Have Children, Will Travel: Travel Tips from the Pro’s

Traveling with children this summer? It doesn’t have to be a headache. We’ve got some great tips from the experts for you. A a recent Momtrends Event, we spoke to Author Alison Lowenstein, Bellamy Blue Photographers, and Genius Organizing to discover ways to make traveling with your kids much easier.

Author of several books, including, City Weekends: The Greatest Escapes and Weekend Getaways in and Around NYC , Alison Lowenstein offered her top tips for travel.

  • Use the hotel breakfast buffet as a bargaining tool with your kids – if they behave, they can have whatever they’d like
  • Hand your kids a camera, let them capture the vacation through their eyes
  • Forgo schedules
  • Opt for more space, but less luxury – booking a suite at a budget motel might be more essential than fancy amenities (think space for naps!)
  • Bring along your museum memberships/passes- ask for reciprocal programs while traveling. Often museums and places of interest offer deep discounts.
  • Make airplane travel a bit easier with new toys, books, puzzle magazines (eg: Puzzlemania or Highlight), and snacks.  Jet Blue is usually a hit because they offer TV!
  • Almost all of of her suggestions for destinations are within 3 hours of NYC. She looks for places that are unique which often means they are less crowded. When asked her three top “Getaway Spots”, Ms. Lowenstein suggested visiting, the Roosevelt Inn in Rhineback, NY, the beaches of Madison, Ct. and Montauk, Long Island, NY. She mentioned visiting Montauk in September rather than during peak months like July or August,

    What’s a vacation without pictures? Bellamy Blue Photographers disclosed the secret to “Snapping like the Pros.”

    • Be prepared- charge camera, pack batteries, lens, memory cards, and any accessory you’ll need
    • Pay attention to the environment-capture what’s really going on. Such as a a gesture, or your child’s reaction to a new experience
    • Perspective-go low, go high! Let your camera go where you can’t!
    • Experiment with “staying off center” -place your subject at top, bottom, to the left or right of the frame
    • Use video and audio on digital cameras to the capture emotion of experiences

    Genius Organizing gave us the scoop on how to get organized before, during and after your trip. They offered several solutions so that you could find the ones that work best for you! “Work smart, not hard!”

    Before- Make packing easier and more efficient with these tips:

    • Create a travel box before your trip. As you think of an item to pack, place it in the box.
    • Either purchase a pre made, “Things to pack” list or be eco-friendly and create your own and stow it with your luggage. That way you’ll make the list once and then can keep it in a safe place.
    • Pack from “head to toe” (Hat, sunglasses…flip flops, sneakers)
    • Keep your basic toiletries packed. This is especially useful for airplane travel as you need to adhere to the 3, 1, 1 rule.
    • Remember to pack items like travel detergent, first aid kit, and an extra bag to be used for day excursions and then souveniors.
    • Strap your carseat to your wheelie using a “bungee”

    During: Here are some great trips to use once you’re all packed and ready to go:

    • To help make plane travel easier, use the “divide & conquer” method, put a parent in between each child
    • Send 1 parent ahead on to the plane – keep kids off the plane as long as possible-this will make everyone happier, especially those traveling without children!
    • Upon arrival, unpack everything and get it all away
    • Download pictures during your trip and use smaller memory cards to chunk pictures. This also helps in case you lose the card, this way you only use a portion of your photos, not all of them.
    • When packing up, check everywhere before leaving hotel, under the bed, closets, outlets, etc.
    • Use your packing list to make sure you pack everything back up

    After- Keep your memories accessible and your items organized

    • Unpack immediately-Place laundry in hamper, replace necessity items, store luggage
    • Use a separate hard drive for your photos and opt to upload and keep all your photos on a digital online photo site and then print out the photos you want to make an album with.

    Now that you know what to do to make your traveling easier, where are you headed?

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