Summer Vacation Travel Tips
The busy family travel season begins as school buses make their last runs of the year. Epic adventures are a trademark of summer vacation whether going to visit relatives, amusement parks, beaches or distant lands. With so many families on the road and in the sky, travel during the summer can be chaotic at best. Here are five summer vacation travel tips to make this year’s adventure the best one yet.
1. Allow extra time
One way to minimize travel day chaos is to allow for plenty of time. Instead of sweating over a departure time while you are stuck behind passengers that forgot to put their liquid toiletries in a quart-size plastic bag consider an earlier airport arrival. Extra time at the gate beats narrowly missing a flight especially if the itinerary includes connections in other cities. Children can play easy games like I-Spy or make an extra trip to the restroom with the extra time.
2. Travel with medicine, but shop for toiletries and sunscreen
Prescription medicines are among the first things I pack for any trip. Toiletries and other odds and ends (especially sunscreen) on the other hand, can be purchased at local grocery or drug stores. These on-location purchases alleviate overstuffed suitcases and help avoid unwanted spills.
See also: Key medicines to pack
3. Bring healthy snacks
I always pack snacks to eat on the plane. My daughter’s favorites are cheese sticks and cut up vegetables or fruit, like peppers, carrots and apples. They are easy to transport without being messy. In the car or train, consider packing a small cooler with additional items like sandwiches or salads. You can do the same thing when returning home with a quick stop at a local market or grocery store.
4. Travel during off-peak hours
Sitting in hours of traffic can set a bad tone to the start of a family summer vacation. I try to beat the rush by shifting weekend travel days to Thursday or Monday whenever possible. If we do have to travel on Friday, instead of becoming just one more car in the backup, we have dinner at home and leave later in the evening, with my daughter in pajamas so she can be carried up to bed if she falls asleep.
5. Plan for rainy days and down time
While a good umbrella takes care of rain while traveling to a major city, showers can dampen a beach or camping trip. Scope out museums, movie theaters and indoor pools to offset drizzly doldrums. Another great thing to pack, if traveling by car, are favorite board games to play during down time. With the popularity of streaming services like Netflix or iTunes, families can also rent or stream favorite movies on computers or mobile devices.
See also: Activities for a rainy day at the beach
You may also enjoy:
- Tips for Vacationing During the School Year
- More Road Trip Tips from Our Team
- 20 Best Ways to Save on Travel
Our Hilton Mom Voyage team members live throughout the U.S. and have traveled by air and car all over the world with their families!