Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Five Tips to a Fun Filled Family Vacation - Guest Post

We're hitting the road tomorrow for an Army family vacation. We'll be getting together with our gang from Fort Stewart. I'm so unbelievably excited for us all to be reunited. It's been some time since everyone has seen the girls. With taking the girls along also come a unique set of challenges. I'm not going to lie, traveling with kids isn't always pleasant.

Kendra is a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. You can find her on Twitter at: @KendraThornton. She's a long time travel expert who has been traveling the world since she was three. Because of this, I'd like to share with you a couple of her favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!


It’s July and summer is in full swing! With school out and the kids at home, mom and dad are likely ready to get out of town for a great trip – but where to start? A seamless family vacation that is relaxing and fun for all is possible! Research and planning beforehand coupled with a flexible attitude while away can make it reality for your family. Follow the tips below for a few simple tricks for your next family adventure!

Before you book your hotel, look into family friendly accommodations. Some indoor water parks and ski resorts have hotels attached, which can offer a great combination of fun and relaxation without having to leave the premises. Other resorts have kids clubs that allow the kids to enjoy supervised play while Mom and Dad enjoy some free time. Decide what type of vacation you are looking for and look for places that fit all of your family's desires. My family chose a family friendly resort on our trip to Hawaii. With the help of sites like Gogobot, I was able to heed the advice of other parents to find the best Honolulu hotel for our family of five. In the "off season" many of these locations offer inexpensive get away packages! Do some research before you book and you will be well on your way to a memorable trip.

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Make sure you arrange for travel to your hotel once the airplane arrives at its destination. Your hotel may provide a free shuttle bus that can take your family to your destination and is often a cleaner and more spacious alternative to a cab or public transit. If your hotel does not offer this service, make advanced arrangements to rent a car or a cab service. To secure a reliable company, ask your hotel concierge who they would recommend.

Stick to a fluid routine. Fluid is the key word. If naptime is usually five hours after your little one wakes up, plan for downtime around then. If you’re changing time zones, try to be proactive about the change. A week or two before you leave, adjust your child’s sleep schedule. 15 minutes here and there can really make a difference once you’ve arrived at your destination. Plan a general order of events but make sure you’re flexible too. A well-rested child will make for a much smoother vacation.

Make sure to fully prep your electronic devices for your trip. For tablets and iPads, download a bunch of fun new games for the kids to play. These can be educational or just for fun and are often free. Bring headphones as not to disturb other passengers or riders. You can also download fun audiobooks for the kids or the whole family to listen to. This is a great alternative for little ones prone to motion sickness. Finally, make sure to fully charge all of your devices the night before you leave. Make sure to bring the chargers along for the ride along with some spare batteries.

Although it is not typically economic to purchase items at your destination that you already have at home, certain items may be worth the space you’ll save. Diapers take up a lot of room and can be ordered online and shipped to your destination free of charge. This is a great option particularly when flying as many airlines now charge you to check luggage. Traveling to the shore for a two-week beach vacation? Don’t worry about paying marked up fees at the local grocery store, can ship your favorite brand for next day delivery.


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