The last year has seen my family and I traveling all over the United States, from our Hawaii/west coast trip last spring, to southern Florida in the fall, to our most recent: a week in Arizona. Before 2016, I would not have considered myself a traveler.
I hadn’t been on a plane since before 9/11 when I hopped on that 10 hour flight to Oahu in April. But now that we’re packing our bags and exploring new destinations regularly, I have a few tried and true tips I wanted to share.
Bring your favorite water bottle: Most airports have filling stations, and it will save you money (and calories!) durning travel and when you reach your destination.
Eat at the right local times: One of the things that has helped me most with jet lag is eating meals according to local time, even if I’m not that hungry.
Hit the grocery store, even if you’re staying in a hotel…I try to keep snacks where we’re staying and carry some with me to keep me from snacking on unhealthy & expensive food while I’m out being a tourist. On the last trip I kept carrots, veggie dip and cheese & crackers on hand for munchie momemts.
…But enjoy eating out every now and then, too. Eating out is fun and relaxing. As a mom, I don’t want to prepare and clean up after every meal while I’m on vacation. When we travel, my family tries to avoid chains we can find at home and look for food unique to the area.
Put a white noise app on your phone. Between time changes and loud hotel neighbors, sleep can be in short supply on some vacations. I downloaded the classical album my son falls asleep to at home to help him on the road, and I can fall asleep listening to the gentle sound of rain even in the middle of the desert.
Relax. It’s a vacation, remember? It can be easy to try and see everything when you’re in a new place. When we went to Hawaii, I knew it had the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so I wanted to see it all, and we did. But if you ask my son what his favorite part was, he’ll be quick to tell you it was the night we all piled into bed together and watched The Wizard of Oz long past his bedtime. Pick your top must-sees and maybe a few back-ups, but take advantage of the hotel pool. Break a usually strict bedtime or screen time rule. Let yourself sit on a balcony and read for hours (that was my personal favorite this time around).