As the summer winds to a close, traveling parents start getting ready for the school routine to return. Travel may be the last thing on your mind as you start shopping for back-to-school clothes and checking off school supply lists.
But as a frequent traveler, you should very much be thinking about your next vacation during the back-to-school season. Why? Great deals! There are so many school-related products on sale in late summer that also do double duty for travel with kids.
Here are my top recommendations for gear and supplies that you should be buying now with your next trip in mind.
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1. Art Supplies
Crayons, coloring books, notebooks, markers and more are all available at great prices during the back-to-school season. Stock up on a few and save them for your next vacation when your kids need tech-free creative activities to keep them entertained in transit.
One tip from the travel trenches: buy triangular crayons – they won’t roll off of airplane tray tables!
Because so few airlines offer meal service anymore, packing a meal for your kids before a flight is a necessity. All the lunchbox supplies we have in our house for school lunches are put to extra use for air travel and road trips.
While I’m just as likely to raid the Target dollar section for snack-packing supplies, having a few nicer lunchboxes is a good idea too. A few of my family’s favorites:
- Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box: Available in tons of colors and two different designs, the Yumbox works well for packing lots of variety in a leakproof container. And it really, really is leakproof.
- Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Insulated Lunch Bag: My daughter’s favorite carry on suitcase has a matching insulated lunch bag – the perfect combination for a little traveler.
Planning a trip to Hawaii for the holidays this winter? If your kids are like mine, I’m guessing the summer clothes they are wearing now will either be worn out or too small by that time. If you wait to try to buy warm weather clothes for your tropical beach vacation until November or December, pickings will be slim. August is definitely the time to stock up on any hot weather clothing (especially bathing suits) that you might need in the coming months for travel. Most of these items will now be in the bargain bin at very low prices. And be sure to buy a size up to account for growth spurts!
Luggage sales stall out as the summer travel season comes to a close, so a lot of retailers offer end-of-season sales when you can snag a great deal on a new bag. Be on the lookout for sales in the coming weeks; your local luggage store may turn out to have the most screaming deal of all.
For your kids, don’t forget that a backpack makes a perfect kid-sized carry on bag too. There are so many deals to be had on those in the back-to-school season that you may want to snag an extra one to use for trips.
Technology can often be a sanity-saver on a long trip with kids, and there are many great deals on tablets, laptops, and other tech during back-to-school sales. The experts say that the best deals will be unveiled in August so wait a few weeks to see how things shake out.
This post is part of the Tuesday Travel Tips series here at Trips With Tykes. Come back each Tuesday for a new travel tip to make life on the road or in the air with kids easier and more fun!