Traveling with children. The phrase is known to strike fear in the hearts of even the most experienced parents. The hotels, the plane rides, the food, the culture shock! What is one to do? Well, for starters you can pick up mom and travel guru Colleen Lanin’s new book the Travel Mama’s Guide – a new paperback that helps parents travel with babies, toddlers and school aged children.
Lanin’s popular website with the same name, TravelMamas.com, already has a slue of great advice (how to survive a theme park, best vacation gear, and worth-the-money cruises) but this book takes it a step further making it a portable must-read before the busy summer travel season.
The Travel Mama’s Guide is geared towards anyone who wants to see the world, experience new cultures, and maybe even indulge in a spa treatment or margarita (or two!) while seeing the world with children. Point being, parents do have to just survive a trip with kids, but they can also learn to love the time spent away from home with their families.
5 Savvy questions for Colleen Lanin of Travel Mamas
1. What is your number one piece of advice for a Mom traveling with two kids for the first time?
Be prepared but adjust as needed! Prepare by bringing the right stuff – print a packing list, bring lots of travel toys and diversions, and bring twice the amount of baby necessities than you’ll think you need in case of an unexpected delay. Have a rough plan for what you’ll do each day, being sure to stagger up days with down days to relax and recharge. Even if you are super-prepared, you will need to adjust as you go. Adjust your schedule, adjust your expectations, adjust your attitude!
2. What are your favorite travel apps?
I love the Disney Wait Times apps for visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World. These are free to download and tell you how long you’ll have to wait for rides and attractions throughout the parks. This app helps you better manage your precious Disney time so you don’t schlep across the parks to Space Mountain only to find there is a two-hour wait. Upgrade to the Magic Guide app ($3.99 for Disneyland or $4.99 for Disney World) for additional useful information, like the Food Finder that locates the churro or corn dog (or fresh fruit) closest to you!
To make the time zoom by while waiting in line at an amusement park, or while in transit, my family loves the Mad Libs app. This electronic version of an old school game is fun for all ages and keeps kids’ brains in shape while they name adjectives, nouns and verbs to create silly stories.
3. What has been your favorite place for an incredible family vacation?
I have so many! One surprising destination my family loved was Napa Valley, California. You might not think of Wine Country as being kid-friendly but my family loved the laidback vibe and gorgeous scenery. You can go on hikes, visit a botanic garden, have a picnic, go see an active natural geyser and more. There are many wine tasting rooms that welcome kids too. Just pick a place with a fun tram tour or playground and limit your schedule to one wine tasting per day.
4. What was your last international destination?
I just flew home from Toronto, Canada today! I went solo, though, for a travel blogger conference. My last international trip with one of my kids was to Jamaica. Last summer my then 7-year-old daughter and I stayed at Beaches Negril, one of the most kid-centric hotels I have ever visited. There is a free-flowing swim-up smoothie bar, pools galore, a gorgeous beach, Sesame Street-themed parades and character tuck-ins…I could go on and on!
5. 5 items always in your carry-on?
Dramamine for motion sickness, Ear Planes to prevent ear pain, my son’s asthma inhaler, antibacterial gel, and my iPhone.
Get $5 off The Travel Mamas’ Guidethrough June 11, 2013. Use discount code FPC8BHZK when you purchase here.
Moms, where would you travel this summer with your family if cost were no option?
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