5 Healthy Travel Tips for Families
by Kendra Thornton
Over-planning for a vacation is never a good idea, as it can take both the enjoyment from the experience and cause additional stress when things don’t go according to plan. But for parents taking their children with them traveling, it is just as big a mistake to go into the event without taking into account important issues like nap time, food choices, and finding a hotel that will work for you rather than against you. A little forethought can make a huge difference in the experience and memories you come home with.
1) Sleep is essential for small children (as well as adults!)
Whenever possible, try to keep your children’s schedules the same as at home; that means planning for naps, snacks, and a regular bedtime. Bring comfort items that will help them go down and stay down. Teddy bears, familiar sheets, etc. When looking for a place to stay keep in mind that some destinations, like hotels in Orlando and Walt Disney World, have strict quiet hours so your family will have a fabulous nights rest!
2) Vacation is not an excuse to let kids eat nothing but junk food
Bring snacks with you that are healthy and can serve as rewards. Dried fruit, crackers or pretzels are easy to pack and can travel in your purse on the go. Amusement parks are full of sweets, so make sure that snacks either come with you or that you eat a full meal before heading in. If you need to make a food stop, keep in mind about healthy choices at these fast food places!
3) Plan your hotel with your kids in mind, not just your checkbook
Don’t get sucked in by promises of low nightly rates. It’s understandable, but there are reasons to be wary and perhaps spend a few more dollars on a room. Not all hotels/motels are built the same. Literally. Older locations or those not designed for families might not have quality soundproofing to keep out the noises from next door or the hallway.
Establishments that cater towards families are much better about enforcing “quiet time” rules at night than those that don’t. If you’ve ever stayed somewhere that lets people run through the halls screaming at 3 AM, you can appreciate this.
4) Exercise is Important
While your kids might be spending a lot time in the pool or running around, they might also be forced into moments of unhealthy idleness. Unobtrusive items like a ball or jump rope can be used when stopping at rest stops or even at the airport under supervision.
5) Lather on Sunscreen Often
Applying every two hours is a good idea, and with protection higher than 15 SPF. Sunscreen is not just for hot weather. The suns rays bounce off of snow and water and can cause burns.
Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy the moment. You kids won’t stay kids forever, but these vacation memories are for forever!
Kendra is a 37 year old mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mommy, she was the former Orbitz director of communications where she was able to travel all around the world.
She has been to 28 countries on 6 continents and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.
She shares some of her favorite tips on traveling healthy with your kids. (Especially with summer vacation coming up!)