Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tips for Traveling as a Family

Today on the blog, I'm hosting the fabulous Kendra Thornton. She's a traveling expert and has some fantastic tips and tricks for traveling as a family. Enjoy!!

5 Tips To Make Family Travel Hassle Free

It's summer time, which means its time for the family vacation that will leave lasting memories for both you and your children.  Think of hot summer days spent playing in the pool, traveling to unique locations, and spending time with family.  Traveling with children is more complicated than traveling alone, but with a bit of planning the trip can be relatively hassle free.

1. Home Base For Vacation
The key to a successful vacation with the family is choosing a family friendly hotel.  Research hotels before booking to make sure they have the amenities needed for kids.  Some things to check for: an in-room fridge to store food and bottles and possibly a small kitchenette.  Eating out every night with an entire family is a sure way to make a vacation go over budget, so fill the fridge with snacks for the kids.  For an all-inclusive option, consider a family friendly resort, which will provide your family with kids meals and family entertainment round the clock.  My family’s visit to Hawaii was a huge success in large part due to our family recommended Honolulu hotel.  You’ll also want to know whether your hotel offers a highchair or portable crib for your smallest.  There's a ton of tools and maps online to help you find the best location as well. Look for routes to your vacation destinations, such as theme parks and restaurants. Is there a playground nearby? What about a grocery store to pick up those last minute items? Being familiar with the area beforehand will cut out a lot of stress later.

2. 4th of July Fireworks

If you're traveling on the 4th of July, consider booking a hotel room where you can watch the fireworks display from the balcony.  While watching fireworks from a crowded stadium or park may be good for the entertainment factor, it is often not worth the hassle with kids.  Having a more controlled environment is safer and less stressful which can ultimately lead to a more enjoyable experience.  Kids just want to see the fireworks and don't need the additional entertainment.  Viewing fireworks from the hotel room also allows little ones to go to bed early allowing everyone else to watch the entire show.
3. Routines Lead To Happiness

For adults traveling, half the fun is the spontaneity.  Unfortunately, for little ones skipping nap or snack time can lead to disaster.  They will not understand that it's a good idea to forego lunch to fully appreciate dinner later that night.  Being on vacation also requires a lot more walking for little legs than they may be accustomed to.  Increased activity levels make naptime even more important and sticking to a normal napping routine will keep kids, and therefore their parents, much happier in the long run.

4. Be Realistic With Your Expectations

As fun as it may be for you to sightsee all day, chances are it won’t be as enjoyable for your kids. Don’t try to pack a lot of activities into a short period of time. Add in breaks and playtime throughout your day. Toddlers can’t sit for long periods of time so make sure that you schedule activities that will allow them to move around. This will allow them to use some of their energy and likely make for a sound sleep, allowing for some adult time at the end of the day. 

5. Power Of Movies

Often times, the best way for a kid to pass time while traveling is watching a movie.  Portable DVD players are perfect for long car or airplane rides.  They can be used to calm down anxious kids or help with bedtime in a new place.  Check to make sure that the battery life of the player is long enough for the trip.  When traveling overseas, bring additional DVDs as DVD compatibility changes from country to country.  


cayli johnson said...

oh man if we only had those tips while I was young I think it was a miracle if you child didn't kill the other by the end of the trip :) and me being the middle child I was definatly the instigator on that :)Love your blog. Following you! Hope you stop by and follow me back I would love to have you.

cayli johnson said...

I guess that would come in handy lol

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