SmartyPants vitamins and Kinsa have teamed up to create a series about our favorite summer vacations and the healthy essentials to take with you when you go.
It’s here. The day you and your family have been looking forward to for far too long is finally upon you. It is the theme park vacation, and you are way more excited than you ever thought you could be. You’re a kid again, except for the part where you have to pay for everything because your actual kids don’t have jobs. Still, it’s pretty sweet. This is what family vacations are all about.
Then it happens. Your kid doesn’t feel well. Maybe it’s the effects of a ride. Perhaps it’s all the junk food. It could be the heat. The possibilities are endless and the timing is terrible.
Luckily, many cases of a child’s discomfort are not serious and can be overcome with a bit of water and a little rest. Find some shade. Sit in it.
There’s a trick to visiting theme parks—pace yourself. We all want to get our money’s worth. We want to see all the shows, ride all the rides, and eat all the things. However, when the day consists of hurry up and wait, sandwiched between crowds of hot, tired people, then it is way too easy to grow frustrated. The kids feel it, too, and you know the rest. And rest is one way to make everyone feel better. Sit a bit and take it all in.
Then, before you know it, you and your family will be back in the queue, rolling on the coaster, and hugging the giant rodent of your choice, with nothing but wonderful memories where the headache used to be.
Whether you wear a backpack, carry a purse, or just utilize every single pocket on your cargo shorts, there are some necessities that could prove very helpful while traveling. This is our list. Yours may vary (but it shouldn’t, because we’re professionals and were paid to write this).
Healthy Theme Park Essentials
- Peppermint essential oil – If you are on social media, you probably know someone selling essential oils. Fun fact: Peppermint oils claim to relieve tension headaches, which is nice, and as an added bonus your head will smell great (see deodorant).
- Snacks – From corn dogs to ice cream cones the size of your head, theme parks have all those “bad” foods that taste so good. We’d never say you shouldn’t treat yo self, but maybe not to ALL of the foods. Pick your most favorite theme park guilty pleasure, enjoy every minute of it, and then fill up the rest of the day on healthy, nutrient-dense snacks. (Hint: Dried fruit, nuts, and Epic bars pack nicely and can stand up to hot conditions.)
- Water Bottles – Staying hydrated is crucial. Failure to do so can result in cramps, fatigue, overheating, and general crankiness, to name a few. You can buy water throughout any theme park, but, like snacks, the price will get you. Take your own refillable water bottle and top it off whenever you pass a fountain. We like Hydros bottles because they’re BPA and phthalate-free, filtered, and a portion of all proceeds go towards bringing clean water to those in need.
- Coconut Water Packets – For an added level of refreshment, consider coconut water packets. They’re easy to carry and provide electrolytes to fight dehydration and can help with those pesky heat and motion headaches.
- All-natural deodorants – Chances are your kids, unless they’re teens, don’t yet wear deodorant, but guess who else is on this vacation and smells like a locker room? You. Amusement parks get hot and sweaty, but they don’t have to be stinky. Our top picks for aluminum-free DOs that actually work are: Arm n’ Hammer Essentials, Primal Pit Paste, and the Jason line.
- Fitbit (or similar device/app) – If it feels like you’ve walked for miles at an amusement park (hint: wear athletic shoes), that’s because you have. Even if you’re pacing yourself at a slow meander, you will most likely hit 10,000 steps fairly early in the day. Whether or not that justifies a second funnel cake is up to you. We’re inclined to believe that it does.
- Kinsa Smart Thermometer – It’s the world’s #1 Smartest Digital Thermometer, and the fun smartphone app that comes along with it will help pass time on the planes, trains, and automobiles.
- SmartyPants On-the-Go – A giant bottle of vitamins is not the first thing most people think to take to a theme park. Luckily, SmartyPants On-the-Go packs contain a full day’s serving of gummies in convenient, travel-size pouches that go anywhere.
- Medication – Do members of your family have allergies, prescriptions, or any number of assorted ailments that require medication? Don’t leave it in the car or hotel room, it’s a longer walk back than you think!
- Sunscreen – You’re outside. The sun is, too. Lather. Sweat. Repeat. Our picks for the best sun protection with the fewest amount of ingredients and wacko-sounding chemicals are: Badger Balm and Babo.
- Insect repellent – The need for insect repellent may depend on season and region, but if mosquitos are drawn to you like kids to a churro, then it is a good idea to apply a layer of deterrent. We like California Baby Natural Bug Spray, which repels fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, and biting flies with essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass, and cedar.
- Misters/fans – Any theme park worth its ticket price will sell fancy water bottles with fans and/or mister nozzles. They’re a very practical souvenir (and one you can bring back next time) that can keep you cool, while spending most of your day standing in line, which will happen.
- Poncho– Most major theme parks are built in areas well-known for sunshine, because the majority of rides and shows are (at least partially) outdoors. Sunshine is good for that. However, rain happens, and it will probably happen to you.
- Battery bank and charging cord – You don’t want your phone to lose its juice when you’re in the middle of the theme park. You need it to text or call the members of your party, use apps to monitor line waits and weather patterns, and, most importantly, to share all of the fun you are having on your social media platforms! After all, everybody knows you aren’t really enjoying the moment unless you put it on the internet.
Helpful tip: When visiting a crowded place like a theme park, it’s always a good idea to establish a meeting area should your party become separated. Also, ensuring that the kids know how to reach you—even if that means writing your phone number on a piece of paper and putting it in their pocket (imagine) —can save you a lot of stress and worry. As an added safety measure, use your smartphone to take a photo of your child on each specific day, making sure to capture their entire outfit. In the rare event you need to describe them to security, you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips.
More Kinsa + SmartyPants Healthy Summer Vacation Series:
Know anyone planning a Wally World adventure this summer? Share this with them!
Do you have any healthy theme park tips, tricks, or essentials? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!
Posted on July 5, 2016