Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest Post

Guest Post by Kendra Thornton



I am excited to introduce my guest blogger, Kendra Thornton.  Kendra is 37 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.  She still loves to write and believes she has some great tips for traveling with kids that will certainly come in handy this summer!
 
  She has LITERALLY been to 28 countries on 6 continents, and she has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.  She now resides with her family in Chicago and has taken on the role of being number one wife and mom to her family. 




Preparing for Traveling with Children


Summer is finally here! What better way to spend your extra hours of sunlight than with your family making the memories of a lifetime? A trip can be a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of life to spend time with those who mean the most. I’ve found that the best way to make my family vacations the most enjoyable is to do a little bit of planning ahead. The following tips will help you adequately prepare for your trip while leaving the hassle at home!


1.         Let Them Help Plan the Trip
If you have older kids, try asking them where they want to go next when you begin planning your trip.  If you let them help plan your next adventure, they will feel more invested and are more likely to enjoy the trip. You don't have to implement every one of their suggestions, but have a family meeting where everyone has a say. Traveling is a great opportunity to teach them about new cultures, foods, and peoples.  Share the travel bug and get them involved!


2.         One Location, Many Activities
I’ve found it’s vital to pick one location with a variety of entertainment when planning a vacation for little ones. Before making your hotel reservations, check to see what activities there are for children as well as adults. Look to see what amenities your prospective hotels offer.  The room with a fridge and microwave will make snack time a lot easier and is essential for preparing bottles.  Although this may be slightly more expensive than the others, make sure you calculate how much you’ll be spending on meals without this convenience.  If you have older children, consider a family friendly hotel that features an indoor water park or a mountain resort. Try using a social site like Gogobot to ask other parents about their travel experiences. Want the ultimate kid-friendly destination? Check out this list of Walt Disney World Hotels in Orland for some excellent, child-friendly options. There are a number of places that have activities for the entire family to enjoy!


3.         Pack Snacks
A key to keeping your kids happy as you travel is to try to keep a regular eating schedule. That means packing healthy snacks to take on a road trip, or purchasing healthy snack items in the airport. Try to feed your children at the same time you normally would even if you are in the process of changing time zones. Try to follow up meal and snack time with regular naps. Your kids will feel better and will be energized for the travel time ahead.



4.         Strolling Options
For those with little ones, deciding whether to bring a stroller is a dilemma many parents struggle with.  My advice: it depends on your destination.  A large stroller may be a huge hassle to navigate through airport security or to fit in the back of your car with all of your luggage.  An umbrella stroller can be an excellent option that is inexpensive and lightweight.  There are also companies that rent strollers once you’ve reached your destination. If you’re planning to use public transportation while on vacation, think about a sling or child backpack, as stairs will likely be inevitable.  


5.         Don’t Bore, Explore!
For many adults, one of the highlights of traveling is learning all about the history and culture of a new city or location.  But for kids, the idea of a museum is often enough to put them to sleep.  Instead of ditching the educational aspect altogether, give it a kid-friendly twist.  Choose a tour or museum designed for kids.  Most cities have Segway tours now that can be a blast for tweens and teens.  Wildland Family Adventures cater to young children as well while being cognizant of long walks and kid-friendly meals. With some research and a little creativity you can make your next family trip enjoyable for all ages!

 The link to my business website is ThorntonPr.com.  I also use twitter to give travel tips and tricks (@KendraThronton)


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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