The Packing List: Getting Ready for a Family Summer Vacation [Teen Article]

The Packing ListBecca is a 16 year-old from West Palm Beach, FL. She loves to cook and travel, and she would like to study International Business in the future.

As May comes to an end, summer is nearly in sight. Many of us have family vacations planned, whether it be across America or across the Atlantic. One of the keys to enjoying (or surviving) the vacation is being prepared. Here’s a suggested packing list for any teen going on a family vacation this summer:

The Essentials:
–    Paperback
–    Camera (and extra memory card)
–    Wallet and ID
–    iPod

What Else to Keep in Your Backpack:
–    Journal and pens
–    Address book
–    Earplugs
–    Snacks
–    Deck of cards
–    Bandaids
–    Change of clothes
–    Copy of your passport (if traveling internationally)
–    Toothbrush
–    Sunglasses
–    Chargers for electronics
–    Hand sanitizer
–    Chapstick
–    Travel guide
–    Maps (to explore on your own)
–    Chewing gum
–    Travel alarm clock

Things to Keep in Mind:
–    If you’re traveling by plane, don’t put locks on your checked baggage or liquids in your carry-ons
–    Other countries don’t use the same current, so you may have to bring a transformer to charge your electronics
–    You never know when you’re going to get hungry (or when your parents will refuse to make a pit-stop), so keep some protein bars or small snack packs handy
–    Pack only what you NEED to wear. Extra baggage is not fun to lug around, and you can always do laundry if necessary.
–    Your parents may prefer that you not to listen to your iPod alone all day. Instead, bring travel speakers or cds to share with your family.
–    Theft and pick-pocketing is a bigger problem in many foreign countries. If you’re planning on carrying cash, credit cards, or anything else important, bring a money belt or a sling bag that you can carry in front of you. Keeping your wallet in your back pocket may result in disaster.
–    Family “vacations” are oftentimes really trips. Be prepared to have full days of sightseeing and traveling.
–    If you’re not used to spending a lot of time with your family, tensions may arise because of the close quarters. You have to be flexible and understanding, no matter how frustrating the situation becomes.
–    Getting involved in planning for the trip can make it much more fun. Read up on your destination and make suggestions to your parents before you leave.
–    Writing letters has become somewhat of a lost art, but there’s nothing better than having a pen pal for the summer. Pick one of your friends to keep in touch with. It’s a great way to document your adventures.
–    Summer is our time to have a break from stress, so enjoy yourself!

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One Response to “The Packing List: Getting Ready for a Family Summer Vacation [Teen Article]”

  1. lester
    July 15, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Hi, thanks for an awesome blog! My son went on a bit of an adventure on his way up to camp earlier in the summer. He caught the train up to NYC, where he would stay with my younger sister for a few days and then carry on up to Boston, where he would meet up with his cousin and my brother in law and then drive up to camp. Due to a few consecutive mamoth cell phone bills I recently got him the tracfone Motorola W376 phone for $30 from Target and the Double minutes feature gives you 120 minutes for under $20 for 3 months. He loves his phone- its got has a camera, FM radio, web access, blue tooth, Sudoku, Tetris and soccer games built in.
    think you cn also get it at He sent me photo’s from central park, MOMA etc and seems to be loving it. It costs me next to nothing and the enjoyment he got out of his summer adventure is priceless!

    I would say that this phone is another essential item to add to your list!

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