Bonggamom's Family Travel Tips

One of the social networks I belong to, TwitterMoms, is partnering with Alamo and launching a brand-new travel channel, featuring the best kind of travel experts there are -- real parents like you and me. To help get the content rolling, they're asking parents to share their "top ten" checklist full of tips for a fun, distraction-free family vacation. We had a great time vacationing over the holidays, so I thought I'd share some things Alfie, the kids and I did to have a good time:

1) Plan ahead. Planning is everything when you have kids, because they thrive on routine and familiarity.

2) Get input from everyone, even the kids. They'll feel more involved and excited if you ask them what they want to do (just make sure they know you get the final say!).

3) Prepare your kids. Let them know where you're going and what to expect. If you can get books or videos about the place you're going, even better.

4) Work some downtime into your schedule. After a morning filled with fun activities, everyone needs to rest and recharge, otherwise we'd end up with cranky kids and grownups. My kids love spending time in hotels, just chilling and watching tv, so it's the perfect time for Alfie and me to sneak in a nap!

5) Take snacks and drinks everywhere you go. Why? Because starving kids plus expensive restaurants equals no fun for parents. And starving kids plus no restaurants equals no fun for anyone.

6) Take books or puzzles or something to occupy children during the inevitable waiting times -- waiting at the airport, waiting in line, waiting at the restaurant, whatever.

7) If you have young children, don't forget to take along their favorite stuffed toy or blanket. Hotels can be cold, unfriendly places, and having something from home can help them get more comfortable at night.

8) Safety first -- keep reminding your kids that you're in a strange place, so they need to stick with you at all times. Make sure they all know your cell phone numbers (or if your kids are very young, use one of those safety bracelets or tattos with your cell phone number printed on them), and make sure they know what to do if they find themselves lost or separated from you.

9) Take lots of photos and pick up a souvenir or two so that your kids' memories will last way beyond the vacation. Souvenirs don't have to be too expensive -- my son's favorite souvenir of our beach vacation was a small shell that he picked up on the beach (he carries it every day to school in his lunchbox).

10) Try as much as possible to stick to your regular mealtime and bedtime schedules -- but don't get bent out of shape if it doesn't work out that way! Just relax and have fun, knowing that it's not important if you don't get to see every single sight in the guidebook or ride on every single ride at the amusement park. What's important is spending time together and enjoying being with each other!

Want to submit some travel tips of your own? Click here (you need to be a member of TwitterMoms) -- you might even win a $100 gas card!

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Disclaimer: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

1 Comments, Leave yours here:

Gilly Newman on February 10, 2010 at 9:43 PM said...


Entertaining post. Our company is organizing a meet for employees and shareholders around that area. Do you, by any chance, know anything about car rentals in the area?
Thank you.


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