Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guest Post!


A. Avery
Summer is winding down and I'm still recovering from our family vacation to the beach last week.  While I'm getting caught up on laundry and the suitcase sand castles, I hope you'll take the time to read this guest post on travel tips from Kendra Thornton, the former Orbitz Director of Communications.
 

Making the Most of the Final Days of Summer


If you haven’t been able to take a family trip this summer, it’s not too late! There’s still time to plan a fabulous vacation that your entire family will love. All it takes is a little up-front preparation to pull off a successful, kid-friendly adventure that will take its place of honor in the family record book. Here are five tips to help you plan a stress-free summer getaway that will be fun and relaxing for everyone.


Search for Kid-Friendly Adventures

Search for destinations that offer a variety of kid-oriented activities that are either on-site or close by. Do your children like to hike or float the river? Do they also love indoor entertainment like museums and movies? Make sure there are enough adventures available that all of your kids get to choose something. When kids get to participate in the decision-making, they are much more likely to enjoy the activity.


Make It a Photo Fest

Speaking of kid participation, why not let everyone help out with the picture taking on this trip? Before you leave, give everyone his or her own disposable camera. Let the kids take their own vacation photos and then assemble them all in one giant vacation scrapbook when you return. You’ll have family memories that everyone will cherish.


Research Your Accommodations

Make sure you do some background checks on the hotels you are looking into.  Checking out the hotel page is a good start, but don’t just take everything they say at face value—do some deeper digging.  I used Gogobot to read actual user reviews of the Orlando hotel I stayed at to ensure it was family-friendly.  Look to see if the hotel has all the amenities you want—a pool, a fridge and microwave in the room, or a spa for you and your spouse.


Listen Up

Let’s face it: there are times on every family vacation when the kids get bored and fidgety. When the hours in the car start to build up or you’re stuck in the airport for a while, audio books can save the day. Before you go, download some old family favorites or brand new books onto an electronic device and you’ll have a great diversion sure to keep any kid entertained. Don’t forget to pack the headphones!


Packing Lists


Ensure you don’t get the ‘oh, no’ feeling that comes when you realize you left something behind at home by making an ongoing list starting weeks before you leave on your trip.  This will help you remember to pack everything as well as plan for what to do when you’ve reached your destination.  If you are worried about losing your list, try an app for your smartphone like Packing Pro, which lets you make an extensive list right on your phone.


The summer is winding down, so start your planning today!  I hope these tips help, and remember, have fun and be safe!


 Thanks, Kendra!  Traveling with kids can be craziness--but good planning and research can help with even the littlest travelers!  



Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, Kendra Thornton was the former Orbitz Director of Communications and was able to travel a great deal.  Kendra loves to write about travel trends and tips.  

Kendra has visited 28 countries on 6 continents, and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.  Kendra now resides with my family in Chicago and has taken on the role of being number one wife and mom to my family. 

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