As I write this blog, I’m staring out at Shuswap lake and watching the kids play in the sand. Vacation is awesome. Now that I travel with kids and a husband with celiac disease, my must-have’s for packing have changed dramatically over the years. Yes, wine is still on the list of must-have’s, but other things on the list have changed. Must-have’s allow us to relax and spend as much time as possible kicking up our feet instead of running to the nearest town for something that we need. Here are 5 from my list.
1) Good Quality Snack Food.
We made the switch to good quality road snacks because my hubby really couldn’t eat anything that you could find in a conventional gas station. Since traveling this way, we end up coming home from holidays re-charged instead of pumped full of preservatives that take a while to cleanse out of our system (aka. a junk food hangover.) We typically bring a big bag of dates, easy to eat fruits (like bananas and apples), a few good natural bars and a bag of salted, GMO-free chips (that’s one “junk food” that we make an exception on). For drinks, we pack some sparkling water and a few different kinds of kombucha to give us a little bit of fizz and caffeine in a small amount.
2) A Muscle Balm
I usually end up with a headache on trips. It’s probably from the change in pillows and mattresses so I love to have something with me that can work out kinks and take down inflammation. Most muscle balms are cooling which means that if one of us gets a fever or an adult gets a sunburn, we can use it to help. I love our Root Down for this reason. The hubby got burnt yesterday and I had a headache. Within a few minutes of using it, both of us felt much better.
3) Lavender Essential Oil
Since lavender is good for sleep, cleaning, illness, burns, rashes and other wounds, packing a 5ml bottle takes up no space and has the potential to come in handy at any time. If the kids are having a hard time shutting down at night, I’ll put a drop on their stuffed animal or a sock near the bed. If we end up at a road side outhouse, I’ll mix a drop with some lotion and use it as a hand sanitizer. If someone gets sunburnt, I’ll mix some with my face cream or facial serum to help soothe the pain as root down can be a bit strong for the kids. If someone gets sick, I’ll mix a few drops with lotion and put some on the soles of their feet before putting on a pair of wet wool socks (google wet sock treatment for more info on why it works). There’s comfort knowing that if someone get injured, I have lavender with me that is capable of reducing the pain and cleaning out the wound.
4) A Few Varieties Of Sun Protection
We love our “Buffs” more and more every trip. They are basically a really long headband that has UV protection built in. I find it’s one of the only “hat’s” that my kids don’t rip off. You can also wear it around your neck to keep the sun off in a place that typically gets burnt. Natural sunscreen is also a must. Look for something that uses titanium dioxide or non-nano zinc oxide for broad spectrum UV protection like our Beach Balm. Cotton or linen shirts are also wonderful in hot weather. I like to dress my little guy in loose, collared button up shirts which is not only super cute but it keeps him cool and his little white shoulders out of the sun. The newest addition to the sun protection crew is a big umbrella. We don’t use it all the time, but it’s nice to have something that can create some shade to keep us playing a little longer without getting sun-cooked. It’s obviously dual purpose as well for added benefit.
5) A High Quality Face Cream
It’s sounds funny, but, I’ve noticed since I’ve been packing face cream for vacations, I can’t go without it. Natural face creams usually contain oils that help to neutralize sun damage and calm the skin. Most of us spend a lot more time under the elements on vacation than on a regular work day, leaving our skin a bit shocked. A nice face cream can help to revitalize it while making you feel a touch more civilized while camping. I also use mine as a base when I’m using lavender as the hand sanitizer, wound helper or for sunburn treatment (as long as it’s not a huge area).
There are always other must-have’s when it comes to vacation clothing and food, but I find that most of us start by packing those and forget this kind of small stuff. Adding these few things onto your list will give you a bit extra security in knowing that you have tools to prevent sunburns, injuries, headaches, germs etc and tools to treat them.
Have Fun This Summer
Jay & Rae