13 Smart Travel Hacks & Tips
As parents, we can always use a little help to make our lives with kids easier. Traveling can be challenging, especially with young children. However, we love to explore this wonderful world with our kiddos and let them experience as much as possible. After thousands of miles traveled, our team has come up with these hacks and tips that will make your family’s travel smoother so you can focus on what matters, making memories with your children.
1. Choose the Right Hotel
Not all hotels are created equal and not all hotels are great for families. You don’t want to check into a hipster boutique hotel with your preschoolers on a beach vacation. Kid friendly hotels should be close to the activities you plan on enjoying, should have a pool, should be clean and simply arranged and should have breakfast included. You need a hotel that is used to kids running in and out. We love staying at Hampton by Hilton for these reasons.
The folks at Hampton by Hilton welcome your family. The breakfast is amazing in the morning with lots of healthy choices. The rooms are clean and decorated in such a way that they are kid friendly. One of our favorite road trip stops is the Hampton by Hilton Tallahassee. When you are traveling with babies or small toddlers, there are high chairs and cribs available. If you want to enjoy a gorgeous night outdoors, there is an outdoor pool and grill patio area. This location is also pet friendly, which is perfect for traveling with all your family members, even the furry ones!
Hampton by Hilton promises “high quality and consistent accommodations” so you know what to expect when you check in with your family. In fact, if you are not satisfied, you don’t have to pay for your stay. That’s the 100% Hampton Guarantee. With over 2,000 locations in North America, Europe, and India, you are bound to find one near where you want to go this summer.
2. Keep All Your Devices Charged
If you are like the majority of families today, everyone has at least one device that they keep with them all the time. Smart phones and tablets have become a necessity, but unfortunately, they are always running out of battery power. When you check into a hotel, electrical outlets are limited and you can end up with devices randomly plugged in all over the place. You don’t want your iPad charging in the bathroom where it can accidentally get wet. We’ve discovered the solution to your device charging woes: Jackery!
Jackery makes amazing products that let you charge on the go and anywhere. If you need things to charge quickly, the Jackery Titan is the most powerful portable charger. For charging multiple devices with one plug, get the Jackery Crew. This high speed charging hub has 5 USB ports. The Jackery Leaf is the ultimate charger on the go because it is actually a snap-on rechargeable case! Never run out of battery power again with these amazing devices from Jackery.
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3. Keep Your Camera Accessible
It is no secret that we love photography here at Daily Mom and while iPhone pictures are easy to take, we all want beautiful DSLR pictures of our summer travels. You won’t miss a shot and won’t dread taking your camera around if you have a camera bag that is comfortable and makes it easy to get your camera in and out. We’ve found the perfect bag for grabbing summer shots on the go.
The Thule Covert Small DSLR Messenger Bag is large enough for a full size DSLR and lenses but small enough that you won’t mind carrying it around. This messenger style bag is brilliantly designed so you can quickly get to your camera. Instead of a classic messenger bag opening where the flap folds into you, the opening on this bag folds away from you! No need to flip the bag around or take it off to get what you want. This THULE bag also has a dedicated spot for an iPad and space for your phone, keys and other small items. It is durable and water resistant so you can take it anywhere without fear. You can even take it horseback riding. We did!
If you love the bag you carry for your camera, you are much more likely to carry your big camera. Your big camera will result in better photos of your trip, leading to memories preserved in a more meaningful and artistic way.
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4. Make Sure Meal Time is Kid Friendly
If you are renting a vacation home or even staying with relatives, don’t expect there to be tableware that is safe and usable for your kids. Toddlers and babies that are eating solids don’t do well with regular glassware or silverware that is too sharp or heavy. Kids often need or prefer cups with tops and straws. A rented vacation home is usually not going to have what you need to feed your kids. Add tableware to your packing list.
To simplify things, silikids makes silicone tableware that travels easy, washes easy and is loved by kids of all ages. Just toss a few of their silicone cups with your preferred silicone lid (sippy or straw) in your bag. The silicone straws are great to keep with you while traveling for when you buy a drink that your child can’t drink without a straw like a large, heavy bottle of water in the airport. Pop a safe, reusable silicone straw in that bottle of water and keep your kid hydrated and happy.
When snack time or meal time rolls around wherever you are staying, whether a rental home, a relative’s home or even camping, your child can eat safely and comfortably if you’ve packed what you need. For snacks while on the go, silikids also offers silicone reusable food bags. Toss a handful of your kid’s favorite snacks in the bag, fill a cup up with water and you’ve got a safe and happy snack time all ready to go. No toxic plastic or disposable products for you on vacation with Silikids.
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5. Keep Up with Your Skincare
When packing for a tropical location, you might run out of space in your suitcase and decide to pick up some toiletries like sunscreen when you get to your location. However, you want to wear healthy sunscreen and the resort where you are staying will probably only have the cheap chemical sunscreens that you hate wearing. Save space in your suitcase and travel with sun care you love at the same time! Coola Suncare is all about making sure you love the sunscreen you wear. You can wear it with confidence knowing that everything they make is safe and healthy. Coola has a huge array of sun care products that double as beauty products. So you don’t have to leave behind your makeup setting spray so you can bring along your safe sunscreen.
Coola’s Makeup Setting Spray is SPF 30! That’s two-in-one for your face. If you use a makeup primer, Coola’s Makeup Primer is also SPF 30. Sunscreen can be troublesome if you have sensitive skin. If this sounds like you, try Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea Moisturizer. Your face will be soothed, moisturized and protected from sun damage in one step. With all these multi-tasking super products from Coola, you can save space in your suitcase and save time when you are getting ready to go on vacation or everyday!
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6. Stay Comfortable in the Sand
We all love hanging out by the beach, lake, or river but let’s face it, sand can make things a little uncomfortable. You lay a beach towel down but before you know it, the wind blows it around and it is covered in sand as well. When you’re sitting in the sand with your family, you all want to sit together comfortably. Laying out a bunch of old towels just doesn’t cut it.
The Parasheet Beach and Picnic Blanket from Grand Trunk is the solution! This is the best beach blanket ever. It is made with 100 percent parachute nylon so it is easy to wipe clean when the wind blows sand your way. However, the wind will not blow this blanket away! All four corners have little built in patented sand pockets on the underside that you fill with sand when you set it up. The weight of the pocketed sand keeps the blanket in place with no need for any equipment like stakes to hold it down. If you want to use the blanket on firm ground, there are stake loops to use in that situation.
While you are relaxing on your Parasheet Beach Blanket, wrap up in a Bamboo Blend Towel and Cover Up. This towel is very absorbent, leaving you dry more quickly. It is so soft that you could wrap a baby in it. There are built in button closures to fasten the towel around you so you can actually wear it while walking off the beach when your day is done.
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7. Keep Baby Clean on the Go
Whether you’re traveling abroad, heading to the beach or visiting grandparents this summer, chances are that your accommodations won’t provide toiletries for your baby. Most hotels will offer shampoo, conditioner, a bar of soap and lotion; however, baby products are a rarity, especially if you are avoiding parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, synthetic fragrances or dyes. Therefore, when you are packing your bags this summer, be sure to include Babyganics Bathtime Essentials Gift Set in your baby’s carry-on.
With your bath time essentials packed, your family can enjoy a day of sight-seeing or play without stressing over how you’ll wash away the dirt that night. Babyganics’ thick, soft instant foaming shampoo and body wash is safe for eyes, gentle on skin and rinses clean, leaving your baby’s hair and skin soft and nourished. And their moisturizing daily lotion is the perfect finishing touch to keep your baby’s sensitive skin protected while traveling this summer.
The Babyganics Baby Bathtime Essentials Kit includes: 2 oz Moisturizing Chamomile Verbena Daily Lotion, 2 oz Chamomile Verbena Baby Bubble Bath, and 3 oz Chamomile Verbena Foaming Baby Shampoo and Body Wash in a convenient carrying case with an on-the-go hook that easily attaches to your luggage.
Babyganics’ exclusive 100% natural NeoNourish seed oil blend helps nurture and support baby’s skin, while non-allergenic ingredients (free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, synthetic fragrances or dyes) soothe even the most sensitive skin. It’s good to know that we can go anywhere we want this summer while still providing our babies with a soft, gentle, but serious clean.
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8. Get to and from your activities in one trip
When you’ve got kids, you’ve also got a lot of stuff. Getting onto the beach or out to the baseball field can end up taking you several trips. You’ve got chairs, a cooler, umbrella, bags with clothing, sports equipment, games, and who knows what else. All that back and forth is so frustrating. Save yourself the time and energy with a great cart to get you and all your stuff where it needs to go in one trip. The Wonder Wheeler Deluxe Beach Cart makes that possible. This all-terrain cart can hold a large cooler, chairs and lots of other stuff. Load it up and easily roll it wherever you need to with your kids in tow. When you don’t need it, it folds down for easy storage.
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9. Get The Perfect Tan, Safely
You want to look tan all year round but especially in the summer. No one wants to head to the beach looking pale. You want that sun-kissed glow but you don’t want the sun damage. Tanning is seriously bad for you. You can’t lay out and bake in the sun all day without serious consequences like premature aging of the skin or even worse, cancer.
Get the tan look you want with Bondi Sands self tanning products. Bondi Sands gives you salon quality tanning at home. Using Bondi Sands will have you brown and glowing without the sun damage. They have three options for self-tanning: foam, dry oil and lotion. Don’t worry about your tan not looking natural. You can choose the shade you desire, light to medium or dark. These tanners are easy to apply and give you a smooth and even tan every time. In fact, Bondi Sands makes application fool proof with their application accessories. Before applying, use the Exfoliation Mitt. There is a Self-Tanning Mitt and Back Applicator to apply your chosen tanner. Never risk skin damage for a tan again!
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10. Relieve allergies and prevent sinus infections
Traveling during the summer months often means long hours spent on airplanes and days in hotel rooms. If anyone in your family suffers from regular allergies or frequent sinus infections, the dry air and exposure to new allergens might be a recipe for a difficult trip. If this sounds like an experience you’ve had before, packing along the Crane Ultrasonic Travel Humidifier may be the solution you need. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, preventing the dryness that can cause irritation in the nose, skin and lips.
The perfect size for tossing into carry-on luggage, the Crane Travel Humidifier takes up no more room than an extra tube of sunscreen, and comes complete with a small carry bag for easy packing. To use the device, fill a cup with water (the set includes one, but any cup will work if you need to save space) and place the end of the humidifier into the glass. Plug into a USB port and press the on button to start humidifying immediately.
With a full glass of water (10 oz) the Crane Travel Humidifier will run for up to 10 hours, automatically turning off when the water is too low. It works best in a small room, where a light fan is on to help the humidity circulate. Completely silent, the Crane Travel Humidifier is perfect for helping you get the best night sleep, no matter where you lay your head at night.
11. Teach Your Kids to Be Responsible for Their Luggage
Letting your kids pack and carry their own travel bag is a great way to teach them responsibility and allow them to assert their independence. Obviously younger children need direction as to what gets packed into their bags but rather than doing it yourself you can involve them in the process and allow them to feel a sense of responsibility. It may even help to encourage them to carry it themselves and free up a few of your arms! Skip Hop has a great selection of items perfect for your summer travel including: Rolling Suitcase, Take Along Night Light, Travel Pillow and the Little Kid Backpack.
Skip Hop has a vast collection of items that make perfect travel companions for your little ones. With so many options available, they can pick the perfect animal or character to suit their personality!
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12. Stay Dry When You’re Done Being Wet
Don’t you hate when you are heading home from the beach, pool or lake and everything in your car is soaking wet? What do you do with wet bathing suits and towels? If you just throw them in your bag, your bag gets soaked. If you keep your suits on then your car is soaked, leaving you with stinky car seats for young kids. Wet bags are the solution!
These wet bags from One Step Ahead are perfect for swimsuits. They are transparent so you can see what is inside. They are reusable with a durable zipper. They come in sets of two. We recommend that you have one of these bags for each member of your family. Put a dry change of clothes in them on your way to the pool or beach so your dry clothes stay dry. Once you change after swimming, have everyone put their wet swimsuits into the bag. For larger items like towels, pick up a couple of these XL Ziplock Double Zipper Bags. Keep small and large wet bags in your car all summer and pack some in your luggage when you travel. They are great for keeping the rest of your life dry and will also contain messes.
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13. Keep Your Kids Happy While Reaching Your Destination
Long car rides on road trips or multiple flights to a tropical destination can be challenging for children. When you are packing up the car, or even your beach bag for a fun summer’s day outing, every modern mom’s must-have for a fun filled day is a tablet for their kiddo. The Kurio XTreme 2 Tablet is so versatile, it is the perfect item to throw into your to-go bag. Your child will quietly enjoy a plethora of educational games that can be easily downloaded via the google play store, and then, once you arrive at the beach, you can switch it into the parent profile and catch up on your emails, or enjoy a book via the kindle app.
The Kurio Xtreme 2 is loaded with extra, kid-friendly features like a built in back kickstand for easy movie watching on a flat surface, as well as the accident-proof bumpers available in blue and pink, which are sure to keep the tablet safe from unfortunate drops that the average 4 yr old is prone to doing. It also arrives on your doorstep preloaded with 60+ educational games and apps that your child is sure to love! Downloading more is easy, via the play store or even through amazon.
Get your bags packed! Get the kids ready! Travel with confidence knowing you can skip the hassle that many common travel woes cause with these tips and hacks. The only thing you have to worry about is what fabulous destination you will travel to!
Stay healthy and full this summer with the Best Snacks for Your Summer Fun.
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