So, you have finally decided (after everyone has put in their 2 cents) where you will be going for your summer vacation. We, your Golden, CO Dentist,  have several tips to help you make this trip one your family will remember forever.

First, if traveling by car master the basics- how to read an atlas, check the oil, find healthy food- in the long run you will save time, money and grief. You never know when your GPS or cell service will fail you. Or when you realize you’ve eaten one rest stop burger too many. A great trip planning source is You don’t even have to be a member to access some of their travel information.

Second, you couldn’t possibly imagine forgetting your cell phone, until in the chaos of getting out the door—you do!!! Make packing a no-brainer by coming up with a checklist. This list should include the following categories: 1. For emergencies (first aid kit, extra batteries, flashlight, washer fluid, etc.); 2. Entertainment (portable games, cards, puzzles, headphones, IPOD, books, etc.)  3. Comfort (pillows, eye masks, wet wipes, extra garbage bags, walking shoes to stretch your legs while stopped, etc.) 4. Just in case (sunscreen, toilet paper, camera, medications, etc.)  5.  Snacking– no refrigeration needed (juice boxes, crackers, granola bars, etc.) 6. For peace of mind (oven off, doors locked, dogs at boarder, mail stopped, kids in car).

Finally, map out all your stops for each day. This should include finding healthy places to eat prior to leaving for your trip. It is best to eat a good breakfast, make 1 touristy stop and then drive for a few hours to a unique town for lunch. Go to for wonderful information concerning restaurant recommendations (in many different price ranges) and  for must see attractions, local  lodging and other interesting ideas. Make another quick stop in the afternoon and try to get to your final destination before dinner. Be sure to skip the rest stop food. Get off the highway and explore and visit local eateries. Your family will remember the great BBQ hut or soda parlor you stopped at-not that you had another burger or pizza.

Planning and organizing is half the fun of a family vacation. So relax, get everyone involved (assign everyone a task to complete), and plan to have the best family vacation this summer.

Safe Travels!