Smooth and Enjoyable Travel with Children

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SchoolGirl in the waters of Coki Beach, St. Thomas, USVI 2008

Note from Merry: Memorial Day is coming up this weekend, and summer vacation is approaching fast on its heels. Many consider Memorial Day weekend to be the beginning of the travel season, the unofficial opening of summer. I’m really excited about today’s guest post about traveling with children. It comes from Kendra Thornton, of Thornton Public Relations. Prior to starting Thornton PR in 2005, Kendra was the Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz, one of the world’s largest travel sites, plus she’s a fellow mom of 3, so she really knows her stuff!! She’s been on Fox and Friends, The Nate Berkus Show, and The Daily Buzz, in addition to many ABC, NBC, CBS, and CW affiliate stations. 

Do you have vacations planned for this weekend or this summer? Will you be staying at home or traveling someplace new? Do you have any tips to add to Kendra’s list? Leave a comment and let us know what your plans/tips are!

As a mother, wife, and travel enthusiast, I have logged many miles of travel experience. Though, I can’t say its all been seamless! Through trial and error, I have learned what works and what does not work when traveling with my children. Here are five tips to ensure that your travel experience goes smoothly and is enjoyable for parents as well as for children.

1. While on the way to school or in the middle of running errands, it can be quite easy to forget that “must have” trip addition you were planning to write down. To avoid forgetting something crucial or convenient, make a list a few weeks before the trip. List what needs to be accomplished and what needs to be packed. It may help to make duplicate copies and give it to others in the family as well. This list can be invaluable in remembering to have the mail stopped or contacting the dog sitter. There are smart phone applications that can help in this packing process as well if you tend to misplace paper slips.

2. When traveling with children, be sure to stick to an itinerary. Making sure to include a daily nap at its scheduled time can make a huge difference in your child’s attitude. While children are quite excited to be on the trip, they still need sleep. Making sure they are well rested can help eliminate potential meltdowns and give you time to regroup. Another crucial part of a child’s schedule is mealtime. While adults can adjust their eating habits to fit their plans, children often cannot. Providing a snack can help prevent hunger and complaints, without requiring you to sit down for a formal meal every 3 hours.

3. A family friendly resort can be the perfect place to have an enjoyable vacation that is sure to please children and parents alike. Resorts can be found in a variety of venues from a sunny beach in the tropics to the highest peaks of the mountains. Child friendly resorts offer a variety of safe entertainment for kids including trail rides and indoor water parks that are sure to thrill everyone. Many resorts in the mountains offer skiing lessons for all ages. During my family’s stay in Oahu, we were able to book one of the best hotels in Honolulu with a top rated kids club. This provided great fun for the kids and a chance for us to relax.

4. If your family is flying to your destination, make sure the flight leaves early in the day. This will reduce the potential for back ups at the airport that accumulate throughout the day. If you find yourself stuck at the airport for an extended period of time, don’t panic. Although airports are less than ideal for kids, they do offer a decent amount of space to roam. Try going for a walk through your terminal or finding a corner to set up toys. Some airports even have play areas designed specifically for the smallest passengers – check to see if your airport is on the list.

5. You can’t bring all the conveniences of home when you travel, so you’ll need to be picky when packing. A portable DVD player can be perfect for traveling with kids. It can play movies and television shows during transit or once you’ve reached your destination. DVD players can be used on planes and trains as well as in cars and do not depend on WiFi to work properly. These systems can entertain and relax a child who may be having a hard time adjusting to new surroundings. When traveling overseas, an American DVD player is crucial as many overseas systems are not compatible with American DVDs.

 

BeachBaby: KinderGirl chilling in the shade, St. Thomas, USVI 2008

BeachBaby: KinderGirl chilling in the shade, St. Thomas, USVI 2008

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