Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Post: Making Your Family Vacation Fun

Today, I have Kendra Thornton sharing her tips on how to make traveling with your family FUN. (I mean, that is the main reason we travel, right?!)

A little about Kendra: Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am 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 mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to my own home with some of my unique recipes and sharing some of my personal traveling tips. Enjoy!

I always love taking a family vacation because it's a great way to get away from life’s daily stresses. Life can be downright stressful and aggravating sometimes, so it's nice to know that we can go away for a week or so and just enjoy being with one another. One way that I help my vacation to be as stress-free as possible is by doing lots of planning ahead of time. When you prepare your entire trip well in advance, you'll notice that it cuts down on the stress and hassles that normally come with the annual family vacation.

1. Make Up a List and Check it Twice
You really need to plan your trip well in advance in order to ensure things go smoothly. I normally start planning my trips weeks, or even months, in advance. You can use of apps like Packing Pro to help keep you organized when figuring out what to bring. This helps to prevent confusion and frustration when you’re departing. You might even find that planning the trip ahead of time saves money when it comes to the hotel.

2. The Right Hotel That Everyone Can Enjoy
The best tip for having a stress-free vacation is to find the right hotel. Before my vacation every year, I do research on the hotels in the area that we will be traveling to. I compare prices, accommodations and locations to figure out which place is going to be the one for us. Because I have kids who get bored easily, I also tend to look for hotels with swimming pools or arcade rooms that they can make use of while we're there. I used Gogobot to sift through this great list of Orlando hotels and found a continental breakfast that my whole family loved. A quality in-hotel spa is also a nice touch that both you and your husband can enjoy. Remember that you need to relax on the vacation as well.

3. Pick a New Place Every Time 
It's cute to visit the aquarium that you've been going to for years, but these things can get boring both for you and your kids. I'm finding that we have a lot more fun when we pick places that we've never been to before. If your kids are older, get them involved when planning out the vacation and see what they'd like to do while they're with you. Take your budget into consideration before planning on doing anything. Remember that most places have an entrance fee that needs to be paid before you can enjoy the attractions.

4. Bring Cameras, and Lots of Them 
One of the worst things that can happen on a family vacation is that your camera stops working, leaving you unable to take great family photos for the album. Before you get going on your family vacation, make sure that you pack an extra camera. This will ensure you can make the family memories last a lifetime. When you get home, take the cameras to the local photo store and have them developed. If you have a digital camera, make sure that you bring plenty of batteries with you.

5. Make the Car Comfortable for You and the Kids
Traveling by car is normally a lot cheaper than getting airplane tickets, but it can also be quite uncomfortable. Transform your car into a mini home and make it comfortable for everyone, including yourself and your spouse. Bring along pillows, blankets and a cooler filled with delicious snacks to keep everyone entertained. You might even want to invest in blinds for the car windows to make it easier for the kids to sleep. This is sure to make the trip a lot more fun and comfortable, especially if you'll be traveling for a long time. Just make sure to lock the car doors every time you go in somewhere if you bring expensive gadgets along for the ride.

You can find Kendra on Twitter, or you can visit her website!

What are your best travel tips?

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