For families with children, the annual spring break trip represents a rare opportunity to leave home and make memories. That’s not to say travelling with kids doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. Frequent stops, the sudden outbreak of sibling rivalry, and child-friendly accommodations which don’t live up to the pictures on the Internet—these things happen. Still, by planning carefully, you can make this year’s trip an adventure everyone will talk about for years. Start with these spring break travel tips.
1. Get the Kids Involved in Planning the Trip
Allowing your kids to help choose activities and destinations is a great way to get them excited about your trip–and to keep them helpful when it’s time to load the car.
2. Leave a Spare key
In case of emergencies, you’ll want to have an emergency plan ready for your friends or neighbors. Consider hiding a spare key in a fake sprinkler or under the welcome mat. This way you can be sure that your home is safe and taken care of.
3. Don’t Pack Everything
Chances are you can buy reasonably-priced shampoo and mouthwash wherever you’re going. Why waste space packing these items? Take the items you can’t get later and leave the rest at home.
4. Use Electronics to Keep Travel Light and Options Open
Tablets and smartphones loaded with books, music can make long car rides fly by for kids. Once you arrive at your destination, those same devices can make relaxing by the pool or next to the campfire a treat for grown-ups.
5. Plan Arrival Time to Avoid Crowds
If your trip will take you to an amusement park or a popular monument, time your arrival to avoid crowds. Your family deserves to spend its time enjoying attractions, not waiting in line.
6. Buy Experiences, Not Souvenirs
Buying overpriced souvenirs wastes time and resources. Instead, use that money to pay for extra experiences and take pictures to share once you’re back at home.
7. Don’t put your cash in one basket.
When venturing to excursions to the beach, don’t take all your money with you. It is recommended to have two credit cards plus cash when traveling, but leave one or more in the room. In case one method of payment gets lost or stolen, you still have plenty of money to finish your trip.
8. Come Back to an Organized Home
Make sure you return from your trip to a well-ordered home rather than a disorganized environment. Take advantage of great products to keep things neat and in their place before you leave. When you return, unpack immediately and put things where they belong.