(Family Features) Families that travel with kids typically know tablets and other gadgets and activities can make the journey easier, and vacation rentals can make the stay more relaxing and affordable.
These tips from the experts at Vrbo can help make it easier to hit the road with kids, whether it’s exploring exciting new places, visiting relatives or relaxing during an annual trip to the beach.
Start packing early. Begin a week or two before the trip by helping kids write a list of what to take. It can help build excitement and avoid last-minute fusses over how many toys and favorite pajamas go in the suitcase. If there’s a long journey ahead, consider temporarily lifting limits on tablet screen time and bring along a couple travel surprises like coloring books.
Don’t overpack. Since many vacation rentals come with washers and dryers there’s no need to pack two outfits per day per child plus backups in case of spills. If the place your group is staying has a laundry room, pack enough clothing for half the trip then throw a load in the wash after a few days. Pack some detergent pods in a plastic bag in case it’s not provided.
Pack snacks. Travel often messes with mealtimes, but you can keep hunger (and the crankiness that comes with it) at bay with portable snacks. Pack a selection of treats to tide over hungry bellies until you’re able to stop for a complete meal. Include a few items typically reserved for special occasions so you have the added benefit of excitement to distract from an unfamiliar eating schedule.
Bring favorite toys. A sentimental and familiar item from home can help a child feel more secure in new surroundings. In fact, a survey from Vrbo revealed just how popular teddy travel is, with more than half of those surveyed (55%) citing stuffed animals as the most important thing their child brings on vacation.
However, 69% of those surveyed said their child has left a toy or stuffed animal behind while away from home. In the event a toy does get left behind, look into resources like Vrbo’s Teddy Bear Service. Any traveler staying in one of the company’s vacation rental homes can call 1-774-VRBOTDY or email TeddyBearHotline@vrbo.com to report a lost teddy bear or other item of sentimental value, and the company will help track it down and expedite its return home.
Plan for nap time. Whether you’re racing to put miles behind you or scurrying to catch a connecting flight, it’s easy to get off track and miss nap time completely. If you’re likely to miss a nap, try to at least plan for some quiet time to let kids rest and rejuvenate. Also remember that travel can be tiring for kids who have outgrown naps on a regular basis and encourage them to grab some shut-eye before signs of exhaustion emerge.
Find more traveling tips and information at vrbo.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images