Family vacations should be full of quality time and most importantly, fun! Even though you may encounter long line ups, lost luggage or other bumps along the road, you can prepare so that every member of the family has the most pleasant journey possible.
Kathy Buckworth, award winning writer, television personality and mother of four, knows how to enjoy smooth sailing during her family’s travels. “Wherever and however you travel with your family, always bring along games, arts and crafts to keep kids entertained and occupied,” she advises. “Also, keep in mind that different types of travel require different preparation methods.” Kathy shares her tips for travelling and hints for making the most of various modes of transportation:
General travel tips:
- Check The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Travel Health site for travel advisories for your destination. Even if you’re going to familiar places like Mexico, you can prepare for common problems like the flu with vaccinations.
- Crossing any borders? You may need to carry documentation proving your right to accompany the kids, like a consent letter. The Government of Canada’s Traveller’s Checklist has more information.
- Get any travel visas well in advance. See Tourist Visa Requirements for more info.
When boating or sailing:
- Start with short trips to determine the “sea legs” of the children.
- Bring (and use!) the essentials: sunblock, sunglasses, a hat, drinking water and an antinauseant.
- Gravol® antinauseant products that contain the active drug Dimenhydrinate, work best when taken at least ½ hour, and preferably 1 to 2 hours before departure, especially for those prone to motion sickness.
- Motion sickness can also occur once you’re back on dry land – look for signs of nausea and take a Gravol® antinauseant product as a preventative measure.
- Save time by checking in online for your flight. Most major airlines offer this service, and it can shorten your time at the airport. Check your airline’s website for more information.
- Follow the rules regarding allowable carry-on items – specifically concerning liquids, gels and aerosols – when packing the basic onboard necessities. Get current guidelines at The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s Pack Smart.
- Keep all your electronics (and your kids’ electronics) packed together, for quicker security checks.
- For younger children, pack a change of clothes as well – spills and accidents do happen.
- Pack some lollipops or chewing gum to make landings easier.
- Consider bringing an atlas or map to show older children the route you’re taking, or a book on your destination.
- Keep security checks in mind when dressing your kids and yourself. The fewer belt buckles and shoelaces to deal with, the faster you’ll get through.
- Do a last minute security check on your bag, and your kids’ carry-ons too. Make sure there are no sharp items or liquids or gels–nail scissors, shampoo bottles, tweezers, or Silly Putty!
- Save the phone number of every airline you’re using into your cell phone. If you miss a connection, or need some kind of customer service at the airport, call their customer service instead of standing in a long line.
- If the flight is expected to be turbulent, consider giving kids an antinauseant to keep their tummies settled, and which will also aid in relaxation and sleep. Gravol offers a quick dissolve, chewable tablet as a convenient and portable dosage.
- Encourage kids to enjoy the scenery or to play “I Spy”-type games which will keep them focused visually outside the vehicle.
- Those who have a track record of queasiness on the road should be seated up front if safety regulations allow.
- Pack non-perishable snacks and juice boxes for quick treats or when going a long time in between meals.
For action-packed days:
If your trip includes action-filled days, especially those in an amusement park where the rides spin, fly and loop, ensure that nothing distracts the family fun by taking advantage of these tips:
- Test out the smaller roller coasters first. Don’t start on an empty or an overly full stomach.
- Take breaks with attractions such as mini-golf, movies, water parks, etc. to break up the potential for motion sickness or dizziness.
- Plan your route to maximize the “must-see” rides first. Amusement parks require a lot of walking.
- If your child shows signs of motion sickness or nausea after a “wild ride”, consider giving them a Gravol Kids™ antinauseant product.
To help everyone enjoy summer to the fullest, Gravol® provides a range of antinauseant products to treat the whole family. Original Gravol® with Dimenhydrinate is available in a chewable format – Gravol® Quick Dissolve Chewable Tablets, which are convenient and portable, and eliminate the need to take with water. Gravol® Natural Source® Ginger is an effective and clinically proven natural source antinauseant, available in easy-to-swallow tablets and chewable lozenges. Always read full directions on the product label before use.
Kathy Buckworth’s latest book, “The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood” is available at bookstores everywhere. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com