Friday, May 17, 2013

Have Kids? Will Travel!!!

A few weeks ago in NYC I was a guest on John Fugelsang'sTV show VIEWPOINT.

If you're a follower of this blog then you know that I am now a bi-coastal MOMMY who is doing my best to keep up with my comedy, speaking and television career as well as being a full-time Mom. Since Baby Bean was born almost 7 months ago this kid has been to 8 of the 50 states in the U.S. and flown on about 20 airplanes (counting connecting flights). 

It's a shame she doesn't get the frequent flyer miles!!!

I'll be completely honest here. In all of those flights we've ONLY had one major meltdown where I was the embarrassed mommy on the plane praying that the people surrounding me were parents too and had sympathy for my situation. But 19 times out of 20 we've de-boarded with our heads held high and my daughter being the recipient of the "Best Baby on Board Award." Yes, I totally made that up, but I'm actually thinking of getting ribbons made for airlines to hand out.

I wish could take all the credit for her being such an incredible little traveler, but I honestly believe it's a combination of her father and I being a first rate world travelers, having chill & positive attitudes and luck of the draw with her just being a rockstar baby. I totally intend on sharing some of my travel secrets in future blog entries, but in the meantime I've got some tips from guest blogger, Kendra Thornton, an expert world traveler and mother of 3 who is also the former Director of Communications for Orbitz.

Kendra Thornton, traveling mom of 3

Here are  Kendra's tips for traveling with your little ones this summer:

Safe Travels with Happy Kids

Travel is much more enjoyable when you have healthy and happy children in tow. I know how rough travel can be with children who are crabby and upset because they have been taken out of their elements. With a bit of preparation and thought, your children are sure to love their next excursion.

• Tip 1:When I take my children to theme parks, I always make sure that we eat a hearty breakfast. Theme park food is notoriously overpriced, as tempting as it might be. The breakfast you can supply your family with outside the park is also more likely to be high in nutrients, whereas traditional amusement park fare is loaded with sugar. I would encourage you to still make healthy decisions at fast food locations if you must stop for something on-the-go!

• Tip 2:Infants and young children need to have consistency in their sleep schedules, whether they are at home or not. Creating a sleeping environment that will remind the children of home is the best way to ensure that the entire family gets a night of rest. It is a good idea to bring along blankets, pacifiers and music that the children are accustomed to. You definitely do not want to forget your child’s favorite bedtime story.

• Tip 3: Children are bound to get restless during the transportation phase of the vacation, whether you are taking a road trip or jet setting. An audio book will satisfy some children and keep them quiet. I like that I can put a selection of books on my iPod, plug in some headphones and the kids are occupied.

Another comedy baby. Does it get any cuter?! She's SO zen!!!

• Tip 4: Before booking a hotel room, ensure that it is completely family friendly. The hotel’s website is obviously a biased source of information so seek out reviews from reliable sources and people who have spent time there. I always make sure that my hotel rooms include refrigerators and microwaves so that we do not have to go out for food anytime we are hungry. I also like to check out the nearby businesses for grocery stores. I am also always on the lookout for nurseries, meals and playgrounds on-site. Keep in mind that many Orlando hotels in Walt Disney World offer quiet hours to ensure that their visitors (children especially) get a solids night rest.

•Tip 5: I try to prepare a hygiene travel kit for every vacation. You just never know when soap and water are unavailable. I include hand sanitizer and wet wipes so that I can clean up spills, messy hands, and potentially "germy" door knobs.

The goal for any vacation should be to plan accordingly without going over the top. It is easy to try to plan each and every detail, but it is highly unlikely that everything will go according to plan. I have found that planning is nice, but it is much nicer to have happy children.