Said in my best Jeremy Irons voice, “BE PREPARED!”
Trips with kids are never a “vacation” with the prep before, the managing during and the recovery after. Here are a few front-loading things I do to make things as smooth as they can be and to be prepared!
This might be a constant anyways, but I think about what I need to bring vs. what I can get while we’re gone. Is there a grocery store near us I could get more (less to bring before)? Are there items we normally wouldn’t buy (individually packed things vs. family-sized)?
What will the kids do during downtime, especially in the car? There are options to borrow, like Playaway Launchpads, Wonderbooks, or audiobooks from the Library. There’s also buying things specifically for the trip. I’ll store away things previously bought on sale like an Etch a Sketch, Magna Doodle, or a dot board. It’s for the sanity of everyone to have several options.
If we are staying in the state, we’ll visit a new-to-us library. In Ohio, anyone can get any Ohio library card. Just be sure to take extra precautions keeping track of everything, like a snapshot of each kid holding up their finds. What’s also great are huge, coffee-table-like non-fiction books about animals. Even a pre-reader can enjoy the vast illustrations.
Looking around where you’re going for things you’re not there for. There might be time to kill or something unique close by. We’ve gone to cat cafes, landmarks, geocaches, and great parks with moving my fingers around a map beforehand.
As well-prepared as any trip can be, hopefully, some of these ideas will help smooth the experience.