Monday, July 1, 2013

Kid-Friendly Vacations - Creating A Smooth and Tantrum-Free Trip {Guest Post}

If you have children, planning a vacation takes a number of additional steps.  Packing, planning, meals, entertainment all need to be thoroughly considered in order to ensure a successful trip for all. To keep kids happy and enthusiastic, prepare for these differences with some great travel tricks.

#1 – Maintain Regular Eating Schedules

Keep meals on schedule to prevent low blood sugar and crankiness from ruining the day. Most kid-friendly attractions have restaurants or snack bars to keep children fueled during the visit, but can be pricey. Keep snacks in the car or in backpacks for a quick lift if mealtimes are going to be delayed. Avoid a lot of sugary snacks that can cause blood sugar “crashes.” Avoid introducing your children to certain foods while traveling, like shellfish or nuts, as these can cause serious allergic reactions.  Finally, always make sure to have your pediatrician’s number handy when traveling.

#2 – Keep the Fun Coming

Keep activities for children in the forefront of your planning. Try to keep kid-friendly attractions evenly spaced throughout the vacation period to avoid boredom and restlessness. The zoo, amusement park, waterpark or aquarium are all kid favorites.  A beach day can provide hours of kid-friendly fun while you relax and supervise. Schedule energetic activities for the morning hours when kids have plenty of energy, and quieter activities late in the day when they are tired.  For a truly great vacation, find the balance between fun options and flexibility. 

#3  - Pick A Hotel With Special Features

The Fourth of July offers a great opportunity to travel with your family. Do some research for a hotel that allows you to see a 4th of July fireworks display from your balcony. You can spare yourself the hassle of parking and crowds and still give your children a wonderful holiday they will remember all their lives.

#4 – Other Ways To Avoid “Meltdowns”

Vacations often mean a big change in daily schedules. Toddlers may not get the naps they need, and older kids may become over-stimulated and irritable. As you plan your vacation time, remember to schedule in some quiet time during the day so that little ones can catch up on their rest. School-aged kid can read or watch a movie. Teens can use this time to contact friends at home or document their trip in a journal.  Depending on your vacation itinerary, planning a relaxed day at the pool can be a great idea following a rather busy day of fun.

#5 – Make Sure Your Hotel Is Kid-Friendly

Many hotel chains go out of their way to appeal to families. Research those with children’s programs that might appeal to your family. You can find a range of activities including “dive-in” movies by the pool, family horseback riding, and craft activities. Some even offer programs for teens. While the kids are engaged, you can get lost in a good book or enjoy a great meal with your husband.  The kids club on our last trip to Hawaii was an excellent resource for our family.  The vast assortment of kid’s activities provided tons of fun for our little ones and was still recommended as a top-notch Honolulu hotel.

So get excited about your trip!  If you plan ahead, your next family vacation will be one for the record books.  Happy travels!

Bio: Kendra Thornton: 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 taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!

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