Travel Summer 2022 Newsletter
The kids are out of school and the family is ready to hit the road! Its been so long since your last vacation you might need a few tips and tricks to help it go smoothly. Before you leave the driveway, here are some reminders and resources to review.
Pick WHAT you want to do first, then find a destination. Beach versus city? Theme park or camping? Take into consideration your kids’ ages and interests, family budget and length of trip. Whether a local trip to the lake or a multi-country trip abroad, careful attention to the details will save you time and money later and involving especially older children in the process is part of the fun of travel. While the internet is a great tool, sometimes old school is nice too. Travel books at the library (and half price books) as well as maps and brochures at AAA can supplement online tour books and local websites. The nonfiction area of the children’s section is a great place to learn about new places and the culture, sites, and food to be found there.
Easier said than done, packing is an art. Mode of transportation is key as airplane travel has many more restrictions. Make a packing list for the family and each child. Decide what you need to bring and what may be provided at your destination. Don’t bring beach towels, umbrellas and chairs if they are in the closet of your air B&B. If you are flying domestically, plan on getting the large bottle of sunscreen and bug spray when you get there. Always pack a first aid kit and of course extra underwear! Watch the quantity and weight of any souvenirs and consider having special purchases shipped home.
Car Seats Are Key
Make sure car seats are in good condition and the proper size is used for all family members. Children should be in a rear facing seat until at least 2 years, in a full five point harness until 4 and 40# and in a belt positioning booster seat until 4 feet 9 inches. They should be in the back seat until they are 13 AND 5’ 3”. If the front seat passenger Is under 5’ 3” push the seat further back from the dashboard if possible to give the airbag more room to expand (or have the petite person drive as the driver’s side airbag is in the steering column). Car seats should also be used when flying. If you did not buy a seat for a child under 2 and there is an empty seat available, check with the gate agent as you may be able to use that seat. Check all airline requirements and regulations especially if travelling internationally. travelcarseatmom.com has excellent tips and links to specific resources.
What About Vaccines?
While we are anticipating approval of a COVID vaccine for children under 5 sometime this summer, every family will have to make decisions about whether it will be safer to travel by car to a vacation rental home or if they feel comfortable going to a crowded destination and stay in a hotel. Boosters for ages 5-11 were recently approved, so call your pediatrician if you would lie to update that. At the same time make sure all other vaccines you might need for travel are up to date including Hep A, Tdap and even typhoid vaccine if you are heading abroad. If travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent, you will want to check recommendations at cdc.gov for needed prevention and make an appointment at least 2 weeks before your departure with your pediatrician or a certified travel clinic. Only certain federally mandated travel clinics can give Yellow fever vaccines. There is a shortage of the injectable typhoid vaccine for 2 years and up and the oral typhoid vaccine for over 6 has not been manufactured since Dec 2020 with no update on when it will return. Make sure the vaccine you need is in stock when making your appointment, and if your pediatrician does not offer that service, they will have list of local travel clinics you can contact.
Sun and Water Safety
This topic was covered in our previous newsletter (Jamie can you put the date/link here) but everyone should be wearing and reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if swimming or sweating! Use at least factor 30 to 50 and keep babies under 6 months out of the sun if at all possible. Water safety means that a responsible adult should be supervising kids of all ages. One rule of thumb is if they are in the water, a grownup is in the water. Not on the deck, or down the beach, or in the cabin of the boat. At a public swimming area, locate the lifeguards and avoid swimming in areas where you are unfamiliar with the surf or the depth of the water. Personal flotation devices (PFDs) should be readily accessible while boating. In Ohio children under the age of 10 are required to wear PFD when on a vessel under 18 feet long.
Kids. Snacks. Lots of water. Need we say more?
While one of the best parts of travel is getting to see your family do fun and new and interesting things, make sure not to overschedule your days. Its your vacation too, so give yourself some grace and build in some downtime not just for them but for you. Take a nap. Swap a night out with family members or friends if you are traveling in a group or check ahead of time for babysitting resources nearby. Don’t feel that you have to document every moment, put the cellphone/camera down and enjoy something silly, whether its toes in the sand, a roller coaster ride or just sitting down with a glass of lemonade and watching the world go by for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths. Enjoy!