Are you planning for a family vacation? But where are you going to start? And how can you make sure you don’t forget something important?
Whether you travel by plane, boat, or train, you need to prepare yourself and the kids for every possible scenario!
Schedule the trip patiently and consider all the details to avoid having any undesired surprises.
We highly recommend you take a look at this checklist, so you don’t forget anything!
Let’s get started…
First Preparation Steps For a Trip With Children
- Ask friends and family members with similar tastes to yours for travel suggestions, considering your budget and your children’s ages and interests.
- Acknowledge yourself about the destination you are heading to. Get a travel guide to see if it is a suitable place to go with kids.
- If you are planning to travel with a plan, consider your budget. Compare flight prices on comparison sites.
- Check your calendar carefully before making any reservation to avoid having conflicting dates with work, school, or other activities for family members.
- Get your older children involved while looking for some travel guides online!
- Identify all the family members’ activities and prepare yourself and the kids to get the best out of everything.
- Prepare your day ahead. Avoid too many plans within the same day to keep all days full of activities.
- Search for accommodation, highlight your guide options, then watch your favorites online.
- Request for holidays from your (and your wife’s) boss for the selected dates.
- If your kids go to school, check with their teacher for dates and how you can deal with missed assignments and tests.
- Don’t forget your pet and look for a babysitter – if you are leaving it home.
- Once you’ve chosen the airline that has the suitable price, go ahead and book the tickets.
- If you are going on a road trip, plan for every single day ahead. Do not try to cover too many kilometers in too short a period. Take some breaks for your kids to play.
- Book your accommodation. Look online for good prices and book accordingly.
- Book your rental car. You can save money by bundling hotel, plane, and car rental together through a search engine, but you may prefer to book directly with each to request discounts.
- Finally, print all reservations and tickets and store them in a vacation folder once you go through all the above points.
One month before the trip with children
- Print a packing list. Add items to the list in each category as needed.
- Go back to the closets and drawers to determine what clothes you need to pack for the trip. If the other country has different weather than where you live, get new suitable clothes.
- Buy the clothes needed for the trip and keep them ready.
- Buy or set aside travel gear; you may include a printable travel guide with hundreds of games and activities for your trip. Get a baby carrier or a stroller in case you have a baby.
One week before the trip with children
- Start packing! Put all the items that you plan to take with you in the suitcases.
- If your trip needs too many items and you find yourself with too much luggage, look for a shipping company to deliver everything to your destination.
- Confirm your pet’s babysitting service and any other home care necessities.
- Suspend the mail delivery while you are away (if you plan for a long trip).
- Pay the outstanding invoices.
One day before departure on a trip with children
- Finish all the packing. If possible, start as early as possible. Last things take time – especially those for your kid’s daily use.
- Go through the things on your list to make sure you don’t forget anything.
- If you are traveling with a baby, prepare the diaper bag with some extras to stay well-prepared for any accident.
- Water the plants one last time before you leave – if you have any!
- Plan for the other day ahead. Allow time for tasks such as parking the car off-site before a flight.
On Travel Day
- Drop off your pet(s)if necessary.
- Give or throw away any food from the refrigerator that will no longer be good when you return.
- Take out the trash to avoid a return home with a foul odor.
- Pack last-minute items.
- Load and prepare the car.
- Don’t forget the children!
Do not hesitate to use this checklist to prepare your next trip with children! Enjoy your preparation and have a nice trip!
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids. Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.