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July 17, 2013

Planning a Family Vacation

by Guest Author Kendra Thorton

Plan the Perfect Family Trip

A successful, enjoyable family trip does not just happen even if the destination is spectacular. Take it from me - planning is the key.  Whenever possible, include the entire family in decision-making! Prepare for your travel by encouraging everyone to put their ideas on the table. Once your choices are made the following tips will help make the traveling as pleasant as the vacation itself.

• Start each day with a nutritious breakfast.  Do your research!  Many Orlando hotels for example include breakfasts with enough choices to satisfy everyone and policies where kids eat free.  Whether you are entering a theme park or going on an adventure of any sort, hunger can be costly.  Hungry travelers are not happy travelers, and food at tourist spots or theme parks can be expensive.

Pack easy to eat snacks for the trip.  Healthy snacks like pretzels, fruit, string cheese, fruit and trail mix help make travel time more enjoyable. Plan to reward kids with a favorite treat at certain points of the trip. Consider rewarding the completion of travel games with special snacks.

• Plan stops at rest areas or parks.  When you are approaching a rest area, notify the family. If a stop is decided upon, encourage everyone to get out of the car and move around. Eating packed meals from home before the stop allows the rest stop to be an opportunity for children to run around and expend energy.

• Start your trip rested.  We all know the days before an excursion are filled with last minute details.  Make efforts to keep yourself and family on a regular sleep schedule.  Embarking on a trip tired is a sure way to sabotage a good time. If your trip involves traveling to a different time zone, try to adjust to the new hours before leaving home.

• Sleeping away from ‘home sweet home’.  Preparing for sleeping away from home is as important as getting sleep before you leave.  Bring any items associated with your family’s sleep habits.  Some items that insure a good night’s sleep for my family include stuffed animals, special blankets, soothing music, lullabies, pillows, books and night lights. Take note and pack things that will make your family comfortable.

Try to keep planning simple while considering your family’s personality and needs.  The goal is to have fun and create wonderful memories that will last forever. Have a safe and wonderful trip this summer!

Kendra Thorton  "Former Orbitz Director of Communications and promoted into full time position in the care of Motherhood"

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