Monthly Archives: March 2016

Budget Family Travel Tips

Due to the current economic crisis, it has become difficult to spend money on holidays, especially on traveling. With the increase in price of air tickets and hotel accommodation, it is time to ensure that you plan your holiday budget in such a way that you look for ways to save money.

Budget Family Travel Tips:
The following tips can be useful for strategizing a budget for your travel:

Save your restaurant expenses: You can save a lot by doing your own cooking during a holiday. However, this possible only if you stay in a vacation cottage. Remember, eating in restaurants can turn out to be extremely expensive.

Discounts in hotel reservations: Look out for hotels that offer discounts in reservations. Always ask before making your hotel reservations. Remember, hotels may offer discounts when there is a lower rate of reservations for rooms.

Online discounts: The Internet has always been a useful tool in searching for hotels offering discounts and discounts in air tickets. If you are travelling abroad, make sure you do an online search for airlines that offer attractive discounts on air-tickets.

Cutting down on gasoline expenses: Expenses on gasoline are inevitable if you plan on taking a self-driving holiday. Try driving away from the highway. Gas stations on most highway may cost you more than those in smaller towns and rural areas. Always look for shortcuts and fill your car from stations that are located away from the highway.

Stay away from the hotel minibar: Mini bars in hotels are known for their excessive pricing on beverages and foods. Try taking your own snacks and foods when you are staying in a hotel. This will save you a lot of money.

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17 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip

Whenever one of my friends returns from some time away, I ask: “Was it a vacation – or was it just a trip?”

When traveling with kids, true vacations are pretty hard to come by. With the packing, the car seats, the change in sleeping schedules, and all the inevitable whining that comes along, it would be way easier to stay home (especially when traveling by car.)

And yet traveling is important. When we travel, we open to a world that was previously unknown to us. We touch other cultures and other ways of life; we broaden our own perspectives and understand, finally, that our small problems are just that.

When we travel with kids, we open their eyes to all of this and more. Even when we take a simple trip to visit distant relatives, we show them a world of love that they may not had known existed.

Here are eighteen tips to help you enjoy road trip traveling with your kids.

Before the trip:

  1. Use online trip-planning websites to locate kid-friendly parks, historic monuments, and other attractions in advance. Plan at least one kids’ activity each day, even on those driving days. Involving your kids in the planning of your vacation will help them to get excited about the trip, too.
  2. When you are doing your research and booking your destination, consider an all-inclusive resort. These types of arrangements (in which your lodging, dining, attractions, and activities are included) can really help you relax and enjoy your precious vacation time.
  3. Have each child pack their own small backpack with the books, workbooks, and activities that they most want to bring.
  4. Have a kid-friendly travel map on hand, as well as a pair of binoculars.
  5. Consider buying or borrowing a portable DVD player. We only get ours out on long trips, but it has been really helpful, especially if you are traveling very long distances.
  6. Get each child a special book of games, puzzles, or simple coloring books, just for the drive, along with some washable markers.
  7. Bring some music that everyone will enjoy singing along to. We love our CD of old campfire songs. You can even create your own CDs of family favorites.
  8. Bring a Frisbee or a football for when you stop at a park. You want to help your kids burn some energy in a reasonable amount of time.
  9. Pack healthy low-mess snacks, such as nuts, trail mix, apples, energy bars, and bottled water. A package of baby wipes often comes in handy for little messes in the car, too.
  10. Pack a journal and a disposable camera for each child, so that they can document the trip in their own way. These items can be gift wrapped and given to the kids as you need a diversion from boredom or sibling arguments.
  11. Make sure to talk about your vacation like it is the ultimate adventure. The enthusiasm that you bring to the prospect of piling into the car will help in untold ways.

In the Car

  1. If you can, do as much traveling as possible while your kids are sleeping. Of course, safety is paramount. If you find yourself getting at all sleepy, pull over and switch with your spouse or find a hotel.
  2. If you don’t like to drive at night, or you are driving through countryside that you would like your children to see in the daylight, make sure you leave plenty of travel time. Plan on a maximum of seven hours of driving per day. Get up early, drive a bit, and then check into your hotel in the mid afternoon and enjoy the swimming pool. Have a nice, relaxed dinner and leisurely check out some local sites in the evening.
  3. While driving during the day, plan to stop at least every hour and a half. Stretch, take some bathroom breaks, and remember that getting there is half the adventure.
  4. Finger knitting really helps my kids to pass the time. All you need is a ball of yarn. There is no mess and you can find simple instructions online by doing a Google search for “Finger Knitting.” During our last car trip, we all arrived at our destination with lovely pink finger knitted scarves.
  5. During a routine fuel stop, ask each child to choose five or six postcards that they can send to their friends. Make sure to bring your address book and postage stamps so you can mail them on the way.
  6. Allow one child to be the “navigator” each day. The navigator looks at the map and gives recommendations on where to stop for snacks, gas, and meals.

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Family Travel Tips to Smooth the Road

Any parent knows the headaches that can occur while traveling with the kids. From bathroom breaks every 30 minutes to sibling rivalry flare-ups; bringing the children on a road trip can really test the patience of even a saint. However, with a little advanced planning and some easy family travel tips, many of these travel pains can be minimized.

One of the most important family travel tips is to simply relax. Nothing ever goes completely as planned when on a trip, and bringing the kids only adds additional stress when things go awry. Even seemingly benign set backs can cause major outbreaks of crying and screaming from tired, road-weary children. And because children naturally look to their parents when gauging the seriousness of a given situation, if you’re exhibiting signs of stress, this will inevitably be magnified by the children.

For a child, nothing makes a car ride seem longer than having nothing to do but look out the window. And if you’re a parent, nothing makes a trip seem longer than a bored and unruly child. This being the case it is vital to bring a variety of entertainment when traveling with small children. Books, games, DVD’s, and anything else that can be used as a distraction will make a long road trip go by much faster for both the parent and the child.

An often overlooked aspect of family travel tips is choosing the right time to do your traveling. When possible, traveling at night is often the best idea, as most children will simply fall asleep within a short period of time on the road. If you must travel during the day, arranging your travel time around regularly scheduled naps is an excellent idea as it can provide at least a few hours of quiet while driving.

Ensuring you have plenty of time to travel is also very important. Having the time to be able to make regular stops along the way not only helps break up the monotony of driving, but it also allows children a chance to move around and burn off some energy. And with any luck, by following these family travel tips, your next vacation will be a great experience for the whole family.

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