In the midst of wet, or snowy, winter weather, you can always look forward to your spring and summer vacations. These times you spend together as a family will probably create some of the most lasting memories your kids have, especially if you’re heading to a big-name destination. However, vacations can also be expensive, and it helps to spread out the cost over several months and save everywhere you can by snagging items on sale rather than paying full price for last-minute vacation necessities. Start stocking up now on several types of supplies for your vacation.
Food: It’s probably too early to do your grocery shopping for the essential food on your trip, especially if you’ll be staying at a timeshare or vacation rental with a kitchen. However, it’s never too early to stock up on nonperishables that you may want to take along. The prices on these will add up if you buy them all at once, but adding an item or two to each of your grocery trips until then will help you absorb the cost. Keep an eye out for cereals, snacks, granola bars, and your kids’ favorite snacks to eat as you travel. If you watch the weekly ads or clip coupons, you should be able to find good deals on all of these.
Skin Care: Being in the sun on vacation can be a bit of a shock after a winter largely spent indoors, so stock up on sunscreen and other skin care products for the family. Spray sunscreens are perfect for getting good coverage quickly on squirmy kids, or you can opt for traditional lotions. Consider getting a separate gentle sunscreen for the face so it doesn’t sweat off or sting the eyes. In addition, purchase aloe in case someone gets sunburned on vacation. If you’ll be heading to a place with mosquitoes, don’t forget the bug spray, either. Stocking up on large bottles of these ensures you’re prepared when you go.
Clothing: Kids grow quickly, and your little ones will probably need some new clothes for the warm weather you’ll find on your vacation. Don’t be afraid to get out and shop early because spring sales often begin even before it’s warm enough to wear the clothes outside. Look for deals on boys and girls clothing at your local department stores as soon as you start seeing advertisements for seasonal sales. Make sure each child has several pairs of shorts and lots of T-shirts, plus warm-weather essentials like a swimsuit and a sun hat.
Entertainment: You probably have lots of fun activities planned during your vacation, but there will always be some down time, too. Stock up on all of the supplies you need to keep your kids entertained while you travel, at restaurants, or if you encounter some rainy days during your vacation. Coloring pages, activity books, handheld electronic games, new apps for your tablet, and similar items are perfect for your trip. Also look for special toys you may want to take along, like sand toys for a beach trip. Dollar stores often have the perfect items at low prices so you don’t break the bank.
As you’re stocking up on all of these essentials, make sure you have a place to keep them. Create a box, or bin, in your garage or basement specifically for your vacation supplies so it’s easy to pack when the time comes. That way your hard work will not only save you money, but will also save you time as you get everyone ready to head out on vacation.