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Family Travel: Packing for Vacation

Istock PackingWe will soon be heading to Cape Cod for our annual summer vacation. How much stuff does a family of four need for a seven-day vacation? Too much it seems. I always think that the next time I will pack light. So far we have just changed what we pack. We used to bring two pack-n plays, two feeding chairs, cases of wipes, hundreds of diapers, stuffed animals to sleep with, toys, clothes, change of clothes, a cooler of food, and snacks for the car. Our station wagon was on the verge of exploding.

Now we have shed the baby equipment, but we still bring lots of clothes, different toys, beach gear, sleeping bags, pillows, a cooler of food, and a pile of books and magazines I think I will have time to read. This trip I am also bringing my laptop so I can make sure Kidoinfo keeps running smoothly.

Although our stuff does not take up quite as much room in the car as the baby equipment did, Im still amazed at the amount we manage to cram in for a simple week at the beach.

Traveling with children always brings surprises—I like to plan for what I can and try to cope with the rest. Here are some helpful tips

1. Check into the sleeping accommodations and bring the appropriate gear, or plan ahead to rent or borrow what will be needed once you arrive.
2. Pack favorite stuffed animals or blankets to help children sleep more comfortably in a new place.
3. Bring along a small cooler or insulated bag for holding snacks when out on adventures. (These come in handy when meals are not served at the time your kids are accustomed to eating.)
4. Although taboo for some, I pack a video or DVD for a little downtime.
5. Bring something new for the kids. Whether borrowed or bought, the novelty of a new book, game, or toy will be welcome.
6. Read ideas from Kidoinfo on how to make the traveling itself a bit easier.
7. The Travel for Kids website has more good suggestions on what to bring.

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