Home » Do I Pack the Kitchen Sink?   Travel Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them!

Do I Pack the Kitchen Sink?   Travel Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them!


     Hey there, fellow adventurous parents! We know that traveling with kids can be an epic adventure, but let’s face it, sometimes we make some mistakes that can take our family vacation from a collection of epic memories to a comedy of errors.  But fear not! I’ve got you covered with some common travel blunders and quick fixes to help you enjoy a family vacation without any “facepalm” moments.


Mistake #1: The Overpacking Syndrome

       Raise your hand if you’ve ever packed the entire toy collection, every outfit for every weather scenario, and enough diapers to last a year! Guilty as charged, right? Well, we’ve all been there, but trust us, hauling around a mountain of luggage is no joke.

Quick Fix:  Pack smart, not heavy! Make a packing list and stick to the essentials. Choose versatile clothing items that can be layered if needed and prioritize what you truly need. And remember, local shops exist in other states countries too, so resist the urge to pack everything and the kitchen sink.  With the ability to place a quick delivery order at many popular destinations now, you can leave some bulky items (think diapers) home and get them when you arrive.   P.S. kids can make a toy out of anything.  Don’t feel pressured to bring 101 sand toys and stuffies. 

Mistake #2: The Overbooking Frenzy

     I get it, you want to make the most of your vacation and see everything on your dream destination list. But hold your horses! Trying to squeeze in every museum, theme park, and monument in one day can quickly turn into a wild race against time.  Kids get tired.  You forget how long it takes your 3 year old to finish lunch and feel rushed.  Someone has an accident and you need more than 5 minutes for a bathroom break/clean up.

Quick fix:  Slow down and smell the sunscreen! Be realistic with your itinerary and allow for downtime. Kids need breaks too, and rushing from one place to another can leave everyone feeling frazzled. Remember, it’s not a race, it’s a family vacation.  Memories can be made in the small moments of doing “nothing”.  Don’t give in to the pressure for every moment to be a big moment.  


Mistake #3: The Non-Child-Friendly Accommodation

   So, you booked a trendy boutique hotel that caught your eye on Instagram, but upon arrival, you realize it’s not exactly kid-friendly. Cue the panic! Not all accommodations are designed with kids in mind, and that glass coffee table might not be the best idea.

Quick Fix: Do your homework and book kid-friendly accommodations in advance. Look for hotels or vacation rentals that offer amenities like cribs, high chairs, and pools for the little ones. Read reviews from other families to make sure it’s a kid-approved place to stay.  One of my favorite places to go is TripAdvisor.  You can read real reviews about the condition of the hotel and the most recent reviews will give you insight into what is open and in good working order. (think- pool down for construction could dampen a kid trip)

Mistake #4: The “Adults Only” Planning Approach

I get it- planning a family vacation can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s just easier to make all the decisions yourself. But beware, excluding your kids from the planning process can lead to disappointed faces and grumpy moods.

Quick Fix:  Let your kids have a say! Involve them in the planning process and let them choose activities, attractions, and even restaurants. It’s their vacation too, and their excitement and engagement will make the trip even more enjoyable for everyone.  Think about what it would look like to have a family planning meeting just to find general likes/dislikes.  Imagine planning children’s museums and city tours and finding out your kid has their heart set on seeing the ocean and just collecting shells on the beach. 


Mistake #5: The Unexpected Oopsies

   As much as we try to plan, sometimes things justgo awry! Missed flights, lost luggage, or sudden weather changes can throw a wrench into even the most carefully laid plans. But hey, it’s all part of the adventure, right?

Quick Fix:   Be prepared for the unexpected! Pack a travel first aid kit with essential medications, research emergency services at your destination, and have a backup plan in case of any changes or cancellations.  Equally as important- Embrace the spontaneity and keep a sense of humor when things don’t go as planned.  I’m the queen of travel bloopers and keeping in mind that one day I’ll look back and laugh as things go so wrong can definitely help me keep my cool. 


In conclusion, dear parents, remember to pack light, plan ahead when you can, involve your kids in the planning process, and be prepared for things to not go perfectly according to plan. And most importantly, don’t forget to laugh along the way! Family vacations are about creating cherished memories, and sometimes the most hilarious moments are the ones that become the best stories to tell when you’re back home.

So, keep calm and travel on with your little adventurers. Embrace the imperfections, go with the flow, and enjoy the precious moments with your family. After all, the best souvenir from any family vacation is a heart full of laughter and memories that will last a lifetime.

Bon voyage and happy travels, fellow parents! May your family vacations be filled with joy, love, and lots of laughter! Cheers to avoiding those travel mistakes and creating unforgettable family adventures. Safe travels!  

(What’s one thing you always pack, no matter what?  Let me know in the comments!)



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