My Top 5 Family Vacation Tips

Over the years, we’ve really learned from our mistakes when traveling with our children. For the vacation to be fun for adults as well, some little things can make a BIG difference.

1)Get a room with a balcony. If your kids need to nap or have a bedtime earlier than yours (I hope!), you can put them down and still be able to chat and relax outside. Remember to bring a baby monitor also.

2) Get a room with a kitchen, or at least a coffee maker and a mini fridge. It’s really hard to get kids dressed and ready to go to a restaurant for breakfast when you only have one eye open. It tended to start the day off poorly when I’d been up for a couple of hours before my first cup of coffee!

3) Bring your child’s favorite breakfast cereal from abc kids home (see item #3). It always seemed to take longer than expected to pack up the beach/pool toys, sunscreen, cameras, etc. If the kids are already having breakfast, they’ll be less cranky waiting for you to get everything ready. When my two were little, this made a HUGE difference! Restaurants don’t usually have a big variety of cereals, and the other menu items were often a much bigger portion than they could finish. Besides, it’s much cheaper, too! Try to bring some favorite snacks as well, especially ones you don’t buy often. It makes the vacation even more special if they get the treats they rarely have at home.

4) Be in (at least some of) the Pictures! It seems like this is a growing trend, as evidenced by¬† but it’s something we started doing about 9 years ago. There’s your Christmas card photo! Many resorts have an on-site photographer who can be hired for a private photo session of an hour or two. Disney goes one step further with this idea by having dozens of “PhotoPass” photographers throughout the parks. Your Photo Pass card is encoded so that each time you give it to a photographer, the pictures they take are saved into your online album. When you get home, you can purchase a whole cd of photos or prints of individual favorites.