Proper planning is important for any vacation, but long strenuous days in a theme park present some unique challenges. If you’re new to this type of getaway, you can prevent many painful and problematic situations by running through this list of important to-dos before you leave.
1. Check your shoes
One surefire way to spot a first time visitor to a theme park is to look at their shoes. Many vacationers get brand new shoes right before their vacation thinking the new pair will be a vast improvement over their old worn in sneakers. These visitors usually end up limping through the last hours of the day and sporting visible bandages around their heels by the end of the trip.
If your current shoes aren’t up to long days of walking, invest in new shoes several weeks before your departure and wear them often. You want your shoes nice and broken in before you arrive so you don’t discover that they rub along your heel wrong while you’re in the middle of an hour-long queue. An easy alternative to buying and breaking in new shoes is to simply get new inserts to add some padding to kicks you already know and love.
2. Make room for photos
Whether you’re using a digital camera or a smartphone for your vacation pictures, make sure the device is good and empty before you arrive. You may think having room for an extra 50 photos will be enough, but it’s probably not. There’s no sense in carting along old pictures that will just take up space on these devices. Empty them ahead of time so you have lots of room for the new stuff.
While you’re at it, tucking a spare memory card into your bag isn’t a bad idea, either. If you’re using a digital camera but you’re not taking a laptop or other device that will let you move the pictures, it’s always a good idea to take some extra storage space along with you.
3. Examine your sun protection
Sunblock expires after about three years, but families who don’t slather it on regularly may not use up a whole bottle in that time span. Double check all your sunscreen before you leave. If you can’t find an expiration date, play it safe and buy a new bottle. If you’re not used to standing outside all day, the sun can be particularly brutal.
Make sure you take an adequate supply of sunblock to last your entire trip. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should use about half of an 8 oz bottle in a long day at the beach. If you’re planning an extended summer vacation, you’re going to need a lot of this stuff. You should reapply every two hours, even if the product is waterproof and sweatproof.
If you’re hesitant to slather on a greasy lotion that could mess up your makeup, look for sunscreen that’s formulated just for the face. Some products are even slightly tinted so they can double as a light layer of foundation, evening out a flushed skin tone during a long day in the sun. Don’t forget sun protection for your lips as well.