Most families that take vacations are used to knowing what to pack for the various vacation destinations to which they are traveling. In some ways, though the “same old, same old” may seem a bit dull to others, it does make for knowing what you actually need to take on your trip with you & what you are better off leaving at home.
The one rogue variable that can cause issues for families is having to pack for a trip to a destination to which they’ve never traveled. Not only are you not aware of what you may encounter, but you have to keep track of so many other variables. If you travel with kids, though, you may find that the newness of the destination and the preparation for it can be enough to throw them off, and this can be a nightmare for parents. What do you do?
Well, if you’re traveling somewhere this summer that’s new for the whole family, here are a few steps to take prior to leaving home that may make the transition a little easier:
1. Have A Family Meeting – Sure, this idea seems a little “sitcom”, but there is value in setting the whole family down for a meeting to discuss what your vacation will be like this time around. This means that a little research has to be done regarding the destination and what it has to offer, plus it never hurts to have some info on where you’ll be staying.
2. Put Together A Plan – Once you’ve established that everyone is on the same page, it’s time to get a plan together. You could make a general plan for the family, or you could make it specific to each member of the family. Make a packing schedule and, if possible, try to have another family meeting to discuss progress on the trip preparation.
3. Check the Weather – Don’t hesitate in checking the weather ahead of time so that you know what to pack for your trip. You can either check the local town’s chamber of commerce for a weather update (i.e., Red River, NM is a perfect example). If you’re still unclear on weather, plan for light layers so that you can either maintain layers if cold or shed layers if things get warm.
4. Have A Packing Checklist – Nothing will throw your trip into a whirlwind like getting to your destination and seeing that one of your kids packed only toys and candy for the trip. Each person should have a checklist as to what items to pack & should check them off as they go. You could even make it a game for kids if they need some extra motivation.
5. Relax – Travel experts often cite one thing to keep in mind for new vacation destinations – have fun & relax. Even with all the planning you have in place, things will fall through the cracks. Luckily, if you need it, there’s usually a place for you to replace it when you get to your destination.
A vacation should be a relaxing time, and even with a bit of a curve-ball with a new destination, always remember that summer vacations are the trips that are the most memorable. Make this new adventure be the best!