Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vacation Simplified

Recently I came in contact with a lovely woman, Kendra Thornton.

Before taking the position as a full time mother of three she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications.
Personally, she has been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and has been quoted
in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the
United States.
As a girl who loves to travel, any and all tips are always an added bonus when planning a vacation!
I'll let Kendra take it from here!
Summer Vacation Simplified
Happy August! It’s the end of summer, and for most of us, that means back-to-school shopping and getting ready for fall. It’s also the last hurrah for summer family vacations, but it’s not too late! With proper planning to reduce your stress level, you can get the kids out of their normal environment one more time before the school season. Vacations are a great way to spend quality
time away from everyday life; follow these tips for a well-planned getaway that can be the perfect cap to your family’s summer.
1. TSA Simplified

If you're flying for your vacation, airline security is always a tedious task to deal with. To reduce your time in line, you can get online and print your boarding passes 24 hours before your flight is scheduled. In addition, it's always a good idea to put your kids (and yourself) in slip-on shoes, to make the security process that much smoother. Also, be sure to check out the TSA website
to help determine any other last minute questions you might have.
2. Do Your Research
This should go without saying, but picking a hotel with facilities best suited to your needs will vastly improve your family's experience. Don't just trust the website that says "family friendly", do some research online or with a travel agent to find out what amenities hotels offer. Kid-friendly menus, microwaves, fridges, swimming pools, playgrounds, and high chairs are just some of the things hotels can provide that can help save you money, time, and hassle. Also, I know from experience that traveling to a big city can seem like the last thing a family with little ones should want to do. However, taking your kids somewhere like my home city, Chicago, can be a tremendous opportunity to show your kids a new culture, and allow them to experience all the wonders that come with big city life. Do a little research ahead of time on a site like Gogobot, and you’ll be able to find plenty of family friendly hotels to house you on your next excursion.
3. Comfy Road Trip
If you're driving for your vacation, long road trips can be a breeding ground for the dreaded "are we there yet" question. Reduce whining by making sure your kids are comfy and relaxed while traveling in the car. Bring along pillows, favorite toys, and snacks to make your kids feel at home in the car, and let you focus on the driving.
4. Surprise, Vacation!
Surprise your kids this vacation by waking them up one morning and telling them you are leaving then and there for a fun vacation! The kids will love the prospect of going somewhere fun and new out of the blue. Just make sure there's a big "wow” factor involved with where you are going. If the destination is the same place they’ve gone with you many times, the excitement won’t be the same.
5. Same Old Routine

Even when you're getting away from it all, a daily structure is important to everyone's relaxation. This doesn’t mean avoid doing anything new or different on vacation, it just means to still incorporate a similar routine with things like naps and meals. Naptime doesn't go away, even in different time zones. Avoid cranky little ones by sticking to the old routine in a new place, and make sure snacks, naps, and mealtimes come right on schedule. With all the fun and excitement that comes on a vacation, your kids will need their rest to be able to handle it all.

I hope you are able to enjoy a family vacation this August before the kids have to head back to school. There is still time for all of you to have one last hurrah together!

Are planning one last summer vacation?

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