Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meet my Guest~ Kendra Thornton for some helpful Travel Tips

I would like to introduce Kendra Thornton. She's 37 year old and a mother of 3.  Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where she was able to travel a great deal. Kendra 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. She now resides in Chicago and have taken on the role of being number one wife and mom to her family.  

Enjoy a Fun Family Vacation This Summer!
It's not too late!!

Can you believe it is already August? The summer may be cruising along, but there is still plenty of time to get a family vacation together. Whether you have infants, toddlers or teenagers, there are many things to consider when planning a family vacation. Start planning today, and consider some of these tips to help with your preparations.

Tip 1: Getting Through the Airport

Getting through the airport is never going to be a quick process, but there are ways to make it considerably easier on your family. Have your boarding passes printed out the night before you leave for the airport. Make sure everyone wears shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as you’ll need to remove all footwear when going through security. And most importantly, bring with you what I call a ‘travel pack.’ This should be in your carry-on luggage, and should have in it anything that might be needed in case of an emergency. I use this term loosely, but in case of flight delays or long layovers, have things like snacks and juice boxes, your child’s favorite toy, a change of clothes for the baby, a pacifier, and whatever else you deem worthy.

Tip 2: Packing Tips

Before leaving, it is imperative to make an extensive list of what you will need to get done before leaving, as well as what to bring. This should be done well in advance of the actual vacation, as this will allow you time to periodically add and cross off items from the list. Some important things include stopping mail service, getting medications filled at the pharmacy, and bringing appropriate clothes for your children. If your list is likely to be lost somewhere in your purse, or somewhere in the house, download an app to your mobile device like Packing Pro. This will allow you to create the list right on your smartphone!

Tip 3: Accommodations

Make sure you look for a family friendly hotel when planning where to stay this summer. While it is tempting to simply pick the cheapest available option, you will thank yourself later if you research the hotel’s amenities beforehand. Research and read actual user reviews of the hotels, rather than just checking out the hotel’s website. When in Florida last year, I used Gogobot and read through user reviews of numerous Orlando hotels until I found one I felt comfortable in housing my family at. Look to see if the rooms are spacious enough to bring in a rollaway bed, and if this is an added fee or an included option. Also, check if the rooms have microwaves and refrigerators; you can use the microwaves to heat up meals and the fridge to store food in, saving you from having to spend extra money on restaurants for every meal.

Tip 4: Photography

When traveling this summer, make sure to bring your camera as well as extra batteries and/or a charger. Also, teach the kids a fun, creative new hobby in photography by providing them with their own disposable cameras! The kids will love this, as they get to soak in the vacation fun while documenting their favorite parts of the trip. When you return home, you can sit down with your children and scrapbook the photos together, providing you with some wonderful family bonding.

Tip 5: Making the Car Comfortable

Road trips may sound time consuming and the length may be intimidating, but they can actually be a lot of fun! Especially if you have little ones who have never been far away from home, they will get excited about the prospect of a long adventure to somewhere new. Bring games for the car, and consider bringing a portable DVD player or an iPad to entertain the little ones (and maybe even the adults!). Also, make the car as comfortable as possible by bringing plenty of blankets and pillows for all. If you are traveling with children who still nap frequently, invest in car window shades to help them sleep easier in the back seat.

There is still time to plan a wonderful, stress free summer vacation for your family! I hope these tips help you in this process, and remember: have fun!

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