Saturday, May 18, 2013

Guest Post: 5 Family Travel Tips

Midwest Moma has it's first Guest Post!  Kendra Thornton is a mom of 3 who has spent time working for Orbitz as a director of communications.  She has been to 28 countries, 6 continents, and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends all over the US.  She wanted to share some easy to follow, trip saving tips with all of you!

Memorial Day is around the corner and if anyone is traveling....a little "expert" advice never hurts!  Here is what Kendra suggest to do when traveling with little ones to make the entire experience more enjoyable for the whole family!

Enjoy! and Happy Vaca-ing!


Summer Vacation: 5 Family Travel Tips

Taking a summer vacation with your family can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life or it could be a nightmare. If you don't take the time to plan out a few things in advance, it will probably swing more to the nightmare end of the spectrum. I know from experience. I've taken family trips with a little bit of planning and created wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. I've also tried to wing it and ended up wanting to leave the kids with Mickey at the Magic Kingdom. Here are a few summer vacation family travel tips that you might want to take to heart.

1. Don't Skip Breakfast

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to taking a family vacation is skipping breakfast. They are in such a hurry to get out of the hotel room and get to a theme park that they just skip breakfast altogether. While this is understandable, you are going to regret it later on.

By about 9:30 the kids will be asking for a snack or lunch. They'll also be cranky and won't have the energy that they need to get through the park. Take the time to eat a nutritious breakfast even if it means waking up a little early.

2. Pack Your Kids Favorite Snacks

During your trip, it's always a good thing to have your kid's favorite snack to hand to them. Otherwise, they're going to ask for every single food item that they see along the way. Restaurant billboards will start to become a curse as they want to stop at every one. Have some pudding or a cookie on hand to give them when they get hungry on the way. If you have to spot at a fast food or theme park for a treat, focus on making healthy eating decisions regardless!

3. Recreate the Sleeping Environment

When you're traveling with little ones, getting them to fall asleep can be a major challenge. Even if they are worn out from a day at the parks, they will still want to stay up and play. I always try to recreate their normal sleeping environment as closely as possible. You can do this by bringing their favorite blanket, their pillows, or stuffed animals along. If you have a baby, you could cover up their playpen or crib with a blanket to make it dark while they sleep. A tip to keep in mind is that there are many Orlando hotels in Walt Disney World that ensure quiet hour policies at night so their visitors get a solids nights rest!

4. Allow Plenty of Time

When you take a family vacation, it's easy to cram as much as possible into your trip. You don't want to miss out on any amazing opportunities with your kids. However, try to schedule in some relaxation or "easy days" on your trip. Also try to allow a recuperation day when you get back home instead of putting them right in school.

5. Let the Kids Bring Some Stuff

I always try to let the kids bring a small bag of whatever they want to take. Whether that's a few toys, stuffed animals, activity books, or whatever, I let them choose. This can reduce the number of tantrums that they tend to experience while traveling.

If you'll keep these tips in mind, your family vacation should be a lot more enjoyable for you and the kids. Just try to take it easy and remember that this has the potential to be one of your greatest memories as a family.

~ Kendra


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