May 26, 2013

Tips for travelling with children

 Happy Memorial Day weekend 

The stomach flu decided to come round and like a bad house guest, over stayed  his welcome. I have so much catching up to isn't even funny!

Hope y'all are enjoying this glorious time of year...pre-Summer.
With the start of long weekends come long car rides and did I mention my girls don't travel well? all. 
So I was thrilled when Kendra Thornton, former Orbitz Director of Communications and a mother of 3 offered to share her expertise travelling tips. 

Kendra has travelled to 28 countries on 6 continents, and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States. Now she has stepped out of the corporate world to take on the role of being number one wife and mom to her family.

Enjoy these wonderful tips to help y'all on your travels. 
I know I sure will.
Gracias Kendra!

Photo Credit

Why Prepared Moms Are Happy Moms

Going on vacation with kids can resemble work more than anything else for us moms of small, active children. Although we may be tempted to whisk our spouses away for a relaxing, adults-only sojourn, that isn’t practical as a family.  After all, we want our kids to grow into well-rounded adults themselves, and travel certainly does a great job of expanding personal horizons.  Fortunately, I've got a treasure trove of tips for harried moms that can help make traveling with the family much less of a grueling ordeal and much more like a pleasant journey for everyone. Remember that when it comes to traveling with kids, a prepared mom is a happy mom.

Stay as Close to Your Normal Routine as Possible

Particularly if your children are very young, straying as little as possible from your normal routine will keep them from becoming overly cranky while you're en route to your destination. Keep meals and nap times consistent with your daily routine at home. If you are traveling through time zones, try to adjust their sleep schedule in the weeks leading up to the trip.  Slight adjustments now will make your vacation a much more pleasant experience as you all acclimate to your new location.

Do the Bulk of Your Traveling Early in the Day

If you are going to be flying on a commercial airline, making your reservation early in the day can keep you from having to experience airport delays. Many major airlines now offer passengers the option of printing their boarding passes within 24 hours of the flight's scheduled departure, and this can save you from having to endure long lines at check-in as well.  Security checkpoints should be less congested earlier in the day as well, but make sure to wear slip-on shoes and minimal jewelry to make this process as smooth as possible.  If you’re checking your stroller at the gate, make sure you know ahead of time how it collapses as you will likely be required to put it through the x-ray conveyor belt during security.

Choose the Right Hotel

When traveling as a family, opt for a child-friendly hotel.  This will make entertainment, meals and safety much simpler throughout your stay.  Make sure that your hotel is equipped with a refrigerator and a microwave so that you can provide your kids as well as yourself with snacks and drinks. This is essential for children who still need bottles.  I know my kids often leave leftovers – having a microwave to heat up chicken nuggets when tummies begin to grumble is always a plus. If you’re looking for a true kid-centered vacation, try planning a trip to a family resort like those with indoor water parks.  When my family traveled to Oahu, we picked a beach resort with entertainment for kids and adults alike.  Choosing a kid-friendly accommodation does not mean you have to skimp on quality either, as our Hawaiian resort was still rated amongst the top hotels in Honolulu.

It's Your Vacation Too

To follow my previous point, you need to reach a balance on your family vacation.  Even though it isn't quite the romantic getaway with your husband that you sometimes dream about, there is no reason the two of you can’t have some alone time together while vacationing with the family. Hire a sitter and go out for the evening to a grown-up restaurant or enjoy a glass of wine together on the hotel patio after the little ones have drifted off to sleep.  Many resorts have kids clubs that will provide safe entertainment and excursions for the kids, allowing you to relax.

Don't Be Caught Without Essentials

Although you don't have to load yourself down like a pack mule, taking necessary, everyday essentials with you while traveling will cut down or eliminate those inconvenient times when you're left without something that you really need. For instance, if your toddler is prone to spilling drinks, make sure to bring along a few changes of clothes for the travel there.  Extra snacks, drinks, diapers and plastic bags are not items you will regret and will prevent you from having to pay double at expensive rest stops or airport convenience stores.

As a traveling mom, the best thing that you can do for yourself is be prepared.  

Happy travels!

Guest blog post by Kendra Thoroton

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