Ahhhh! Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, trees are budding, and we all have ants in our pants. It’s been a long year of strict social distancing with a lack of events and activities as well as closures or partial closures of our favorite spots. But with vaccine roll outs and things opening back up, the reality of taking those delayed and forgotten vacations are starting to take shape again. So, to help gear up and prepare, we are here with some tips, tricks and of course the cutest swim wear to make your travels a success!
COVID in the Rearview Mirror but Not Gone Yet
We know it’s best to eat the veggies first and save the dessert for last. So, let’s dig into the “yuck” first. COVID is still a risk and within the U.S. as well as around the country there are different variants popping up and pre-cautions still being taken. So, before making those final plans, check out where you are going and how you are getting there to determine if you need to meet any specific requirements. Check the CDC website for guidance as well. It is better to know now whether you and the kiddos need to be vaccinated beforehand. And is there a requirement for quarantine before going or after arriving at your destination?What about masks? And, if going to well known or populated destinations like Disney, check to see if there are limits on capacity. Be prepared to give up your preferred destination for maybe a second or third choice due to capacity or restrictions. There… we got through the “yuck”.
Where to Go
It’s a new world with the lingering impact of the pandemic and trying to find the best places to go might take some creativity and compromise. Depending on the ages of your children, a staycation might be just fine. But of course, for mom and dad or older kids, we are not amused with the “staycation” idea any longer. So, where to go?
Simply… anywhere outdoors! Whether flying or driving, make sure when you get there, you are spending time outdoors. And while I know we all want our kids to experience a “magical” day at the “kingdom”, you are forewarned that while it is outdoors…. Ish…. Standing in long lines to cram into a cart and listen to “It’s a Small World” while paying high dollar for subpar food isn’t as magical as you think. We will all do it… eventually. But consider maybe not this year.
This year focus on room to breathe and maybe sneaking in a learning experience while you are at it. I mean, honestly, this year needs a little more education that is hands on, and FUN, am I right? So, if you were thinking Florida… maybe consider swimming with the manatee at the Crystal River located just North West of Orlando. Or try the beach, dolphin watching, sponge shops and Greek food in Tarpon Springs. This makes for a far more relaxing and less crowded experience and these type of nature experiences can be found in every state.
How to Prepare
Traveling with littles creates long lasting and treasured memories… some very good and some… well… we save those to tell our sons and daughters in law during the courting stage. The mishaps and mistakes aren’t completely avoidable, but you can prepare to at least mitigate the damage. And for those once-in-a-lifetime moments you want to remember… you prepare but just know sometimes your dream of how you want things to be and what you get are not even close. So, first mentally prepare to have a perfectly imperfect trip. You are going to have to let some things go for your sanity and everyone else’s.
Now, let’s chat about food. Healthy eating can be almost impossible while on vacation. Try and plan for healthy snacks but know that you will have to let it go… let it go… (cue Frozen) at least a couple of times over the trip. Have snacks… there are never enough snacks. If you fly, as soon as you land… go to the store and get a cooler for your travels. Buy a mix of pre-packaged snacks, fruit and peanut butter or some type of protein that travels well. There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic or in a location with starving littles and not know where the closest store or restaurant is. And water… your munchkins may refuse water at home and possible have no idea what water even tastes like… but on vacation… all of a sudden there isn’t enough water. Buy collapsible water bottles. I promise you won’t die from drinking tap water. And many places now have refill stations with filters.
Many clothing disasters happen before, during or after food, so let’s address. Spills, accidents and change of scenery often require wardrobe changes. And on vacation it is inevitable that you will or want to encounter water… a splash pad is always in the least expected place! So swim wear is of course a must and here’s where we slide in a shameless plug for our adorable swim shorts at https://kenniskorner.com/products/orange-surf-swim-shorts or here
Of course, swimwear is a given. However, what is often a surprise is how many bathing suits or swim shorts might be needed. With salt water, sand or chlorine, a suit or pair of shorts can quickly become a skin irritation on a second wear if it isn’t properly cleaned and dried. So, take several… trust me! Rotate them in and out. Hand wash them before bed. The soft tushies will thank you.
And when packing extra clothes, make sure that they are comfortable. Cute and comfy don’t have to be mutually exclusive! Cotton is your friend when it’s hot and we have you covered on the cute! One of my new arrival favorites is the Rosie jumpsuit, found here https://kenniskorner.com/products/rosie-jumpsuit-grey.
Remember to Breathe
I think the best advice out there when traveling with the tots is to just breathe… It’s hard to plan and pack and navigate. Be kind to yourself and your “other” and gentle with the littles. Not everything will go as planned… sometimes NOTHING goes as planned. BUT… in those moments of imperfection, take a moment and just appreciate what is around you. If we have learned anything from the last year, we have learned to adapt and adjust while having a deeper appreciation for what we currently have. Here’s to 2021 vacations and happy travels!