For some vacations, all you need to do is dump some clean clothes and a toothbrush into a carry-on bag, toss it into your trunk, and drive off. However, if you plan on being out for a while or on bringing more than just yourself, you’ll need to do some preparation. You’ll need to plan your route, budget your time, and reserve a hotel room in advance if you don’t want to pay extra at the reception desk. You’ll also need to pack more than just clothes and toiletries to make a family vacation go smoothly.
An emergency kit is as essential as it sounds. A vehicle emergency kit should include things like a first-aid kit, road flares, sunscreen, a blanket or two in case you get stranded and the temperature gets low, and some extra water.
Also, while the emergency kit is particularly handy for road trips, you should also bring some emergency supplies when you travel by plane or train. That means bandages, painkillers, extra prescription medication for those who need it, and antiseptic cream. There are plenty of online sites where you can find a more comprehensive list of what to include.
It’s easy to say that kids need something to keep them busy on long road trips and plane rides, but to be perfectly honest they’re not the only ones who need something to stay occupied. Nothing makes the hours spent in one seat go by faster than a good book or an addicting phone app, so be sure you have enough games, books, and toys with you to keep everyone in the family distracted no matter which age group they’re a part of.
Portable Battery Chargers
Smartphones have quickly become an essential companion whether you’re going on a week-long vacation or just walking across the street, but if they run out of batteries they become as useful as a lump of glass and metal. Power outlets aren’t always handy, especially if everyone in the family is playing on their phone at the same time, and that goes double if you’re on a camping vacation. That’s why you should pack a few spare charges by bringing along a portable battery charger or two.
Spare Clothes And Cleaning Supplies
Kids are messy. That’s just a part of being a child, and if you’ve cared for one for any length of time you’ve probably found that out from personal experience. To deal with this issue you should bring along enough cleaning supplies to clean as you go, plus you should pack some extra clothes in case something gets stained. This goes for all the adults on the trip, too: adults aren’t as messy as kids, but they aren’t immune to spills and accidents, either.
Road trips and plane trips can both take a long time, and while planes offer snacks and small meals they aren’t always enough to tide you over. Traveling by road means you can grab snacks when you stop for gas, but packing some of your own lets you choose healthy options, eat on your own schedule, and make better time since you don’t have to stop as often.
Of course, if you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler you should bring along all the essentials you need when you spend any time away from home: diapers, formula, stuffed animals, carriers, car seats, and everything that goes with these things. But no matter what kind of family you have and no matter what kind of vacation you’re going on, the items listed above are absolutely necessary and should always be with the luggage you bring.