Thursday, May 19, 2016

Teen Travel Essentials {For When They Travel Without Parents}

My kids have started packing for themselves a few years ago, but while I don't think they can be considered packing experts yet, I believe they can manage pretty well on their own.

For the first time ever, all the grandchildren went traveling with their grandparents and their 2 best aunties. This year is the first time they traveled without us. It was just a short trip to Hong Kong, but it's still a trip - without me! I'm very proud of how my kids handled themselves on that trip.

Teens: How To Pack

One of the first things I thought them was the importance of being organized when packing. I am a firm believer on the importance of packing cubes. I hate seeing the inside of our luggage all messed up. I don't want to waste time on a trip just looking for something.

Clothes go in packing cubes, chargers go in the electronics charger pouch. The toiletries are contained in their own bag. Make-up is placed in a vanity bag. Basta! Everything has its own place!

Here are some of the topics that I discussed with my kids that prepared ME.... este, them pala for a trip without me. But I really think it's to better prepare ME to deal with the fact that they are now old enough to be taking a trip without me. Buhuhu!

1. Packing Essentials

1. I made a packing list and asked my kids to check it twice, and even thrice. I gave my kids a packing list one week before the departure date, to make sure that they can go over the list several times, and not forget important items.

I shared this travel packing list in this post. It's downloadable and printable.

2. Make them plan their outfits so that they only bring the essentials. Choose comfort over style because being comfortable is always more stylish.

3. Bring travel sized bath products. There's no need to bring full-sized toiletries as this takes up too much space. I have them use sample-sized bottles that I got as freebies or we fill up small travel bottles with our favorite products.

4. Protect their valuables. I reminded the kids to keep all their valuables (phone, camera, money, ipad, laptop) with them, either in their bag or in the carry-on luggage. Never put them in the check-in luggage, otherwise, there's a good chance wala na when they pick up their bags.

5. Power Bank + Charging Set. My kids use their phones for taking photos, games, and for keeping in touch. As such, the battery can go fast; this super cute charger case makes it convenient to carry all the chargers in style.

6. Have all the travel documents in one container.

7. A Notepad and a Pen.  Creative minds need a place to write all those good ideas. That and a pretty pen to write all those awesome ideas down, or just to doodle with.

8. Snacks. My kids are always, always eating so I reminded them that one of their first stops once they get to their destination is to the grocery to stock up on healthy snacks.

9. Pack extra space. It's best to fly out with a suitcase that's half-full... because things abroad are always "cooler" than stuff they can get at home. Plus, my girls always feel the need to buy pasalubongs for their best friends.
10. Make them bring an everyday bag to put their snacks, wet ones, a reusable water container, a lightweight + water-repellant jacket, a travel umbrella, calling card of the hotel, emergency numbers of family,

2. Travel Medicine Kit

You can never know when sickness strikes, so I always pack a medicine kit whenever we travel. Moreso if they are traveling without me, kung pwede lang ang buong Mercury Drugstore ang ipadala ko! The last thing any parent wants to hear is that their child is sick and needs something when they’re far from us.

Just for good measure, my husband also got them travel insurance from Blue Cross.

I wrote in length about our Travel First Aid kit here.

 I made sure all three kids know how and when to use the meds!

I also placed a mini-kit to put in their backpacks/bags. I found a lot of these mini plastic containers at home, you know the one that houses the USBs that come with the press kits? I put in bandaids, paracetamol, decongestants and some betadine swabs. These individually wrapped betadine disposable antiseptic pads are a recent discovery and one of the most helpful for moms with on-the-go kids who are prone to scrapes and cuts. I bought it online from Amazon and had it shipped to Manila.

3. Personal Safety When Traveling

We should also teach our teens that traveling safely means being open to meeting people and new situations while also being protective of themselves. It means discussing safety concerns with our kids  just in case they get separated from the group, encouraging them to use commonsense, and teaching everyone to be aware of their surroundings.

Here are some of our basic personal safety rules:
-Keep bags zipped and always in front of you.
-Pay attention to the traffic safety rules – these may be very different from those at home.
-Never accept food or drinks from someone you don’t know.
-Stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious of strangers.
-Keep your personal information private from strangers.
-Always stay with the group.

4. Technology On The Go

Teens and tweens often think that being away from home means unlimited use of gadgets for playing, FBC, Snapchatting and the likes. I made it clear to my kids that when they travel, gadgets should not be taken out. Chatting and playing games can only be done when they are seated, or better yet when they are back in their hotel room.

I've never been more thankful that we live in a time where technology allows me to stay in touch with my kids.

Stay in Touch via Social Media

Of course, I requested for Snapchat video updates, because I really will miss them. I encourage them to post photos/videos on IG and Snapchat when they get back home to their hotel at night to let us know what happened during the day. This is a great way to reassure us that they are enjoying themselves. And of course, we always love looking at photos of our kids, di ba?

But not so much when they share their (seemingly) never-ending shopping haul!
That's it! No more shopping trips without me!
I thought she was asking help to choose which ones to buy... yun pala binili lahat!
This after shopping at Zara BEFORE her trip, meron pa din pala DURING the trip.

Calling Parents

I expect them to get in touch with us every night to give us highlights of their day. I made sure that our kids know our mobile numbers. Most kids just rely on speed dial, but we made sure to review them with our mobile and home numbers. We wrote it down and put it in their wallets, along with the numbers of other extended family members.

5. Money Safety
Even as adults, we don’t really understand how pick pockets think. So, I was very clear and specific when I talked to my kids about how to pull money out of a wallet. I reviewed concepts like counting the change properly before leaving the store, not putting a wallet on a counter or table and, not leaving their bags on the back of a chair.

6. Hotel Safety

I am kinda OC, and the first thing I do whenever we check in into any hotel is to wipe down the toilet seat with soap and warm water, plus a spray of sanitizer. So I reminded my oldest daughter to do this. Hahaha!

Other than that, I also reminded them about locking and bolting their doors. AND to not let any strangers into their room. I have already told them to not mind any knocks even if it claims to be from room service especially if they did not call for any help/service.

7. Make a copy of travel documents

I scanned copies of their passports, visa pages, birth certificates and travel insurance and sent them to my kids' email, and I also asked them to save the file in their mobiles that way they have access to the documents even when there's no internet connection. In addition, a printed copy of the passport is also inside their bag at all times.

I also wrote down their blood type on the printed copies of their passports, the one that they carry around in their bags. As you can see, paranoid si mommy.

Keeping It Together

Thank you to Keeping It Together for sending over your new items that's perfect addition for our  summer travel essentials. 

1. The KIT Daiki Mesh Bag (P795) is a lightweight bag with long handle and mesh material, perfect for your beach getaways! Since it’s see through, it is easy to locate your things making it also an ideal everyday bag.

2. The KIT Akiyama Vanity Bag (P595) is a spacious practical bag for your storage or travelling needs. It comes with a handle for easy transporting and has protective body which makes it safe to store your medicine bottles, perfumes, and the like. It has the following slots: 6 brush slots with flap, 5 elastic slots for your bottles, 1 side pocket, and 2 mesh side pockets. 

3. The Three-Zipped Pouch (P220) conveniently lets us bring all necessary materials in style. Perfect for passports, boarding pass, itineraries, all travel items that can be left at the last minute during security checks.  

Make the most of this pouch by making it part of your everyday bag as well. Segregate receipts, coupons, and even your cellphone all in 1 pouch.

4. Electronic Pouch (P195) keep electronic gadgets from getting damaged or lost. It has a main compartment with adjustable velcro straps for customization of space based on your needs. 

5.  The Foldable Trunk Organizer is the perfect companion on the road. It folds completely for storage and keeps trunk space neat. It’s spacious and has pockets, perfect for storing groceries, supplies, emergency tools and more. Easy washable material by spot clean and just air dry.

To know more about Keeping It Together


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