimes feel like the arctic.
6. Charge up — When all else fails, hand your child your phone. There are a ton of smart phone apps that kids can play with, depending on their age. Be sure to have a backup battery or charger. This is also a good idea for those with hand-held video games.
7. Use GPS — It’s always a good idea to use a GPS, especially when traveling far. Even if you know the way you’re going, a GPS can come in handy if there is an unexpected detour.
8. Bring a friend — Make your trip even more fun when you include a friend. This can be great when the number attending would cause there to be an “odd man out.”
9. Be comfortable — You’re traveling, not going on an interview.
10. Have fun — You are with your family, enjoy them. Life is too precious.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.