Saturday, August 17, 2013

Guest Post: Traveling with Kids, by Kendra Thornton

I realize as a mom, traveling and pursuing things outside of the house can be very difficult. But it's not impossible. Today I have Kendra, an experienced traveling mother, to share with you how to make it happen.

Kendra Thornton: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I'm 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!

Five Travel Tips From One Vacation Loving Mom to Another

Family travel can forge lifelong memories. Yes, it may be late in the season, but it’s certainly not too late to plan a fun family vacation. To ensure your trip will be enjoyable, though, you need to prepare so you can avoid the easy problems we all face. The following tips -- lessons I’ve learned the hard way, believe me -- should assist in that preparation.   

Tip 1: Keep Calm and Carry-On

Having items you might need in an emergency situation is very important when traveling. I use the term “emergency” loosely—this can be when a child is acting up, if clothes are badly spilled on, or a baby wets the diaper. Create a travel pack that is part of your carry-on luggage, or is with you in the front seat in the car (and nor mired away in the trunk). Include diapers, changes of clothing, bottles, non-perishable snacks, aspirin, band-aids, and anything else you think to include. Also include things to pass the time for your children in case of flight delays or traffic. Such comforting items may include a favorite book, an iPod, or a favorite toy.

 Tip 2: Hotels for All  

Make sure your trip starts off on the right note by staying at a family-friendly hotel. The best resorts offer activities for every age group. Make sure the hotel has something for everyone: look for accommodations with spas and golf for adults, playgrounds for children, and horseback riding and mini water parks for the kids. I used a site called Gogobot to find a hotel in Orlando that the whole family loved, and even provided a free continental breakfast for all of us.

 Tip 3: Disposable Cameras, Indispensable Memories

Bring your camera and plenty of batteries/an extra charger so you can document the trip and make the memories last a lifetime. Further, provide your young ones with their own disposable camera so they can photograph whatever they find interesting during the trip. This is a great way to encourage their creativity, and teach them a new talent. And when you return home, your family can scrapbook all the photos together and create a priceless souvenir.

Tip 4: Routines = Happiness

Everyone needs to make time for rest and nourishment. Thus, maintain your children’s nap and snack times on the road. Similarly, keep your own eating and sleeping regimen consistent. When travelers don’t get enough food and sleep, their energy levels plummet. Ensure you are able to make the most of the trip not by trying to do too much, but by maintaining a healthy regimen.

Tip 5: In-Flight Parenting 101

If your children are prone to motion sickness, speak to their pediatrician about what medication they should take before the flight. Provide your kids with a small snack and drink before boarding a plane. Note, too, that window seats are helpful to fliers with motion sickness. Finally, make sure the overhead air vents are aimed at your children. A comfortable child is a happy child, and this will go a long way in making the flight easier for all.

It may be September, but there is still time to enjoy a late family vacation! 

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