Easter break is looming and if your family isn’t planning on taking advantage of the school break by getting away to a sunny destination, chances are you’re already looking ahead to the summer months for family travel. The age of your family members of course dictates just how much planning you need to put in well ahead of time. I am so thankful to be past that baby + diapers + allthethings for travel though school-age kids seem to haul more items than I think they need too!
Regardless of your family dynamic, there are a few things you most definitely need to take care of before you leave to ensure everyone has an amazing holiday. Scan through this list and – if you can – why not take care of a few of these items now, well ahead of your spring break or summer travel, and scratch one more thing off that list?
Don’t Over Plan
When traveling with kids, you most definitely can’t maintain the same pace you would on a kid-free holiday, and you have to add in time for multiple bathroom breaks, possible naps, and possible food disasters along the way either through the actual travel (airline diaper blow out) and on excursions while at your destination (a day-long island adventure may not be as appealing with a tired toddler in tow). If you eliminate a few of your original adventures, and instead take a more laid back attitude while on your holiday, it will pay off in full when everyone is more relaxed. Then, you can always add in an extra hour to your day or a last minute adventure if everyone is well rested and ready to seize the day!
Document For Safety
In addition to ensuring everyone has the appropriate travel vaccinations, make sure that anyone with a medical condition has the appropriate documentation on them, especially if traveling to a foreign country where language may be a barrier. I love these allergy translation cards that can be ordered to your home, or you can simply print your own at home to take with you by doing a little research first. A simple translation for “peanut allergy” for example, can go a long way with travel in a foreign country to help give you some peace of mind (of course, also ensure all medications including an epi-pen are packed and not expired!)
Download the RBC Insurance PATH App before you leave, so you have a wealth of information at your fingertips on the go. The PATH App brings you local maps so you can find medical facilities nearby, a space within the app to input your medical history all in one place for easy access and a one-touch call button to access the RBC travel assistance team. So handy!
Ensure You Have Insurance
Never ever travel with your family without travel insurance and ensure you’re aware of what your travel insurance covers before you go. After a friend of mine had her child taken by ambulance from Disneyland to an area hospital after a severe attack of croup, I’ll never forget that story and always ensure we’re covered when we travel. No one could have predicted her daughter getting so sick, so quickly, and she was fortunate that they had appropriate insurance in place for a very unplanned-for event (her daughter was fine after getting the appropriate treatment at the hospital that night, thank goodness!)
Even if you have travel insurance through your credit card or employer, it’s still important to check what’s covered, depending on where you go, what you plan on doing. Don’t put you and your family at risk by assuming you’re covered. Did you know that with RBC Travel Insurance you can go online and get a quote in less than 2 minutes? It’s true! You have absolutely no excuse not to take a few minutes out of your day and see the options available to insure your family before your vacation.
Designate a Meeting Place
Traveling with kids brings a whole new element of fear for some parents. Not only are you worried about your own well-being, there’s always that paranoia of someone from your group getting lost. It happens. When entering a new resort, theme park, mall or large restaurant, ensure that everyone in the group knows where the meeting point is. Thankfully we live in a modern age where most of us have a cell phone for communication, but I’d much rather scoop a lost child in my arms than wait for security to call me at the lost and found. Based on the age of your kids, you can determine whether that step means finding an employee and explaining they’re lost, or simply making their way to the meeting point when they’ve realized they’ve fallen behind the group. Minutes feel like hours, but soon enough you’ll be well on your way to your next destination (after a stern lecture, of course).
Don’t Compare Your Vacation
As in all things social media, don’t compare your family vacation to others online and don’t feel you need to document every smile and adventure if that’s not your thing. Social media pressure is real, as as that fear of missing out, but a vacation isn’t much fun if your kids are constantly posing for Instagram. Enjoy yourself, capture those real moments and then decide how much of it you want to share with the world. Sometimes, the best family memories are the ones that only those who were there can tell the story of.
This post is sponsored by RBC Insurance. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words.