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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

I want to give a warm welcome to our guest author today, Kendra Thornton, a travel advocate and TV spokesperson. Thornton, the former Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com and mother of three, has some great advice for planning a stress-free vacation when traveling with kids! Enjoy!


5 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

A summer vacation trip is the highlight of the year for many families, including mine. Yet as any parent knows, the logistics of trip-planning for a family can be daunting, especially when smaller children are involved. Anything can and will happen. On the other hand, over-planning is equally stressful and can take valued spontaneity out of the excursion. Here are five tips I’ve found very helpful when planning my family’s vacations.


Tip 1: Get your day started right:

A long day in the heat can be extremely draining, and nutritious options are often limited, especially in venues like amusement parks. Prices are usually astronomical, and concession lines can be long. All this adds up to cranky kids. I always encourage my kids to eat a large breakfast before heading out for the day. Most Orlando hotels include a breakfast with a room stay, which saves a lot of money. Proper nutrition can also help prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion later in the day. Use travel sites like Gogobot to sift through authentic reviews – I always find the family-friendly comments when narrowing down my decision on where to stay!

Tip 2: Break up the trip:

One trick that’s helped me get through those long road trips is to plan a stop or attraction or two for each day of driving. It doesn’t have to be anything too major, but a diversion to look forward to along the way really helps the day pass. Plenty of bathroom breaks also help prevent unpleasant disasters.

Tip 3: Carry sanitizer:

I found out long ago that if it’s gross, my kids will get into it. Cleaning standards, especially on airlines and at amusement parks, can be infrequent and suspect. I carry a small bottle of sanitizer and wipe down seats, armrests, and kids’ hands frequently between activities. I also give my kids their own little bottle to clip onto their backpacks! That way, I’m not always reaching in my purse to pull it out.

Tip 4: Make it a home away from home

As stressful as vacation can be for parents, it can be equally intimidating to younger kids. When we took our oldest on his first overnight trip away from home, we brought a couple of toys and his special blanket along. This helped a strange hotel room really feel like home, which made bedtime a lot smoother. It’s a trick we’ve repeated with success for each of our other children.

Tip 5: Keep it Healthy

Whether you are walking around the amusement parks, sightseeing at the zoo or hanging out at the beach, I always encourage families to pack an assortment of healthy snacks! Bring fruits that will keep the kids not only well nourished but hydrated and I am so big fan of trail mix to give them that added boost of energy!

A little preparation can go a long way to ensuring everyone has a memorable summer vacation. Remember that the ultimate goal is to have a safe and happy time with those you love. Safe travels!



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 mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to my own home with some of my unique recipes and sharing some of my personal traveling tips. Enjoy!

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/KendraThornton

Website: http://www.thorntonpr.com/