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As a travel enthusiast, now full time mom, I’ve done a lot of traveling with and without my kids. It’s always fun to get away and spend some quality family time together. The one thing I have learned is that proper preparation is key to a great trip. The following 5 tips will help you properly prepare so that you can have an enjoyable, yet hassle free family vacation.
1. Research And Book A Hotel Ahead Of Time
There’s nothing worse than staying at a hotel and realizing that it’s just not going to fit your family’s needs. Before going on a summer vacation, you should look into hotels that are kid friendly. Not sure what we mean? If you’re traveling with a baby, it’s crucial to have a refrigerator for bottles and baby food. If you have older children, a pool or playground is a great way to get out those extra jitters before bedtime. Want to truly get away? Look into family resorts that offer everything from frog hunts to “dive-in” movie nights in the pool. My family chose a family resort for our trip to Hawaii that far exceeded our expectations. Listed amongst the top hotels in Honolulu, our accommodations provided us with kid friendly ocean excursions, a wading pool for our smallest and a stunning golf course for the husband.
2. Keep Your Routine The Same As Much As You Can
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that your kids will handle being deviated from their routine. Try to keep things like meal times and snack times the same if at all possible. This will lesson the potential for meltdowns and grumpy kids. If you find yourself in the situation where you have to change up their routine, minimize it as much as possible. Make sure that your kids can still get an adequate nap or rest time in and make sure to carry snacks if mealtime is scheduled a little later than normal.
3. Make A List Of Essential Items
Trying to pack for a trip with little ones means potentially forgetting important items. To avoid this from happening, make a list of what you need a few weeks before the trip. This will allow you time to slowly gather items and to ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything. You can make a list the old fashioned way with a pen and paper or type up a list on your phone. There are also apps like Packing Pro that can help keep you organized.
4. Sit By The Bathroom When Flying
Even though families in the back of the plane can have a negative connotation, it is often more accommodating for traveling with youngsters. With the narrow aisles and large beverage carts, getting to the bathrooms can be a true conundrum for parents flying with young kids. The bathroom in the back of the plane is often less crowded and easily accessible from the back rows. Another added benefit is that the white noise of the engine can actually lull kids to sleep, providing parents with some time to relax. Finally, being in the back also means you’re likely to board first and wont be rushed while you’re getting your troop situated.
5. Bring Portable Entertainment
It doesn’t matter how you are traveling, kids still need to be entertained. A portable DVD player can be an investment that is an essential part of your summer traveling. It can help keep kids entertained even for extended periods and can take their minds off the anxiety of traveling or being in a new place. Try to get a battery for the DVD player that has an extended life so that it doesn’t need to be plugged in frequently. These are key if you’re traveling overseas as many foreign DVD players are not compatible with domestic DVDs.
Traveling over the summer with your kids can be a great way to spend your vacation. The above tips are just some of the things that I’ve learned while traveling with my children and I hope that they will help you too. Just remember that with the proper preparation, you and your kids can have a great time on your summer vacation.
Special thanks to Kendra for these great tips!