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Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Travel When You Have Kids
Traveling is awesome for kids.
However, traveling with kids is often less than awesome.
It’s takes a lot of planning, and it can quickly get stressful.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, and it’s a popular time to kickoff the summer’s road trips. We have spent many Memorial Day weekends traveling.
Thankfully, this summer we are already living at our vacation destination — in a cabin right on the lake. It doesn’t get much better than that!
But this post is about traveling with kids this Memorial Day, so let’s get started.
10 Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips for Families With Young Children
Let’s go over some Memorial Day weekend travel tips to make the trip a little less stressful.
1. Make all reservations well in advance.
Because Memorial Day weekend is such a popular time to start out the summer’s travels, campgrounds and hotels often fill up fast. Be sure to book all lodging and other reservations — flights, vehicles, activities — well in advance so you don’t end up scrambling at the last minute.
2. Plan your Memorial Day weekend travel route.
As much as I love summer, there are certain things that I don’t love about it — namely, road construction. Plan your route ahead of time to avoid road construction (as much as possible) and heavy traffic, along with anything else that might slow the trip down.
There’s nothing worse than sitting in stop-and-go traffic with tired, whiny kids.
And if the road construction cannot be avoided, it’s still nice to know it’s coming up so you can plan ahead to stop and stretch, use the bathroom, and get some food.
3. Get the vehicle ready ahead of time.
I like to make sure the vehicle is ready to go well in advance, if possible.
This means checking the tire pressure, oil, and other fluids. Make sure your wiper blades work, because if they don’t, you can be sure it will rain along the way.
I also like to fuel up ahead of time. Nobody wants to set out on their Memorial Day weekend trip, only to realize the gas tank is low!
The fewer delays, the better, especially when you have kids along.
4. Check the weather forecast.
It’s helpful to know what kind of weather to expect when you’re traveling (not only when you’re on the road, but over the entire weekend).
Of course, it will help you figure out what kind of clothing to pack, but it can be helpful when planning your Memorial Day weekend travel itinerary as well.
5. Pack ahead and make lists.
When I’m really feeling organized, I try to start packing our bags the week before our trip. Of course, there will be things you’re still using, so they can’t be packed until the last minute.
This is where lists come in handy.
Traveling with an infant? Grab your printable infant travel checklist here!
There are other things to consider, as well, such as locking the doors, turning off lights, the coffee pot, and so on. Write these things down as you think of them, so nothing is forgotten as you rush out the door!
6. Consider safety for Memorial Day weekend.
Of course, you will want to make sure your vehicle is safe for travel, and that everyone is wearing their seat belts, and so on.
But there are other safety considerations for Memorial Day weekend travel, especially when you have kids.
When you’re packing, make sure to add sunscreen, sunhats, and clothing that will prevent sunburn. If you plan on boating, bring life jackets for everyone, especially the kids. Insect repellent might be helpful too, depending on where you’re traveling.
And make sure to keep a First Aid kit in the car, in case anyone gets hurt on the trip.
7. Consider the kids’ schedules.
Sometimes, you don’t have much choice as far as when you leave on a trip. We typically have to leave on weekend trips right after work on Friday in order to maximize our vacation. Which means Kenna sleeps most of the way and, when we arrive well past bedtime, she’s wide awake for the next couple hours.
But if you can, consider the kids’ schedules before leaving. For us, the best time to leave is right at nap time. The girls typically fall asleep right away and get a good nap in. If the drive is an hour or two, they arrive at our destination, happy and rested.
It can be hard to stick to a schedule when you’re away from home. Nap times are often delayed or skipped, kids stay up way past bedtime…it’s okay to be somewhat flexible with sleeping and mealtimes when on vacation.
But if the little ones are getting irritable, they might just need some quiet time or a snack.
8. Bring healthy, yet convenient snacks.
Sugary snacks could mean restless, irritable kids during your Memorial Day weekend travel. Instead, pack healthy-but-convenient snacks to keep them satisfied between meals.
Bananas are easy, filling snacks (just be sure to get rid of the peels at your next stop, or you might find yourself smelling rotten banana the entire way!).
Superfood pouches are convenient if you have toddlers. We also like little boxes of raisins or packages of crackers. If you bring a cooler along, pack string cheese for a quick and easy snack.
9. Pack road trip activities to entertain.
If you have a long drive, you’ll want to tap into your creative side to keep the kids entertained!
Pack age-appropriate toys and books for the kids. Kenna has been getting carsick on trips lately, so she doesn’t want to look at books anymore.
Some carsick kiddos will be happy to watch out the window or sleep, while others might get restless. In this case, play music and sing songs, play games, and talk about the things you see out the windows.
10. Plan for emergencies during Memorial Day weekend travel.
Emergencies could involve anything from the vehicle breaking down to potty accidents.
Make sure cell phones are fully charged, wear comfortable clothing and shoes while traveling, and have extra clothing handy. Keep booster cables and emergency supplies in the vehicle. Again, a First Aid kit is an essential item when traveling.
Safe and happy Memorial Day weekend travels!