Family Vacations without the Fuss {Guest Post}

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Family Vacations without the Fuss {Guest Post}

Everyone needs a getaway
Photo Credit: kennymatic via Compfight cc

Vacation time is approaching quickly.  For moms that often means added stress to an already hectic schedule.  But do not worry, you can travel with kids and reduce the hassle.  There are many things that can be done, so use these tips to help guide your next vacation.

1. Planning Makes Perfect
Where would a mom be without her lists?  I personally use lists for just about everything – and that certainly doesn’t stop with planning vacations.  There are a variety of things we often overlook when planning a vacation like stopping the mail or mowing the lawn.  Making a list well in advance will help you avoid doling out money on vacation for things you already have.  Give your list some attention and you’ll be more likely to be fully prepared.  Instead of grabbing a piece of scrap paper, buy a planner or customized notebook to keep in your purse.  That way you’re less apt to lose it and more likely to enjoy adding to it.  

2. Efficiency Travel
The most important thing that you need to do is figure out “the how”.  If flying, you should take the time to print out all of your boarding passes 24 hours in advance.  This is a great way to avoid wasting time in the check-in line.  You should also check with the hotel that you will be staying at to see if they have available shuttle service from the airport.  If you do decide to take a cab, try to order it before and contact the hotel to establish the going rate.  Most great hotels will give you all of the information you need to get this done easily.  It saves a lot of hassle and keeps children moving to avoid unnecessary waiting.

3. Your Pillow Away From Home
Deciding where to stay during your vacation is key.  While your accommodations may seem like merely a bed at first glance, they actually play a much larger role.  Having a fridge in your room allows you to bring healthy snacks like yogurt and fruit and prevents you from raiding the vending machine at 11pm.  For my kids, a microwave is excellent for heating up chicken nuggets in between meals.  A pool or playground can provide hours of safe entertainment for your little ones while allowing you to relax.  There are even 5 star hotels and resorts that offer specialized kids programs while still providing top notch dining and spa facilities.  Upon traveling to the Hawaiian Islands, my family stayed at a stunning top Honolulu hotel that provided a little something for every member of our family.  No matter your requirements, make sure you’re looking into your options before booking.  The right amenities at the right price make all the difference.

4. The Technology Solution
You may also want to think about bringing the technology with you.  The mobile games, audio books and other forms of media can keep everyone entertained during a long car ride, train ride or flight.  Of course you don’t want your children attached to their game boys or iPads while you’re touring the Grand Canyon, but allowing them during travel time will save you all a lot of headaches.  To limit the junk and keep them learning during summer break, look into fun, educational apps that you both will approve of.

5. Stick to the Clock
Stay on schedule the best that you can.  You may have many things that you want to enjoy with your family, but if your child is accustomed to having a nap at a certain time, you really should try to get the nap in.  The child is more likely to become cranky and irritable without it, resulting in a meltdown no one will enjoy.  If many of your reservations fall during traditional naptime, try adjusting their sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to the trip.  Just moving naptime 15 minutes earlier or later in the weeks before your trip will help your small one adjust.

About the Author

Kendra Thorton is a 37-year old mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where she was able to travel around the world. Kendra has been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and have been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States. Follower her on Twitter (@KendraThorton).

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