Five Tips to Make Your Vacation Great

** Guest poster Kendall has visited 26 countries on 6 continents.  As the former Director of Communications for Orbitz, Kendall has seen her fair share of families in travel and has a few tips in her back pocket to make the rest of your summer road trips painless.**

It's great to get away from home with the family, but traveling with children can sometimes be a challenge. There are many different personalities and preferences at play, and we all know that more kids means more things to pack. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your kids (and you!) have a great vacation.  Find more tips {here} and {here}.

1. Pack Smart

The unfortunate fact is, sometimes our checked luggage gets lost. Make a list of all the things you can't do without on the trip, such as diapers, bottles, changes of clothes, a hair brush, toothbrushes, snacks, and your child’s favorite toy. Having these comforts will keep a delayed flight or lost luggage from derailing your good time and significantly lower your stress level.

2. Pick The Right Destination

Finding a family friendly place to stay is one of the most important parts of a fun and relaxing vacation. Take a look at all-inclusive resorts with plenty of activities for kids of different ages. I used Gogobot to find a great list of Orlando hotels that offered the right amenities for my family. A hotel with an indoor waterpark, a Dude ranch where the kids can learn to ride horses and build campfires, a warm and cozy ski lodge, or a tropical resort with pools, arcades, and live entertainment gives the kids plenty of activities to keep them entertained and give mom and dad a chance to get a little time to themselves.

3. Take Lots of Pictures

Before you start your vacation, arm your kids with some disposable cameras to capture the memories. They'll have fun documenting the trip and finding new things to take pictures of. When you get home, work together on a vacation scrapbook to help everyone remember what a great time they had and to bond as a family. This will also give you an idea of what their favorite parts were for the next family trip.

4. Bring Entertainment

A portable DVD player or an iPad will help kids from getting bored and restless during long flights or car rides. Bring a few of their favorite movies and a set of headphones so they don't disturb the people around them. If you have multiple kids, consider a headphone splitter so they can watch a movie together.

5. Schedule Around Nap Time

If you're traveling with a baby, time of day makes all the difference. Try to schedule short flights around your baby's usual naptime, and longer flights in the morning or evening during your baby's bedtime. This will make traveling less stressful for your child and more relaxing for you.

The best way to have a memorable and stress free vacation is to plan ahead. A little preparation now will mean a lot less hassle and a lot more fun in the future! Have fun and safe travels!

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