Summer Travel Tips

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Ahh…summer! It’s that much-anticipated time of year when the kids are out of school and families set off on vacations at theme parks, beaches and beyond. Parents and kids can have a whole lot of fun exploring the world together this season, especially when you follow these five summer travel tips.

Summer Travel Tips

5 Summer Travel Tips (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Pack smart

When Dramamine® asked me to share my best summer travel tips with you in this sponsored post, packing smart sprang to mind as the first step for a fabulous trip. Be sure to print out a packing list before you go so you don’t forget anything important, like ear plugs (if your spouse happens to snore, like mine!) or your child’s favorite stuffed toy. Bring versatile breathable clothing as well as a lightweight sweater or jacket and long pants for each person. Dressing in layers ensures comfort if temperatures dip or your sunny holiday dreams get doused in rain.

Packing smart helps ensure happy summer vacation days

Packing smart helps ensure happy summer vacation days (Photo credit: Helena Rakhuba, purchased from istockphoto.com)

Feel great on the go

Nothing ruins a family vacation faster than a parent or child feeling ill while away from home. Bring along a travel-sized safety kit stocked with bandages and ointment for boo-boos and a thermometer to test for fever. You may not be able to purchase these items during your vacation, especially if you’re cruising or visiting a remote location or foreign country. Even if you can find these medical items at your destination, no one wants to run out in the middle of the night for teething tablets or cough syrup so it’s better to be prepared.

Pack any medications you might think you’ll need during your travels too. I always pack Dramamine®, no matter the length of our trip. Like 54 percent of women, I suffer from motion sickness. A recent survey conducted by Dramamine® revealed that a whopping 86 percent of women who suffer from motion sickness agree that it can spoil travel plans, yet more than half don’t take steps to prevent or treat it. There’s no reason for you or your family to suffer through motion sickness when there’s an easy solution.

If you get motion sick sometimes too, go ahead and book that catamaran ride or helicopter tour, just take a Dramamine® one hour before you depart. Children need not suffer either; grape-flavored Dramamine for Kids® keeps children ages 2 to 12 from feeling queasy too. For more motion sickness tips, check out Dramamine.com or the Dramamine Facebook page.

Kids get motion sickness too

Avoid motion sickness in cars, boats, airplanes and on amusement park rides (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Beat the heat

Summertime means warmer weather in most destinations, which can lead to dehydration and sunburns if you’re not careful. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and beverages infused with electrolytes. Keep in mind that caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can increase dehydration too.

No matter where you’re headed outdoors, sunblock is a must for all ages. Spray or slather on a layer of protection before you take off for the day and re-apply in the afternoon or after a dip in the pool. A sun hat and lip balm with SPF further protect from sun damage, while sunglasses with UVA protection keep eyes protected.

When you’re going to an amusement park or another outdoor attraction, bring along a hand-held, battery-operated misting fan to cool off while waiting in lines. If you have more than one kiddo, you might want to buy a couple of these bad boys—they work wonders at keeping kids cool (and entertained).

Sometimes parents and kids need a break from a little TOO MUCH together time!

Sometimes parents and kids need a break from a little TOO MUCH together time! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Take a time out

Family vacations provide a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to spend quality time together. Sometimes, however, kids and parents could use a break from a little too much of a good thing. To give everyone some space, book a room at an all-suites hotel, reserve a rental condominium, or consider doing a home exchange.

Kids camps at hotels and on cruises keep children content with activities like crafts, games, scavenger hunts and other fun. Meanwhile parents can visit the adult-only pool or duck out for date night. Even if your accommodations don’t offer group childcare, you can book a sitter through a local or national sitter agency for a reprieve from your offspring’s non-stop requests for another smoothie or souvenir.

Make time for play on your summer vacation

Make time for play on your summer vacation (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Stay sane

You should return from your family vacation feeling refreshed, not more stressed than when you left! Stagger busy days and mellow days to minimize meltdowns. Running from site to site is exhausting, especially when kids don’t get enough time to relax and just play. Schedule one day visiting museums or wandering through shops, followed by a day building sand castles or sliding at the park. Rather than trying to squeeze too much fun into your vacation, slow down and savor the moment.

Want more tips on how to stay sane when traveling with children? Check out my book, The Travel Mamas’ Guide for tips on everything from road trips, airplane travel, family cruises, time zone adjustment and more!

What are your summer travel tips? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I am a spokesperson for Dramamine® and received compensation related to this post. All opinions are mine, as always. I am not a medical professional. For medical advice, please contact your physician.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Choosing destinations with excursions and other activities will make children preoccupied and at the same time, allow them to learn even when school’s out.

    • … and is also a wonderful occasion for us parents to enjoy them outside the daily routine.

      • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

        Mark – I couldn’t agree more…family vacations are full of those memory-building moments that last a lifetime for kids and parents alike!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      So true, Monnette! My family just returned from a multigenerational vacation to Keystone, CO & my kids learned so much & took on so many fun new challenges on this trip. Travel makes us all grow!

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