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  • Writer's pictureEmbrace TFC

Summer Travel Tips from the Embrace Team!

Summertime is one of Americans’ favorite times to take a vacation. Thanks to schools being closed, the warm weather, and tax season giving many people some extra cash to spend, over 50% of American families choose to vacation in the summer.

But traveling, especially with children, can be much more challenging and require strategizing. Without some quality planning, a “vacation” can quickly turn into a week of frustrating, exhausting experiences. This can be especially true for foster and adoptive families, whose children may react to certain situations in unpredictable ways.

To ensure everyone has the best travel experiences possible this summer, we’ve asked our Embrace teammates for #TravelHacks that they swear by.

Read them below!

We have a rule where I only let my kids play their handheld devices in the car. It made them very special and so car rides were more like a treat than a chore. ~ Brittany (Virginia Beach)

It’s important to get your children involved in planning your vacation, and the things you’ll do there. Have a big family meeting and brainstorm what you all want out of this trip. Use the internet and guidebooks to find out what there is to do locally and prioritize what your family wants to do. ~ Andrea (Richmond)

For every big vacation involving lots of driving, I pick up a few toys from the dollar store or those dollar bins at Target. They’re something new for my kiddo to entertain him on the ride. ~ Gretchen (Fredericksburg)

Car games always work great with my nephews! In particular they love “I Spy” and the License Plate Game. ~ Erin (Richmond)

Take your time and take breaks so the kids can get out of the car a bit, especially the younger they are. As dads, I think it is ingrained in us to get to our destination as quickly (and with as few stops) as we possibly can.

But kids need to be able to run around, stretch their legs, and not be confined to the backseat. This especially true when your kids are young and they’re in a car or booster seat!

So just relax, and be OK with it taking a little longer to get where you're going if it makes the kids a little less grouchy and irritable.

~ Ronnie (Virginia Beach)

Invest in a travel DVD player with a good selection of kid-friendly movies! That always made my girls really happy! ~ Heather (Roanoke)

Especially for foster families, remember to pack all your placement agreements and medical forms. Be mindful of allergies and reactions to medications. Make sure your emergency contacts will be available if something happens, and don’t forget to charge your electronics before you hit the road! ~ Michael (Fredericksburg)

Snacks! We always help our cranky toddler by giving her some of her favorite num nums. ~ Heather (Virginia Beach)

My big tip would be to take a stuffed animal night light. We have these “twilight turtles” that they use at home and always travel with. You can find them on Amazon! These have always allowed my kids to sleep better knowing they have the power to turn the lights on if they wake up scared, or need to get a drink or go to the bathroom or even come looking for me. If you don't have something like this that your kids use, take small pocket flashlights and let them sleep with them. As all parents know, if they sleep better, YOU sleep better, which makes for a much happier trip! ~ Kelly (Roanoke)

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