It's easy to let the hustle and bustle of travel stress you out, especially when it comes to spring break and traveling with kids or teenagers. Eliminate one major stressor by keeping your packing light! Take a step back from the heavy concerns surrounding travel and remember the simple comforts that can make traveling—and your spring break trip—a breeze.
COVID-19 Compliant Gear
Since the TSA has extended the federal transportation mask mandate until April 18, be sure you're packing several masks for the whole family. Research your destination ahead of time, as well, to ensure you're in the know about current local policies related to masking, capacity, testing, proof of vaccination, etc. Bear in mind that even if certain local governments or states don't have an active mask mandate in place, individual establishments may still require you to mask up. There may also be some online legwork to be done ahead of time, depending on where your travels take you!
Whether traveling by air, sea or land, ensure the appropriate identification is tucked away safely in your purse, briefcase or other easily accessible personal item. Keep an eye on your passport expiration date; you may need to renew sooner than you think—and the process doesn't happen overnight. Consider a passport holder or ID lanyard to keep everything important in one place. EXTRA: If your mode of transportation has an app, download it to stay in the know and have your boarding pass or tickets at your fingertips.
Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean your important routines need to take a sabbatical. Every skincare guru will tell you: Sunscreen should be worn every day, rain or shine, sunny or cloudy. Also learn which sunscreens are reef safe and why it's important! Gather your favorite products—skincare, hair products, lotions, soaps, toothpaste—and have them ready in 3-ounce containers before you leave town. You won't have to sacrifice using your favorites; you will save time and money once at your destination.
The Comforts of Home
Let's face it: Sometimes, traveling is pretty uncomfortable. Make it easier on yourself by wearing your favorite joggers or leggings, a comfy sweatshirt and slip-on shoes. Even bring along cozy fuzzy socks, a small throw blanket and an eye mask. Depending on how long your flight is, you may thank yourself later.
Cure transit boredom by having a good book or magazine at the ready. You never know if you'll have Wi-Fi access—so download your favorite artists' new album or the latest true crime podcast or audiobook to your smartphone, pop in your ear buds, and let your mind get lost in a captivating story.
To ensure you never get "hangry" while traveling, keep the basics on hand. Remember to pack gum—especially handy during airplane takeoff and landing, a protein-packed snack such as jerky or trail mix to keep you fuller longer, and a reusable water bottle to help you stay hydrated. You'll save money and likely feel better for not having stopped at a drive-thru for a quick fix.
- Eye drops
- Lip balm
- Sunglasses and Hat
- Phone charger
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Allergy pills, inhaler, required medications
And when traveling with children, remember: Take a breath and bear in mind these considerations.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
A version of this article originally appeared at Groups Today.