Tag Archives: vacation

Strategies for a Stress-Free Vacation

Today we have a guest post from travel expert Kendra Thornton! Kendra is a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, wife, and mama of three. Follow Kendra on Twitter @KendraThornton. I’ll let her introduce herself in her own words:  “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!”

Whether it is an amusing anecdote about getting to a vacation destination or the memories of a favorite sunset, family vacations are worth the time and cost.  However, a vacation with small children can be exhausting, unless you have prepared yourself with tips and tricks to help your vacation run smoothly and keep you relaxed.

1. When you are planning a vacation, try to choose your hotel based on your family’s needs.  A hotel with a small fridge can be a godsend for families with tired and cranky children.  You are able to store snacks and healthy drinks to help ward off the temper tantrums. Whether it be hiking in state parks or visiting a unique museum, a family friendly resort may be an option for you.  My family’s trip to Hawaii was spent at a family friendly resort that offered a plethora of activities for adults and children and was still ranked as a top Honolulu hotel.  Another benefit to family friendly lodging?  The amenities that appeal to children, such as an onsite playground, pool or kids club.  In addition to keeping children happy on vacation, it will also allow them to burn off energy so they fall asleep faster at night.

2. When traveling with toddlers, it’s especially important to stick to a routine.  While you may want to stay out longer at a tourist attraction, naptime and snack time are essential to children of this age group.  When on vacation, you tend to get more exercise walking than at home, and this additional exercise means that children, as well as adults, need time to rest.  Giving family members this relaxation time will make their trip more enjoyable.   

3. When you are packing for the vacation, don’t forget to bring a few essentials that will make your trip easier on you.  Zip lock bags in a variety of sizes, baby wipes, a first aid kit (with blister band aids), and your child’s favorite sippy cup will make the trip run smoothly.  Of these listed supplies, zip lock bags can be used to store dirty or wet clothes and treasures the children pick up on their adventures.  If you go to a beach or water park, slip your camera and phone inside one of the bags to prevent it from water or sand damage. You may find other items to bring as well that will help your family on the vacation.

4. If your vacation includes a long car or plane ride, you may want to think about occupying that time with technology.  Tablets can be loaded with apps that are appropriate to your children’s ages, and they can pass the travel time learning and playing with these apps. If you are worried about children breaking the iPad, there are videos on the Internet on how to child-proof it.

5. It can be difficult enough to spot your luggage at the airport when you are by yourself, but with children, it becomes a monumental task.  Tie a ribbon to your luggage to help you quickly identify the luggage and get you out of the airport and on the way to your hotel.

By implementing these tips into your next family vacation, you can help create lasting memories for your family of your stress-free and fun family vacation.

Planning the Perfect Babymoon

The other day I was watching a new special on E! called Blinging Up Baby, all about how ridiculous celebs can be when in comes to their offspring. One of the segments was about over-the-top  babymoons and while I’m not likely to drop the celeb standard $17,000 a night, I do like the idea of a little getaway before baby arrives.

My husband and I have been talking about going somewhere for a long weekend for a while, but now that the clock is really ticking, we have kicked our planning into gear. So I have been researching babymoon ideas that aren’t crazy expensive and are doable for a long weekend. Here are my top five picks:

1. New York, New York
New York City is a great option for city lovers.  There are amazing museums, excellent and diverse food options, theatre, shopping, and no shortage of luxury hotels to choose from. And a bonus if you go see a show: expectant moms get access to a special bathroom during intermission in many theatres, so no waiting in line!

2. Miami, Florida
Sure, Miami is known for its nightlife (which moms-to-be obviously cannot partake in), but it also has stunning beaches, fabulous restaurants, and some of the best shopping in the world. Soak up some sun on South Beach with a virgin daquiri and just relax!

3. Stowe, Vermont
A seemingly random selection, but this town, and specifically the Topnotch Resort and Spa, kept showing up in my research as a sought after spot for moms-to-be. With beautiful views and maternity spa treatments, it doesn’t take long to figure out why it makes so many travel lists.

4. Scottsdale, Arizona
Another spot that kept cropping up in my research, Scottsdale is home to some of the country’s best spa resorts.  The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa has a “Bundle of Joy” package for expectant mamas and they even have a 24-hour “cravings chef”!

5. Amelia Island, Florida
I had never heard of Amelia Island before looking up babymoon ideas, but this destination appeared on several of the lists I came across. Off the coast of Florida, just a stone’s throw away from Georgia, this island has beautiful beaches and ample southern hospitality. Both the Ritz Carlton-Amelia Island and the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge came highly recommended through my research.

So what about you—did you go on a babymoon? Share your suggestions!