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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Family Travel


Can it be?  Can school be out for summer? Is May really almost over?  Memorial Day is Monday which signals the beginning of summer and for many the beginning of travel season.  Most of us that travel travel with our kids and could all use a little advice on how to make these trips easier, more enjoyable, and fool proof.  Lucky for all of us I have an experienced traveler, writer and Mom who has some great advice on this very subject.  Kendra Thornton has written a post about this very subject and offers some excellent advice to get us on the road and possibly answer the question, “Are we there yet?” 
Travel with Kids without the Hassle

The thought of leaving everything behind and embarking on a family vacation fills many with excitement and anticipation long before the departure date arrives. Busy schedules and other commitments often inhibit the opportunity for enjoying quality family time throughout the year. So pack up your beach gear and get in the car – its time for a family vacation! If you plan carefully you are sure to create a pleasant time for all. 

Are We There Yet?

It is no surprise that children become fidgety when sitting in a seat for an extended length of time, whether in an airplane or car. A DVD player and a few new movies help pass the time. An iPad with a favorite book or a new game also keeps a youngster’s attention. On a long flight, combat stiffness and boredom by allowing for standing and stretching along with special treats. Road trips provide the convenience of stopping for meals, at rest areas or special attractions.  In the summer it can be fun to stop at a park for a picnic or three-legged race.  Winner picks the next round of car tunes.

Home Away from Home

If you haven’t started looking at hotels with family travel in mind, start considering how the various amenities will affect your trip. Whether you’re going to a beach resort or need a one night stay on a long road trip, there are a variety of options you’ll want to consider. Does the property lie within close proximity to local attractions and sights? Does it have a fridge or microwave for preparing healthy snacks in the room? A pool is oftentimes essential for summer trips!
Want your entire trip planned for you? Look into an all-inclusive resort.  Depending on the age of the children, parents often evaluate facilities for special perks that may include game rooms, playgrounds or onsite water parks. If contemplating a romantic evening, parents may opt for a venue that offers babysitting or supervised kids club activities.  My family chose a family friendly resort in Honolulu that had plenty of entertainment for the grownups as well as the kids.  These are a great option that provide entertainment for all ages and require little to no additional planning in terms of activity.

To Pack or Not to Pack

Packing is one of the less glamorous aspects of travel, but essential to a good vacation.  Start packing a week or more in advance, leaving absolute daily necessities for last. Create a list of clothing and items to take along with things to do before the trip. Oftentimes it’s the little things that get left at home that cost a great deal later – such as a new bottle of Advil that costs $20!  If handwriting a list seems bothersome or incomplete, find a smart phone app that fills the bill.

Blankies, Teddy Bears and Bedtime Stories

Parents and children often have particular rituals that make up daily life. Vacations typically mean escaping the mundane routines that keep life in some semblance of order. For younger children especially, some rituals remain important for their health and well-being. If little ones require naps during the day when at home, they will certainly need these rest periods while on vacation. Children also typically need refueling every few hours and families should continue regular meal times.  Pack a variety of snacks to tide your kids over when tummies begin to grumble so you don’t need to race to the nearest restaurant.

Transportation Tummy Aches

Motion sickness plagues many, young and adult. Avoid heavy, greasy foods before a trip. Sitting in the vehicle with a view of the front or on the horizon often helps prevent dizziness and nausea. Seats over the plane wing feature the most architectural stability and experience the least amount of turbulence during flight. In either scenario, cool, circulating air also helps alleviate symptoms.  You may also want to consider a remedy for motion sickness.  Consult your child’s pediatrician before starting a new medication, particularly when leaving town.

IsBio: Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!



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