The Ultimate Summer Travel Hacks for an Amazing Vacation

One of the best parts of summer is being able to take the entire family on a trip. With the kids out of school and most of their activities on a break, schedules are more flexible, and it's easier for most families to plan a vacation. If you're looking to take a trip with your family at the end of this summer, here are a few simple hacks to make it a great one.

Packing for Vacation

Give Each Kid a Small Backpack

Whether you're flying or driving, it's a good idea to let each of your kids have a small travel bag in which they can pack their favorite toys, snacks, and other sources of entertainment. Not only does this let them have the things they need close at hand, but it also helps younger kids to feel in control of some portion of the trip. Giving them the responsibility to pack their travel bag can help them to get excited for the trip, and allows them to feel like a "big kid."

Throw in Some New Toys

As any parent knows, every kid's favorite toy is the newest toy. A new toy can entertain your child for much longer periods of time than older ones, so throw a couple new toys into their travel bags for the trip. These don't have to be anything big or expensive. Even a few new items from the dollar store can entertain your kids for hours. If you want to extend the excitement, pack the new toys in your own bag, and give your kids one every hour or so. They'll be enthralled with each new gift throughout the trip.

If you're using a tablet or other electronic device to entertain your kids during the trip, consider downloading some new apps or movies to the device, along with some old favorites. Again, the novelty of these new games and shows will help keep them entertained for longer periods.

Get Some Gel Window Stickers

Here's something you might not have thought of: Buy some decorative gel window stickers to bring on your trip with you. These are relatively easy to find, especially around the holidays, and they make great toys for a plane ride or a long drive. Your kids-especially younger ones-will love sticking and unsticking these decorations from the window of the plane or car, and they're a simple and inexpensive way to keep kids entertained.

Road Trip

Make Sure Everyone Is Comfy

Before you head out to the airport or load up into the car, make sure everyone is wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Dress babies and toddlers in something comfy, and point out to older kids that those tight jeans are going to be very uncomfortable after several hours of traveling. The more comfortable everyone is on your journey, they happier everyone will be.

While traveling as a family can be stressful, remember that it should also be enjoyable. This is all about making memories with your children and strengthening family ties, so don't let the details stress you out too much. And, as a quick reminder, don't forget to reset your thermostat before you leave the house, so that you're not paying to cool an empty home during the hottest part of the summer!

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