Happy to welcome Kendra Thornton to Brave Ski Mom today! Kendra is a former Orbitz executive who transitioned into full-time motherhood (with some PR work on the side). A professional traveler, she now enjoys journeys with her three kids and is creating a niche in the online community of moms.
Top Tips For Your Family Trip
Traveling with your family on a summer vacation can be extremely exciting for both children and parents. It gives the family a chance to bond and build family memories that can last a lifetime. Nobody wants their family vacation to be stressful – to avoid a bad family trip, it’s essential that parents plan ahead.
Planning and Lists
Whether you plan to travel by car or by plane, it’s important to make a list of the things you’ll need. It is easy to forget an item or two with all the details of your trip piling up in your head. To avoid having to pay a pretty penny for items you already have at home once you’ve reached your destination, don’t skimp on your list!
You’ll need to consider what to pack for you and the children, what to buy from the store and how to close up the house. The fridge needs to be emptied of perishables. The mail and newspaper delivery need to be stopped for the duration of the trip.
I try to start my lists as far in advance as possible and save them from future trips. If you’re worried that piece of paper may get lost in your already packed purse, think about making your list digital.
Packing Pro is one example of a smart phone app you may want to consider. This planning app will help keep your list organized and readily available while also suggesting items for you and your family.
Take Your Routine with you on the Road
A trip will disrupt the natural schedule that your children are used to when at home. They will become irritable and cranky when they miss naps or their sleep is disturbed. Their little legs get tired from walking and summer time can often bring dehydration.
Try to keep them on the schedule they are used to at home and avoid late nights for young children. Traditional nap time can often fall at an inconvenient time – instead of skipping it altogether or cutting your vacation days short, try slowing moving naps in the weeks before your trip. If you are traveling through time zones, adjusting sleep schedules prior to your trip is a must for you and your kids to beat that jet lag.
Motion Sickness and Children
There is nothing worse than your child being sick – particularly if it could have been avoided. Cars, trains and planes can create motion sickness in children, especially when combined with nerves. Even if your child has never had motion sickness, it makes sense to be prepared. Have a disposable bag readily available as well as a change of clothes (these are a good idea to have for a variety of reasons). If your child has experienced motion sickness in the past, make sure you have a remedy for their little tummies. There are a variety of medicines and wristbands just for kids that can help alleviate motion sickness, and get your vacation back on track.
Family Hotels: Where is the Babysitter?
Family friendly hotels will have small essentials to make your life easier. Since no one wants a hungry toddler, a fridge for holding bottles, snacks and drinks will be a huge help. If you’re a leftover advocate like me, a fridge is really essential for storing those extra chicken nuggets that will be in high demand later.
Decide what else is important to you when searching for your hotel. When my family was researching hotels in Honolulu, I stumbled upon reviews of the Hilton Hawaiian Village from other moms and families like ours. This resort not only had the largest pool in Oahu but also its own tropical zoo! With accommodations for myself and my husband as well, it was an easy choice to make. There is no limit to what varying resorts and hotels will offer, so make sure to do your research in order to find the best spot for your family.
Don’t Forget Me
Remember that this is your vacation. While spending time with the children is great, this is the time for you to relax, too. Have your spouse watch the children, so you can go to the spa, or play golf. After a few hours, switch off babysitting duties, so each adult can spend time doing a favorite vacation activity. Romantic evenings are essential for vacation trips. Try to find a few hours to reconnect with your partner.
Planning the vacation from start to finish is key, but also being flexible and prepared for any eventuality is essential to a smooth vacation with children.
Now start planning!
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