blog » July 4, 2016 by Donna John

Summer Family Travel Tips & Tricks With Eirene Heidelberger! by Donna John

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a year ago
Summer Family Travel Tips & Tricks With Eirene Heidelberger!

Whether you plan to travel to some near or far-off destination or you're just planning a few local day trips, you'll need tips for making your family summer vacation a success. Our very own Eirene Heidelberger, founder of GIT Mom, joined us at #30SecondMom chat and shared some great travel tips! Eirene is not only a certified parent coach, she's also a seasoned family traveler who explores the world with three boys in tow. 

Q: What are tips for planning a successful family vacation?

  • Be realistic about your travel style. Do you prefer to explore or relax? Do you like to see a lot of highlights at a whirlwind pace or explore fewer longer?
  • What are the ages and dispositions of your children? Hawaii may not be worth it when you have a 1-year-old.
  • Create an itinerary keeping in mind less is more – too high expectations will cause disappointment.
  • Research and plan as much in advance as your schedule allows, sightseeing, events and dining to make sure your itinerary will allow you to fit it all in.

Q: How do you budget for your family vacations?

  • Feeling at peace with the budget will maximize your travel experience because you’ll feel in control when you’re spending a lot of money in a short amount of time.
  • Plan out your transportation mode, lodging, food and excursions.
  • Book flights on Tuesdays and at least 50 days prior to departure. Also, Fridays are a more expensive day to fly.
  • Vacation during the week when hotel rates are cheaper and there are less crowds equating less stress.
  • Don’t get too caught up and stressed by the budget because often the best laid plans go awry.

Q: How can you pack without over doing it?

  • A week prior lay out everything you want to pack, choosing one color scheme per each family member then edit what you really need to take.
  • Pack a few basic bottoms that match several tops then add fun accessories like scarves and hats to create fashionable looks.
  • Use Ziplock bags to contain each child’s outfit and label with their name to make dressing on vacation hassle free.
  • Keep one list of last-minute items that need to be packed in the suitcase on travel day.

Q: Heading out on a road trip? Let’s talk simple engagement tips for kids and tricky teenagers.

  • Involve the kids in the planning! This gets them excited and teaches responsibility for creating family memories. Plus the more buy in the less complaining.
  • Kids love reading maps and charting the driving course. Get them thinking this summer!
  • Kids can use yelp to research restaurants and interactive stops to rest and re-group.
  • Pack age-appropriate activities to keep each child busy. For toddlers buy $1 items from discount stores and introduce a new one every 30 minutes.
  • Do not forget the essentials: games, videos, snacks, drinks and car chargers.

Q: It’s time to go on vacation, now what?

  • Pick the most rested and calm parent to be in charge of directing the family so kids receive one set of instructions throughout the day.
  • On travel day always call the hotel front desk directly to request an early check-in.
  • Be a proactive parent and communicate clear travel instructions to your kids so they understand what the day consists of and your expectations of them.
  • Upon arrival unpack and make the kids feel comfortable with their sleeping arrangements.
  • Have your first meal already pre-planned, traveling is tiring and creates hungry, short fuses.

Q: Don’t forget about Mom and Dad! What can parents do to get a break on vacation?

  • Get a sitter for an afternoon or night and try something new and unique. Experiences boost happiness and create bonding.
  • Plan a last hurrah, adult-only fancy dinner your last night that you’ll always remember as a couple.
  • Take turns parenting and give each other a morning off to be alone and focus on yourself.
  • Create clear bedtime boundaries for the kids and designate a reasonable time for everyone to start their day together.

Be sure to follow @GIT_mom, like her on Facebook, visit her 30Second Mom page and read her tips below!

Donna John
Looking forward to it, Eirene Heidelberger! donnas92
Jan Mostrom
Always a great chat with Eirene!
Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Can't wait for this fun summer travel chat, Eirene Heidelberger! Thank you!! @elisatalk
Toni B
RSVP @ rychepet :) Love to travel so looking forward to it!
Donna John
Love the pic of your boys and dog, Amber Chandler! Adorable!
Toni B
Thanks, Donna! :)

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