Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vacation Tips–Guest Author

Please welcome Kendra Thornton as she shares her tips on traveling with children. 

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Bio: 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!

Vacation Tips From One Mom To Another

While a mother's role can often be stressful, it is true that hard work renders family vacations that much more special. Nothing is more valuable than spending quality time with those you love, and nothing can undermine the importance of being prepared when you embark on your adventure together. Here are some tips I’ve gathered over the years, from one mom to another.

Tip One: As soon as you decide to take a trip, start two detailed lists. One of them should name all the things you need to pack or purchase; the other one should name your tasks, including stopping the mail from being delivered and scheduling the dog sitter.

These lists will not only alleviate your stress but also help you save money that can be better spent on making memories. There is nothing worse than realizing your daughters old bathing suit is too small the day of departure. Figure out if you want to bring snacks or buy your food there. Make sure you know weight limits on suitcases and additional baggage charges. All of these things can be a pain if you encounter them on your trip but are easily fixed by planning ahead. Think about investing in a smart phone app to help you organize all your packing necessities like Packing Pro for the iPhone or Packing List for the Android.

Tip Two: If you are going on a weekend trip, you should look into a hotel in the business district. These hotels make the majority of their money during the week and therefore, often have cheaper rates on the weekends. This is recommended for families with older kids as most of the entertainment will have to be found outside the hotel’s doors.

For those looking for the whole package, look into hotels and resorts that cater to children. Unless you’re staying at a hostel, you’re likely paying for more than your bed when you make your vacation reservations. In order to get the most out of these added expenses, research your options. During my career in the travel industry, I was able to stay at a variety of the top hotels in Honolulu. But when we were planning to take our children to Hawaii, I knew there would be different amenities to consider. For our family, the resort with the closest beach was ideal for easily transporting our three little ones.

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Tip Three: Do not fail to remember that this vacation is for you, too. Make sure you schedule time to relax and have fun. This may mean taking a spa day with your pre-teen daughter or golfing with your son. But spending time without the kids can also be beneficial. Family vacations are a time for you to bond and explore together, but that doesn’t mean some time a part wont be good for the entire family.

Let a babysitter keep an eye on the kids so that you will have some time to do what interests you. If you’re staying at a resort, look into a kids club or supervised excursion opportunities for your children. If your husband is with you, try and schedule a date night. Vacations are for everyone to enjoy, so make sure there is a little something for each member for the family.

Tip Four: Make sure you pack extra outfits in your carry-on luggage. Whether you are flying, cruising or taking a road trip, anything can go wrong with your baggage. By packing extra clothing, you will not have to fritter away money purchasing new clothes with marked up price tags.

This is often overlooked for road trips as your luggage is in sight the entire time. However, pulling over and digging through your tightly packed trunk for a new t-shirt is a definite time drain. This is especially true if you’re traveling with infants or car sick little ones.

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As we plan our first family vacation, these tips will come in handy.  In the comments section, please add your own personal advice for planning or traveling for your summer vacations!  The season is almost upon us! 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tend to pack for each person separately. I put a limit on the amount of clothes that will be needed and if you have access to a washing machine while on holidays, then I tend to limit the amount of clothing required to an absolute minimum. If we are going self catering, then I always buy a small amount of coking oil, salt/pepper, garlic cloves, washing up liquid, herbs etc because these are store cupboard basics. I also bought jars of baby food while on holiday rather than making my own which I always did at home. I know it probably feelings like cheating but otherwise you'll need to bring electric mixers and pureer makers in your luggage. We tend to go somewhere which is family/kids orientated. I the kids are happy, then your holiday is a lot more relaxing. Spas and wellness holidays just don't work with small kids.

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