Children and pets have more in common than you may think. They both require supervision, assistance and reminding, which need to be incorporated into any prep before traveling on your next adventure.
When planning a trip with your children and/or pets, the planning is very similar: You have to make arrangements for their travel, where they are going to sleep, what they are going to eat, and you have to pack for them. We’ve put together a quick list of the top things you should consider packing for your pets…and your children.
For the pets.
Something to eat— I know you know that you need to pack food for your pets, but sometimes things get left off of lists because it’s a given that you would remember it. I find that happens most with dog food. Double bag it, and take a little more than you’ll need. If flying, take a few servings, and buy a small bag when you arrive.
Something to drink out of — A water dish is really helpful to have whenever you are out and about with a pet. I like to use a collapsible one, made for camping. It dries easily, holds enough for a drink or two and then is easy to pour back into a water bottle if you want.
Something comforting — My dog is anxious whenever the suitcase comes out or the boxes start showing up at our house. But she knows that when her dog bed goes into the van, she’s coming with us. Her dog bed has made her feel comfortable in a half a dozen hotel rooms in just as many states.
Something to clean up with— Cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, and plastic bags are an essential part of traveling with pets. You’ll need to pick up after your pets, clean out temporary litter boxes, and you won’t want the car or hotel room smelling like you just did that! Bring what you can and buy what you can’t when you arrive.
Something just in case — If you have a nervous traveler, you may want to bring along something to calm them down, perhaps even a prescription medication from the vet. And you’ll definitely want your vet’s number handy, as well as any other medications or treatments your pet may need while you are vacationing.
For the kids.
Something to eat— Snacks are an absolute necessity when traveling with children, no matter their age. While actually travelling you’ll want lots of snacks and while visiting wherever you are, you’ll also require snacks. One of my mom’s favorite tricks for road trips is to pass out a small snack every 100 miles as long as no asks, “Are we there yet?”
Something new— Pack along something new and exciting for your children. This could be a new book, toy, coloring book or a new movie for the entertainment system in the car. Depending on the age and general disposition of your children, you may be able to hide away a few things prior to the trip and then give it to them along the way.
Something comfortable — Just like your pets, your children will feel more comfortable surrounded by something familiar. When we travel, I like to have my kids bring their own pillows. This gives them the sense of being in their own bed, and gives them a place to stash their blankets and stuffed animals.
Something to make life easier — Packing clothing can be hard for children, especially as they age into wanting to make their own decisions. I like to have my children help pack, with guidance, and then make it very easy for them to grab outfits when we are out. You can use plastic bags, zip lock bags, or a variety of compartments made for this thing. Then when you send them to get dressed, you know they’ll come out with an outfit of which you approve.
Something to identify them— Until your children are old enough to have their own cell phones, or be able to recite your phone number without hesitation, you’ll want some way to help them remember. There are several ways to put identification information with your children, such as RoadID bracelets. Consider using these for everyone in your family when traveling, especially if anyone has a medical condition that needs to be known.
Traveling with kids and pets can be exciting and exhausting. Just like any other adventure, a little planning in advance will make the entire vacation more enjoyable. For everyone.Read comments