Get ready for summer! In the BENADRYL® Most Prepared Mom Contest blog series, moms will share insight, tips, and tricks for being prepared.  From traveling with your family to expert advice on getting organized discover how you too can be prepared for the unexpected this summer thanks to BENADRYL® – the preparedness experts.

You can’t take it all with you but don’t leave home without these:

Do you remember what it was like to pack for a day trip with your newborn? Do you remember how everything you thought you might possibly need from extra pacifiers to the playpen had to come with you on almost every outing? And the fear that you’d forgotten something important after hitting the road?

I do.

I also remember watching those things slowly disappear out of the car as the kids got older. Suddenly, short trips didn’t mean taking the whole house. It was liberating.
Then we decided to drop everything, pull the boys out of school and travel the world for a year… with one bag each. The fears were back.  While we no longer needed the playpen, traveling with my two sons, now ages 7 and 9, still meant thinking ahead, being prepared and making sure we had the right things on hand to make our trip easier.  Getting back home for things we’d forgotten was not going to be an option.

IMG_1171-thumb-400x534-35424.jpgAs it turned out, our decision to focus on a few key things made all the difference.
Now that we’re almost home, I can share that bringing these three things along kept us happy, healthy and comfortable.

1.    A well stocked medical kit: My youngest son Cameron is asthmatic and prone to allergies, so traveling with him meant that not being prepared could have life or death implications.  Visits with our family doctor, dentist and local pharmacy before leaving home meant we had information on where to find help if we needed it on the road and that we were well stocked with brands we knew for any potential flare ups during the year. Over almost 365 days of travel we have yet to have more than a slight sniffle or 24-hour bug.  Many of the things we carried with us were never used but knowing they were there was a comfort I was happy to have.

2.    Our own entertainment: Long flights, longer car rides and a desire for some peace and quiet meant that the kids would need to be self-entertained from time to time. 24 hours a day of parenting does not a happy mother make. We always made sure we were well stocked with pads of paper (hotel notepads will do), coloured pencils (with a dollar store sharpener), downloaded movies, a go-to lineup of educational websites and e-books to keep the boys busy.  And for those moments when mom needs an hour or so to herself? Spend a dollar or two on a ball when you get close to a beach or park. Let the kids loose with it and then hand it over to a local child before leaving. They’ll get some exercise and a new friend.

IMG_4808.jpeg 3.    A few comforts of home: They no longer need a teddy bear or special blanket but having their favourite toy cars, those shoes that always felt right and Skype to keep in touch with grandparents made a huge difference during moments of homesickness. Keeping up with rituals and routines from home (family games night for example) also helped to remind everyone that you’ve taken the most important parts of home – each other – with you.

Now it’s your turn. Are there things you can’t travel without?  Share your must-take-with-yous in the comments below and click here for more information about our exciting contest by submitting your 250 word essay why you should be crowned the BENADRYL® Canada’s Most Prepared Mom and you could win a $10,000 family vacation.

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Submission to the contest closes at 12:00 pm, on Monday, July 9, 2012.

Click here for Contest Rules and Regulations.

UrbanMoms.ca members are eligible to win so don’t forget to sign-in.  Not a member yet?  Click here to join.

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