Tips for Family Vacation Planning, Part 3: Don’t forget to take…

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This week we have been looking at various aspects of planning a great family vacation. If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can get caught up by clicking on these links.

Now that you know your vacation destination and approximately how much your trip will cost, let’s make sure your bags are packed with all the necessities for the trip. (Be sure to check out my packing checklist link at the bottom of this post)

Every time I pack for a trip, I’m always so afraid I’m going to forget something important. So, I started making a list of little things that are easily forgotten in the midst of all the planning and excitement. Of course, we all know to pack the obvious: clothes, shoes, socks, toiletries.

However, the following list includes some things you might want to take also.

  • Band-aids and Antibiotic Cream – Maybe I’m just part of a clumsy family, but it seems like every time we go on vacation, somebody ends up with scraped knees or elbows, or a cut of some sort. (For some reason, it seems to be me most of the time. Hum?) Well, especially with kids, you just never know.
  • Insect Repellent – The bug spray may very well depend on where you are going. If you’re going camping or hiking, by all means, please take the bug spray. (I know from experience on this one too.)
  • Books to Read – Take along a few books that you enjoy as well as some for your children. Remember, you’re on vacation and whether you are sitting in an airport, on a plane, or just sitting with nothing to do at the hotel, reading is a great and relaxing way to pass the extra time.
  • Snacks for the Road – Grab a tote bag and a small cooler and pack a few healthy snacks and drinks for the trip. By packing your own snacks before you leave, you eliminate the need to stop and buy them at over-priced convenience stores along the way. Plus, if the kids get hungry and irritable, the snacks can help keep them occupied and satisfied until you reach your destination.
  • Games for the Kids – Probably one of our favorite travel games is auto bingo. Auto bingo is great for occupying the youngsters as well as yourself. Even if you only have one child, or only one that is old enough to play the game, he will still enjoy looking for the items on the card.
  • Sunscreen – If you are going to a place that you will be spending a lot of time outdoors, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen. The last thing you need is for your vacation to get ruined because you’re burnt.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Actually, it’s really a good idea to keep hand sanitizer with you whether you’re on vacation or not. Since you never know what you might get into or be touching, pack the hand sanitizer, and use it.
  • Your Pillow – If you have trouble sleeping in hotel beds, try taking along your own pillow. It can help you feel more comfortable and get a better night’s sleep, so you will be ready to go each morning. In addition, you may want it for napping in the car if you’re taking a long road trip.
  • Camera – Last but not least, don’t forget the camera. A vacation without a camera just won’t do. Believe me, I know from experience. We once forgot our camera and bought one of those super cheap digital ones, and let’s just say, it didn’t quite measure up.

Well, I hope these packing suggestions will help make your trip a little easier. One last quick suggestion is to start a “to take” list a couple of weeks before your trip and lay it on the counter or hang it on the refrigerator. As you think of items you need to take with you, just jot them down on your list so you won’t forget.

Packing ListIf you’d like you can also print out my Vacation Planning: Packing List checklist. I’ve tried to include anything and everything we might want to take on our trips. Please feel free to use it for your trips also. Happy packing!

Don’t forget to join me tomorrow for the last portion in the vacation planning series, Tips for Family Vacation Planning, Part 4: Playing it Safe. In the last part of this series, I will be letting you in on a few hints to help you have both a safe trip away from home and a safe home while you’re away.

This post is linked to Homemaker Barbi for Family Friday.

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Posted on April 30th, 2009 in Kids and Family | 2 Comments
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  • Great series, and I am so with you on the auto bingo. We bought those last year, but haven’t had a chance to use them yet. With the magnetic pieces, that game is every parent’s dream!

    Thanks for linking up to Family Friday, and I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Danelle Ice / Homemaker Barbi

    Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice)’s last blog post..Family Friday – Making Career Decisions with Your Spouse

  • I would like to say that I love the picture you used for this post. If only I had a nice pink suitcase….alas my husband would have something to say about it for sure! lol.

    I am completely with you on the pillow. I am sure a lot of people wouldn’ think of that one! I got married in Italy and we toured there and popped over to France as well. My new husband nearly fell over when he discovered that my pillow would be joining us on this journey 🙂 I don’t sleep well without my own pillow!

    Jenn @ Beautiful Calling’s last blog post..You Don’t Need All That! (Soapnut Giveaway)

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