With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to get your travel plans in high gear. That’s IT Mommy wants to make the process a little less hectic with our travel tips and suggestions for family-friendly hotels, events and places. You’ll even find some great promotions, too! Grab ’em while you can so you can start enjoying your family downtime!
First up, here’s how one travel expert suggests how to eliminate the Traveling With Kids Potential Nightmare. We think she’s right on the money!
Planning expectations and realities:
Traveling with kids demands attentive preparation which is key in making the journey as relaxing and fun as possible. One of our favorite websites is Oyster (www.Oyster.com) which has reviews of more than 1,000 hotels and breaks them down into categories, including best kid-friendly hotels.
Oyster.com editor and travel expert Kelsey Blodget has some advice for tantrum-proofing your next vacation with five common mistakes to avoid.
Top five things parents forget to consider:
1. Your kids’ interests. Kids are just as picky about their vacation, if not pickier, than adults, and it’s worth taking the time to ask them what they want to do. Are they going to be happy in a big city or at the beach? What do they want to do when they get there? You can find a hotel these days with almost any amenity, from trapeze lessons to roller coasters to water parks, so their requests might be easier to fulfill than you think. The important thing is to get them just as excited about the trip as you are.
2. Your kids’ attention spans. Some kids can entertain themselves all day with sand, a bucket and a shovel. Others will grow bored within minutes. If your kid needs lots of stimulation, steer clear of the quiet beach bungalows and consider an activity-packed megaresort.
3. Your own needs. Some parents think that a family vacation has to be all about the kids. There’s no quicker way for parents to stress themselves out than to forget to take care of their own needs — and stressed parents equal unhappy kids. Many resorts have plenty for kids and adults to do.
4. The whole cost of the trip. Pricing out just the cost of the airfare and hotel isn’t enough — you need to factor in taxi fare, activity costs and food costs, or you might end up in a situation where you’re running way over budget. And don’t rely on general estimates — get a sense of what these costs will really be to avoid money worries when you arrive.
5. Max room capacity and extra person charges. It can be tough to find rooms that allow families of five, but be careful about assuming the hotel will overlook it, or that you can sneak in an extra kid — for fire code reasons, many hotels follow their max capacity policies strictly. Hotels also often charge for third or fourth guests, or for the use of rollaway beds, so be sure to find out those fees before you book the trip.
Next up: Where to go? Across the U.S.A.