KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Safety First When You're Planning Your Vacation

safety tips for vacation travel

Before you had children, life still had an ebb and flow of stresses and high times. When you become a parent, you realize that life still has those highs and lows but thrown into the mix are some joyful moments and some terrifying ones. Childless people may have more time to take vacations, but as parents - not only do you and your family deserve a break, you need them! Studies have shown that taking vacations is excellent for your mental and emotional health. 

Still, there are caveats when it comes to traveling with children. Additionally, luck favors the prepared. So, it's essential to keep everyone's safety at the forefront of your mind when planning your getaway with the family. Let's take a look at some safety bases you want to be covered before you hop on the plane or jump in the car for a road trip. 

Beach Bound Tips 

Vacations are easier when kids can swim - this is a given. Your child is never too long to get comfortable in the water, and swim lessons can start in early toddlerhood. If your child isn't an easy swimmer, make sure you are prepared with floaties and life jackets - some kids even need nose clips for the water. Of course, if you're visiting saltwater, goggles may be in order along with the rest of the baby swimwear

Water isn't the only area of safety you want to be aware of when heading to the beach. Make sure you have plenty of SPF on hand, and it contains the cleanest ingredients possible. When it comes to SPF, you want to reapply every two to three hours - sometimes more often depending on activity level or time of day. It's also a good idea to put young babies and toddlers in hats while they enjoy the sand to protect their delicate facial skin. Lastly, all parents should take a CPR class - ideally before their children are born - so they can feel confident they could help their child in the event of an actual emergency. Nowadays you can even take a BLS course online to learn everything you need to know about basic safety. 

Winter Getaways 

Maybe your family is more of a cold-weather clan - you're not alone if you are. Snow-capped mountains and ski resorts exist because there's something so magical about sitting by a fire and enjoying time cozied up as a family. There are still plenty of things you need to cover if you're packing for a cold-weather destination. Make sure you have the basics, from mittens, hats, snow boots, and snowsuits for the whole family. As the items tend to get wet quickly, so, bring duplicates. There is no minimalist packing when it comes to snowy vacations. 

You also want to make sure you have plenty of items on hand to tend to your child should they catch a case of sniffles while you're away. Viruses and germs make us sick, not weather, but being exposed to the cold weather for extended periods can stifle our immune system, making us less likely to fight off such infections. 

The Essentials 

As outlined above, there are specific requirements for vacations depending on the destination, but there is also a list of essentials no matter where you're headed. Emergency supplies like daily medications you and your children take - backups if possible, especially items like inhalers, insulin, or epi-pens are a must. It's also a good idea to have children's pain and fever reducers as well as antihistamines and band-aids in your carry-all. 

You also want to make sure you have essentials that protect you in other ways like appropriate footwear for activities you may partake in - hiking boots, tennis shoes, helmets. You don't want to deny your children memory-making experiences because you didn't pack appropriately. Sure, you may feel like you're overpacking, or you won't have room for souvenirs if you pack so much, but it's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your most precious cargo - your family. 

This list isn't all-inclusive. Different family members have different needs and lifestyles. If you have a family member with food sensitivities or Celiac disease, for example, you'll also want snacks on hand that are safe for them to eat, so you're not relying on things in airports or convenience stores. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed, though, and vacations are essential for your children's development and happy memories that will last them a lifetime - just come prepared, so there is less stress on you as the parent when issues arise, and they always will. Happy Trails!