Ahhhhhhhhhhh! It is finally summer! The kids are out of school! Let the road trips begin! Whether you are taking to the sky or the road, here are some great tips to make your trip a fun and SAFE one.
Beyond the basics of making sure that your car seats are installed properly and lathering your kids up with sunscreen 50 times a day….
I am reminded of the earthquake a few years ago in Hawaii…. The truth is that we NEVER think anything is going to happen to us while we are on vacation…. At least it certainly isn’t supposed to!
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Being prepared anywhere we go is always a great idea. We offer a vacation/travel emergency kit with food, water, light sticks, flashlight and batters, emergency blanket, deck of cards and poncho all in a waterproof pouch. You don’t have to get a kit from Emergency Café but consider throwing a flashlight and extra water and food into your suitcase when packing. If you never touch it – great, but you will always have it. We always travel with extra supplies in our suitcase, especially a flashlight!
Confirm Your Reservations
Always call to confirm your reservations – all of them – including restaurants! Get the confirmation number and name of person that you talked too. Bring that list with you! If your name suddenly disappears from the computer, you have the confirmation numbers to back up your reservations. Check into Kids Clubs too… they are great for a day or a couple hours, and just think of what a massage will do for you!
Get to Know Your Hotel Staff
Upon arriving at your hotel, take a moment to introduce yourself and your family to the concierge and front desk people! High-end hotel staff is trained to go above and beyond – so you should too! Take that extra step! Besides, it sets the tone for your trip and you have an immediate connection with the hotel staff. If something were to happen to one of your kids, say they got lost, for example, other employees of the hotel would know who they were. Make sure that you travel with your cell phone and make sure that the numbers are listed on your reservation card.
Make an Emergency Plan
Once you get settled, discuss what your plan would be in the event that anyone got lost. Pick a place for everyone to come back to. Make sure that if you are sightseeing on a daily basis, pick a place every day for everyone to meet at in the event that you get separated. In addition, I recommend that you put the name of the hotel, phone number and your name and cell phone numbers somewhere on your kid’s person. That way the kids have all the information in order to contact you.
Don’t Forget Car Maintenance
Before you get into your car for that trip across country, ask yourself when you last checked your oil and air in your tires… it is not a bad idea to have your car services before you leave! Depending on how far you drive, car travel can be much more stressful than flying! How many times have we heard “are we there yet?”. That last hour seems longer than the entire trip so far!!! Having an emergency kit in your car is definitely a good idea. In addition, making sure you have enough snacks and drinks is a must.
Be Ready for Downtime
In this age of technology a DVD player and/or Books on Tape are wonderful. You can rent both from your local library! For older kids who might have a summer read list, it is another way to “read” a good book! Earphones for DVD’s are also a great invention! That way your kids can listen to their favorite movie, and you can enjoy your favorite songs.
Taking a few extra steps this summer before you leave will insure that your family has a wonderful, SAFE and memorable vacation! And after all… aren’t memories what it is all about?
Remember…. We cannot predict, BUT we can prepare!