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Packing the entire family for a trip, no matter how short, is no small feat. It takes days of planning, strategic suitcase space coordination, and triple-checking that nothing is forgotten. Add to that any special needs like inhalers, medication, favorite toys and swimsuits, food for the picky eaters and any other necessities, and you have a lot of work ahead of you. But before you start to put it all together, first place these five things in the suitcase, because they are your ultimate summer holiday must-haves.
Summer means high temperatures, a lot of time outside and, of course, scorching sun. And while the kids (and yourself) might enjoy the endless hours spent outside in the sun, without proper protection, it’s going to be a long night of applying aloe vera and yogurt on the burns. A few tubes of sunscreen is all you need to protect yourself from this. Get something with a high SPF and long-lasting effect, and even if it says it lasts for several hours, reapply it approximately every two hours. If you will be spending time at the beach or a river bank, make sure the sunscreen is water-proof. Apply it in your room before you go to the beach so that you can go right in the water, without waiting for it to first sink into the skin.
There is nothing that can ruin a vacation faster than uncomfortable shoes that will give you blisters. And, especially if you are going to a beach, you don’t want your kids running around barefoot, because there can often be sharp rocks, junk and even broken bottles in the sand that they can cut themselves on. Check out some Birkenstock footwear to find comfortable sandals for the whole family, and wear them around the house for a few days before the vacation to make sure they are comfortable and fit properly. If you are going on a camping trip or into unpredictable terrain, then a pair of closed shoes or good sneakers is a good idea as well.
As in, plural. We all like spending time on the beach in a swimsuit, but when you and the kids get out of the water, you want to take them off as soon as you can and put on something dry. Ideally – another swimsuit. Make sure everyone in the family has at least two so that they can have one on while the other is drying off. You can bring even more, but if you wash them before going to bed, they should be dry to take with you the next morning, so two is perfectly plenty.
There’s no need for too much explanation. Besides the kids’ basic medication which we mentioned earlier, you should also be ready for any potential injuries during the trip. Your first aid kit should have sanitizer, bandages as well as ointments for burns and irritation. Make it small enough so it can fit in your purse and go wherever you go because kids tend to get hurt at the most unexpected times.
Unless you’re going to a very remote place or driving for a long time, you probably won’t be taking food for your entire vacation. But eating out all the time is expensive and not the best option either. Your best bet is to go to a grocery store and then prepare food for the day in your hotel room. And to avoid using too much plastic, bring your own reusable food containers, so that each person has their own box and organization goes a lot smoother.
A fun family vacation should be enjoyable for all parties involved. The kids should be able to have plenty of time to have fun, and you should have time to relax. Check that the place you are traveling to is a kid-friendly vacation spot and that there will be things to keep them entertained. Make sure you make the vacation a mix of fun, relaxing and learning, so that it is both fun and educational, especially if you are traveling to a new place with interesting culture and history. Now make sure all of the passports are packed and set an alarm pretty early because the last thing you need to make sure you packed: all of the family members in the car.
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