This post complements a television appearance on Fox 45 News. See the TV clip in its entirety here!
Vacations aren’t just for summer. But it usually happens that way.
How often do you travel in the summer? Personally, I travel more times than I can count. Some months, I’m a couch potato but other months I can be gone once a week.
As a family, we usually travel on two major trips a year and usually neither is in the summer. This year, we want to change that!
The truth is, though, we don’t have anything planned yet. We’ve considered a cruise but may put that off since I just returned from one. We’ve talked about Europe but haven’t found the right deal to convince us to go yet. And we’re always thinking about a visit to one of the many National Parks.
(Did you know that kids entering the 4th grade qualify to be part of the Every Kid in a Park program? They (and their family) get free admission to the parks for the entire year!)
Whatever we decide to do, we always try to make the most of our summer travel by making it FUN, SAFE, and SMART!
What tips and products can help you make the most of your summer travel?
Let’s talk fun.
What good is a trip if you’re not making memories along the way? Sometimes, fun is simply spontaneous but sometimes it helps to plan a little in advance. Here are a few recommendations for making sure everyone is at least prepared to have fun!
- Get your family involved in the planning. When everyone have a say in where you’re going and what you’re doing, they feel like they’re part of the trip and not just a participant (especially a forced participant if we’re talking about teens).
- Have kids pack things that will keep them occupied. Although I still make sure I pack the essentials for my son (because you know he’d forget socks and underwear), I have him pack all the “extras.” Then I find something else that either he owns and left behind or I purchase something new. If there’s any sort of meltdown, tantrum, or general drama, a little surprise comes in handy (especially for younger kids!).
- Don’t forget drinks and snacks to keep everyone smiling! When my son was young, we took him to Disney and couldn’t figure out why he was so cranky. Then we gave him a banana. Since then, we learned the importance of keep food and drink handy for all of us when we travel.
Products We Love
This amazing silicone bottle is perfect as a BPA free reusable water bottle. But WAIT! There’s more! It can be frozen or heated. It can be used as an airtight storage container. And best of all, when it’s empty, it can be folded and fitted into the attached carabiner.
(And yes, it’s pronounced BOOBY)
Keep everyone (and everything safe)
So many things can go wrong, especially when you’re away from home. But if you take a few precautions, you’ll travel with a little more piece of mind. Some suggestions:
- Pack your own first aid kit. Don’t just think about band-aids just for cuts and scrapes (or blisters). Pack something to use for sunburn or rashes or even allergies. I recently got stuck with a stomachache and had to figure out the right medicine to buy in Mexico!
- Bring a waterproof phone pouch. Everyone has their phone with them, especially on vacation. Even if we’re unplugging, we still use it for taking pictures. Using a pouch is great for keeping out sand and water. Don’t lose all your memories!
- Guard your valuables while still having fun. You don’t want to think about someone stealing your stuff on the beach or from your stroller at Disney. You can still protect your valuables when you can’t be right next to them. Check out how!
Products We Love
Psi Bands are wristbands that relieve nausea by applying extra gentle pressure on the inside of the wrist in an area known as the Nei-Guan acupressure point. Safe for kids and pregnant women and perfect for car rides, amusement parks, and cruises!
AquaVault is a portable, water resistant, outdoor-safe lock box with a reprogrammable combination lock. Attached it to the back of your beach lounger or even on your stroller and you don’t have to worry about your valuables when you should be worried about having fun!
Be SMART (with your money)
I’m a frugal shopper and vacation planning is no different. It’s easy to get great deals and save money if you know how!
- Spend your money wisely by booking last minute if you can. If you have a flexible schedule, you can score amazing deals by booking as little as two weeks prior to travel! Some of our favorite travel deal sites include Travelzoo.com for all sort of travel and VacationsToGo.com for last minute cruises.
- Use a rebate site like TopCashback.com to literally earn cash back on things you would purchase anyway. Simply start at the rebate site and then click to whatever site you want to shop at. Not only can you get actual cash back on things like air, hotels, and cruises, but also on anything you might want for your vacation like a whole new wardrobe!
- Finally, don’t be afraid of a staycation. Not all summer travel has to involve time off and loads of money. We do a lot of day trips and have found lots of things to explore locally!
Sites We Love
With a focus on travel, electronics, fashion, health & beauty, and more, TopCashback.com links to over 4000 retailers providing you one of the highest cashback rates on things you’re buying anyway!
Now It’s Your Turn
What are your favorite tips, tricks, and products to make summer travel a breeze (figuratively or literally!)?
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