Traveling with Kids
Traveling with Kids

Traveling With Kids: Tips For Families

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Alamo Rent a Car.

Traveling with kids can be a test sometimes, right? Believe me, I know! As a family of five, we’ve had our fair share of international meltdowns. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some planning and guidance, I believe that family travel can actually be a wonderful experience. It’s one of my absolute favorite passions and we make it a point to collectively get out of our zip code a few times a year. So when Alamo asked me to speak at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration about the importance of family travel, I just jumped at the opportunity!

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

And you know what? I had an amazing time doing so! Hundreds of women, all peers from my community, talking about travel and listening to what I’ve learned over the years. A moment I will never forget! Such a blessing.

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the conference but who are still interested in the talk, I came up with two different ways for you to consume the material.

And you know what? I had an amazing time doing so! Hundreds of women, all peers from my community, talking about travel and listening to what I’ve learned over the years. A moment I will never forget! Such a blessing.

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the conference but who are still interested in the talk, I came up with two different ways for you to consume the material.

First up, I pretty much re-did my entire speech for YouTube. I’ve had so much fun making video content this year and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make yet another clip for that online space. In this YouTube video, I’ve included several additional pictures from my travels. Take a listen if you have the time. You could also treat this clip as a podcast.

For everyone else who is looking for a quicker summary, this post is for you! Here are bite-sized bullets from each of my talking points. Traveling with kids is such a wonderful way to explore the world and learn about new cultures. Here is how we do it:

Traveling With Kids: Tips For Families

How do I know that my children can handle long hauls on planes or in cars? How do I know that they are capable of visiting places that maybe are not “kid-centric” at heart? Because I did as a child… and I survived.


Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

Here I am at 6 months old visiting Malta in Europe. I’m first-generation American and my family would frequently visit the country during the summers, which would require us to take 8-12 hour flights to get there. Back in the 80s, there were no iPads to entertain us. So, if I grew up taking those pond leaps, anyone can!  Having that foundation and knowledge is very freeing. Truly! I never question a destination because I know in my heart that all three of my kids will be just fine. This is why we never allowed our three children to deter us from choosing a location. Any place is up for grabs. We go where our hearts lead us. 

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

Traveling with Kids: Tricks For Your Travels

Lowered Expectations

My first tip for traveling with kids is to lower your expectations about how many locations you can visit in one day. When you are with just adults, a 12-hour tour sounds great! This isn’t the case when you have the children with you. Pick 2 or 3 big wins for each day and then spend the rest of your time casually exploring. You‘ll want to make sure that you are picking locations your children will enjoy, too. My son is such a huge soccer fan. So when we went to Spain, naturally, we took him to the Madrid stadium as soon as we landed. It was such a huge surprise and he was elated. 

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

For the rest of that trip, we gave the kids plenty of time to run and play. We never rushed to the point of a breakdown because when that happens, then no one is happy! Rolling hills, kid playgrounds, hotel pools – these were all fit into our day. And thank goodness for it! 

Don’t Blink

It’s important to stay present while you are traveling. YES – go for the big moments. Take the tourist pictures in every destination. But don’t forget about the little moments. The ones that happen almost without notice. The ones that truly define a vacation. The quiet memories that fill your heart. These flashes will pass you by unless you are fully engaged in the here and now on your vacation! For these quick moments, I always lean on my iPhone because attempting to reach for my DSLR is too time-consuming. My advice to you–> bring both kinds of cameras! You will absolutely need something that you could just pull out of your pocket and use. A DSLR has a disadvantage in that department. 

How to Gain More Memories Per Getaway

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

I love the term – Memories Per Getaway – because it truly defines this concept perfectly! Alamo uses this tagline as a fun play on “MPGs” and they hit the nail on the head with this one.

When I go on vacation, I always like to take extra photos along the way. Ones that I know aren’t going to go into my photo album, but ones that I know I can use for my blog or social media profiles. This helps me stock up on great imagery for future work, which also decreases stress! Think about it. If I am at the beach and take a few extra shots of the sunset or crashing waves, I can just save them for later use. Bliss!! This tip is really just for writers and those people who like to share on social every single day. But if you are in my field, this is a lifesaver!! 

Don’t Stage – Engage:

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

It’s funny because I am an avid user of social media and every time I plan a trip… I always start off with MEGA PLANS. You know, I want to buy an entirely new wardrobe – all clothes that look absolutely fantastic, that I probably won’t feel comfortable in BUT WILL TAKE GREAT PHOTOS. Then, I get on the trip and I am in flip-flops and jeans. I just can’t be bothered with it all. 

I could spend my time color coordinating, filtering, editing, lighting, staging…. OR I could go and be with my family. I think our priorities have gotten mixed up along the way. The last two years online have turned everyone upside down. When did we all become glossy magazine editors? I don’t know?! But I don’t want to work here anymore. I want my old job back! LOL 

Spend your holiday the way you want to – making memories with your kids and NOT trying to find the best angle for the ice cream cone. 

Memories Last A Lifetime:

One final thought! Again, I understand that social media has connected us all and I am so very thankful for the opportunity. Some of my closest friends are from the online space. BUT – I think we all have to remember that these vacations we take are personal and they are OURS first. What we share and how we share … that all comes later. So, truly embrace your vacation and enjoy every second, and then worry about the rest once it’s all done. 

A Note About Alamo

 

For more information on how you can rent a car from Alamo, click here.

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Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

Traveling With Kids : Family Travel Tips

 

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About the author
Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.