Last weekend we randomly went on a family trip to St. Louis. We never do stuff like that. Not because we don’t want to travel, but because finances have never allowed. I can’t tell you how good it felt to just go off for a weekend and do fun stuff as a family.
However, since we had zero experience making a short non-family-visit trip with kids, we overlooked a few things. In case you’re ever in this boat too, I thought I’d mention them.
1. Pack lunches.
I packed some packets of raisins and almonds that came in very handy, but I didn’t think of packing lunches. That is, I didn’t think of it until we found ourselves at the bottom of the St. Louis Arch, having waited in line nearly an hour to get in there and having two hours to wait until our tram ride. And it was nearly 1:00 and everyone was famished. Oops. We wound up buying insanely overpriced cheese in the little gift shop down there to tide us over. Lesson learned. Pack lunch.
2. Bring cash.
Neither of us thought to go to the ATM before we left. But everywhere takes plastic nowadays right? No. The parking lot at Grant’s Farm does not take credit. Fortunately the lady who worked there was very nice and she let us in because we look like honest people, and we were able to hit an ATM before we got back to our car later that morning. Except we had to pay a hefty surcharge for the privilege. Good thing we look like nice people or we wouldn’t have had that option. Lesson learned. Bring cash.
3.Bring batteries or power source for your camera.
Just as the kids were dressing up as cowboys and throwing lassos around cutely, the batteries on my external flash died. And we were at the bottom of the arch where it is very dim and had no batteries. I couldn’t get very good pictures without it, but that’s where the iPhones came in! Josh even got a video of Hannah. But I still wish I had thought to bring batteries with me. Lesson learned. Bring power sources.
What lessons have you learned from traveling with small kids?