Unless you all-year school, your kids are probably out for the summer. I bet you are planning big trips, weekends way, camping, and even day trips. That's fun, but we tend to not eat as healthy and not take as good of care of ourselves when we travel. That may be fine for a few days, but if you are like me, you feel yucky when you get home, as do your kids. All that can add up too, over the course of a summer. I want to share with you some of the things our family does to keep this yucky at bay.
1. Water! It may seem like a duh, but it is something that I do not focus on when we are traveling. It is so easy to get a soda, even though I make it hard for myself at home. I Keep a large water bottle with a "water bean" for the kids. I keep it full all the time, so that it is pure and then fill their bottles from it. I also keep my own stainless steel bottle with a "water bean." As long as it is handy, my husband drinks a good bit of water, so he just drinks out of mine and we refill. I also do not allow the kids to have anything but water, milk, or juice, except for a dinner- just like at home. I follow the same rule, except I have to have coffee throughout the day.
2. Vitamins! A few days before the trip, I add vitamin C to my kids' daily vitamins, or they will be sick. I also take Airborne, myself. I fill up the hand sanitizers in my purse, backpack, small pump for the room, and small pump for the car. Seriously, my kids will be sidk a few days after we get home if I do not do this. I also load up on Wet Naps for quick wiping of hands, buggies, tables, and more.
3. Lysol! I have my hubby take the kids outside for a walk, to explore the pool, or to grab lunch when we first check in. While they are doing this, I saturate the room in Lysol. I had a job cleaning hotel rooms at one point, and they do not clean as much as we like to think they do and there is very little sanitation going on. Some things to remember to Lysol: Bathtub, sink and toilet, beds (including sheets), phone, alarm clock, lamp switches, room switches, TV and remote, air knobs and air vent, any whee the kids might touch, and even the carpet. I pretty much go through the room and spray everything. We buy a new can of Lysol every time we go somewhere. We also have the kids play, et, and play tablets on a picnic blanket instead of straight on the floor. I wear socks constantly and put them on the kids too. It may not make a difference, but it makes me feel good.
4. Snacks! Bring snacks along, stead of buying them as you go. Not only will you be feeding healthier snacks, but you will save money too. Make sure to get all healthy snacks because it is much harder to eat healthy meals while away from home. This will help you get fruits and veggies in them easier. Some things to consider: Crispy Green Fruit Crisps, Annies Homegrown Snacks, Black Forest Snacks, cheeses, fresh fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges are easy for travel), fresh vegetables (celery, carrots, cucumber, and snow peas are great travel options- even better if you cut the cucumber ahead of time and package them in snack portions, along with everything else), crackers, pretzels, and yogurt. Anything that you can put in snack sized portions ahead of time will help.
I have another snack tip- I use these Thirty-One bags (Cool Clip Thermal Pouch) for the kids' snacks. I can see which snacks each kid has had. They also are great for day trips- drink and snack for each kid for the way up and drink and snack and drink for the way back. I have one for each kid that will allow me to use them the way I see it. I love that the insulation is thin, but it works- there isn't a lot of bulk to it. I can clip them on the kids bags, or keep them separate. They are also great for field trips and days at grandparents' (I pack a lunch for each). These are also great for keeping a damp washcloth in, as well as some cool lotion and aloe. Do you take medications? Consider one for them.
5. Stay Active! We walk a lot while we are on vacation. In fact, we rarely get in the car again until it is time to come home unless we find a park to go hike in. We also try to get the kids in the pool at least once a day and take them to a playground to really run at least a few times during the trip- it really helps the trip be smoother too.
6. Breakfast! If where you stay has a continental breakfast, take advantage of it, they usually have healthy options, including juice, fruit, and more. If not, bring along healthy breakfast bars for the kids- they will not go sugar crazy and will have more good energy.
7. Lunch! Although we eat dinner out most nights while we are away, we always eat lunch in the room. We go back to the room at lunch time and make sandwiches or something we have picked up at the grocery store before leaving town. If we bring sandwich meats or something that must be refrigerated, I put those times in a Thirty-One lunchbox (Chill-icious Thermal) that is easy for me to spot. The first thing I do (even before I spray the room), is put that stuff in the room refrigerator. It guarantees that we have healthy options for the kids and makes our lives easier, while saving money! I also take along an insulated picnic basket for extra snacks, drinks, and lunch items.
8. Rest! t may seem ridiculous to list this, but it needs to be included. I have a tendency to run myself mad while on vacation to make sure the kids have a good time, they learn something, and we all get to do what we want to do. That takes a lot of energy. Now, we have a new rule. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Every day, we go back to the room for lunch, then we rest a little, let the kids nap and play, and let mom nap and read. It makes for a more enjoyable time and we do not end up with cranky kids at the end of the day.
9. Sunscreen! I will be the first to admit that I don't always put sunscreen on the kids at home unless they are playing in the pool or it is the worst part o the day and they are outside (even then, it slips my mind at times). However, I always try to remember while we are on vacation because I may not think about how much sun they are getting as we walk in and out of shops or are hiking through a park. Nothing is more sad than a little one spending the whole vacation sunburned. How I remember- I sit it by the door when I unpack after arrival. It really does help.
10. Enjoy Yourself! More than anything, you should be enjoying yourself and your family. Do not get too carried away with these things that you forget to have fun. There is nothing wrong with stopping for ice cream or a milkshake. there is also nothing wrong with lazing around the pool and room one day. It is your vacation, so have fun and do it your way, just be mindful of your body.