Up North Summer Family Travel Checklist

//Up North Summer Family Travel Checklist

Up North Summer Family Travel Checklist

Family Travel Packing

Scene from “National Lampoon Vacation” movie.

Traveling can be fun, but we all know getting to the destination can sometimes be a chore. Hoping that you don’t forget something, planning out the route, making lists and checking them twice.

To help make YOUR pre-vacation planning and process a little more fun, we created the Fun Summer Family Travel Checklists.  Check them out below:

Wherever your travel destination is this summer, we have created some handy checklists to help keep you sane, your planning process a little bit easier, and get your entire family involved in the process to lessen the load.

Family Travel Checklist:

Tip 1: Get everyone involved. Nobody wants to have the sole burden of packing and planning for everyone. Everyone lives such busy lives, and putting that burden on one person is not fun – for that one person.

Kids Packing

Pennywize.com Kids Packing Image

Tip 2: Assign age appropriate jobs. Include every member of your family by assigning age appropriate jobs. Even children as young as toddlers can be a part of the trip packing and planning process.  The below checklist includes age appropriate items.

Tip 3: Pack Accordingly. What you pack will be determined on where you are going, right? Make sure to do a little research on future weather forecasts, and activities that are potential fun opportunities that you will be glad you prepared for.

Tip 4: Make a game out of the process.  Kids don’t want to help with chores, but if you make a game out of the process, it will be fun and playtime to them.  Create a scavenger hunt where they have to find items that need to be packed. If they find all of the items and place them in the suitcase or beach bag they get a small token or treat.

Summer Vacation Destination – Lakes/Nature Area

 Traveling to the lake or a Minnesota lodge to spend some time with the family?  Make sure to pack these important  items:

Grand Rapids Buckhorn family resort credit Jeff Frey

1. Beach Bag  – Something large enough to fit a couple of towels, sunscreen, bug spray, a mini first aid kit and wet wipes. Make sure this bag is small enough to not be a burden to haul around with you.    A stylish backpack or sling style is nice and easy to carry, and something in a neutral color tone and pattern will work for either sex to carry while on your vacation.

2. Bug Spray – Lakes and nature areas often have a variety of insects that can bite and leave itch. If you prefer bug spray that does not contain harmful pesticides look for organic or natural insect repellent that you can even make yourself.  Here is a blog site with several variations: http://wellnessmama.com/2565/homemade-bug-spray.

3. Itch Relievers – There are a lot of over the counter and homemade remedies out there, but being prepared and having something ready just in case a family member gets into a patch of poison ivy.

4. Layers of Clothing – The weather can change rapidly so be prepared for sunshine days and cooler temps at night. We suggest a couple of each of the following (depending on the length of your vacation): short sleeves, shorts, long sleeves, relaxed fit pants, socks, sweatshirt, jacket (windbreaker or rain jacket), and hat.  Your children of every age can help with this. Let your child pick out their own outfits.  Sometimes parents like to control the look, but while on vacation it is fun to let the kids get creative and express their own personalities through their clothing choices. Your on vacation right, a great time to let loose.

5. Sandals, flip flops or slides – These would be shoes that are easy to get into on the go, and keep the foot cool while enjoying summer days.

6. Tennis Shoes or closed toe shoes  – Just in case you want to go for a hike, biking or other outdoor recreation. It is good to have closed toe shoes along to take advantage of the spontaneous outdoor activities.

7. Sunscreen – We all know that the sun is powerful and protecting our skin is essential. Remember to apply even on cloudy days. Nobody wants to be miserable with a sunburn on vacation.

8. Health & Beauty Supplies – These items will vary depending on the age of your children and your preference. This is a good task for small children because they can make sure their own bathroom items are packed – toothbrush, toothpaste, tear free shampoo, etc.

Top Things To Do With Kids Grand Rapids9. Water Toys – Kids of all ages, adults that are kids at heart, will enjoy a floatable water toy to enjoy while at the lake or pool.  Remember to check with your lodging property to see what is allowed in the public pool.

10. Snacks for the Road – Making sure that extra water, and healthy snacks are packed in a insulated bag or cooler. This will help save money while on the road until you arrive at your destination. Bringing along a insulated bag will be nice to re-pack snacks for the beach, hike or other outdoor recreation and activities.

11. Car Activities – This is a great item that your children can be a part of. Create a space where you can store easy to find “things to do in the car” items. Electronic games are fun, but sometimes low tech is the way to go to help our children disconnect in such a connected world. Low tech ideas would be: travel games, blank paper and colored pencils, markers or crayons, a physical reading book or magazine. Encouraging your children to get creative…design a postcard for Grandma and Grandpa of what you saw along your travel journey…play “eye spy” or the “alphabet game” where everyone has fun finding names of items that start with a letter or each person takes a turn calling an “eye spy” color, object or shape.

Family on Minnesota LakeNote: you will want to call ahead to your destination lodging property to see what is provided at their site. Minnesota Family Resorts have fully stocked kitchens and supply bedding, but often times you will need to provide towels, hand soap, shampoo, and conditioner.  Minnesota Hotels/Motels typically provide towels, hand soap and bedding, but do not offer kitchens or supplies.  Minnesota B&B’s typically supply bedding, towels, hand soap and sometimes shampoo and conditioner, serve a hearty breakfast, but do not allow you to use the kitchen to cook food in.

Being prepared for your Summer Family Trip will help to start your trip off on the right foot.  Being prepared is fun, but don’t be afraid of forgetting something.  Typically, even the smallest of towns have gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies nearby where you can purchase what you forgot.  If not, it will be OK too…you are on vacation.  Go with the flow and relax.

There are many Up North Destinations in Minnesota.  Here are some resources to consider when looking for your Summer Family Travel Destination: Explore Minnesota and Visit Grand Rapids.

We also have Kid Friendly Resources on places to dine, things to do and places to stay.


2017-04-19T15:40:37+00:00 Thursday, Jun 25, 2015|Blog|

Leave A Comment