This is a partner post from freelance blogger Alexandre Duval who writes about travel and lifestyle, among other things.
Travelling, even when you are alone, always calls for some preparation. Of course, the thoroughness of the planning highly depends on the destination as well as the kind of trip you are about to take. Yet, travelling with kids, no matter the destination, definitely is a kind of trip in itself! It actually is a kind of trip for which you have to pay even more attention in the preparation process because your little loved ones are counting on you! Here are seven things you have to think about when leaving the hotel for a full day of summer sightseeing with your kids.
Being on vacation usually means that you are off work: you surely do not want those precious days of discoveries and relaxation to be disturbed by uncontrolled cravings that can actually be taken care of quite easily. You know your kids are probably going to get hungry at some point anyways, so why not secretly carry their favorite little snacks… and some candy? After all, everyone is on vacation! It is easier (and cheaper!) to plan a few little snacks than to go from one store to another in order to find what will soothe your kids’ stomach.
This may look like an obvious tip, but bringing sunscreen along with you is absolutely essential. It will never be repeated enough! Sometimes when we visit an urban area, we tend to apply sunscreen just before leaving the hotel as if the fact that we will not be sunbathing on a beach magically diminished the strength of sunrays. Yet, frequently putting sunscreen on is quite important even in the city: the little areas of shade here and there do not save you from protecting yourself and your kids against the sun! And think about bringing a small cloth to clean off your hands after you apply sunscreen on your kids’ skin: that way, you’ll avoid the unpleasant sensation that your hands are crazy greasy even when there is no bathroom near by!
The idea here is not to bring your entire luggage with you for a single day of walking in the city: it is rather to bring just the minimum so that your kids will want to keep visiting regardless of the little messes that occur. A spare comfortable t-shirt or an extra pair of bermuda shorts, for instance, will allow you to rapidly fix the situation if your kids spill their soft drink or get all dirty with the melting chocolate ice cream cone you just bought them…
Although a towel could be incredibly useful in the case your kid accidently fell in an urban pond or in a fountain (I saw that happen twice the other day, so it does happen!), a towel is also more than useful when you make a stop at a park. Such an item indeed is your best friend if you plan to make a picnic or if your kids are really tired and would like to take a quick nap before you start another round of visiting.
As an adult, you would like to stop somewhere, sit down and have coffee but your kids find it boring just to be sitting down at a café after they finished their juice? If you thought about bringing one or two kids’ games along with you when you left the hotel in the morning, then your problem will be solved. Whether it is a 52-card deck or a PlayStation Portable, carrying your kids’ favorite games in your backpack could allow you to rejoice in that much needed moment of rest.
When we visit a city, it is quite easy to just start buying bottled water here and there to quench the whole family’s thirst. Yet, this way of doing things is far from being thrifty… and eco-friendly! Therefore, you ought to think about carrying one or two reusable water bottles that you constantly fill up throughout the day when you come across a drinking fountain or stop at the restaurant. That way, your kids’ immediate needs will be met – and that is quite important on the summer’s warmest days – because you always have some water at hand!
You know it only too well: walking all day long on sidewalks made of concrete and stopping at a park where your kids will probably want to run around for a while greatly improve the chances of seeing your kids scratch their knees, elbows or wrists. In order to minimize the tears and cries that usually result from a fall, you ought to carry just a few adhesive bandages and a small tube of antibacterial ointment. That way, your kids will feel that they are treated just as good as when they are at home and a feeling of security will probably ensue.