Families with Style: Have Kids, Will Travel

Inside tips from a seasoned (family) traveler

In particular, my husband and I have been amazed by the offerings at locations run by The Four Seasons and The Ritz Carlton, and I know similar programs are offered at various Marriott and Wyndham resorts and hotels. You can find out lots about them online or by calling ahead.

A personal note: When we were at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach this past Christmas, our children wanted to spend so much time at the kids' program, we began wondering where our "family time" was going! But really, with the kids happy and entertained, my husband and I were actually able to sit back and enjoy the vacation. After all, that's what it's all about!

Schedule travel around your kids' natural schedule
Some people think that traveling at night is best in hopes that their kids will sleep through the trip. I find that logic works for car rides but not for air travel. In fact, kids always seem to be crankier at night, especially because their bedtime routines have been disrupted. I prefer to travel first thing in the morning, when my kids are perky and ready to start the day.

Pack for "getting there"
I find the actual travel to be the most challenging component of a vacation '- and have made sure to pack for it specifically. On every trip I take with my kids, I bring along my "bag of tricks." In it, I include favorite snacks, drinks, coloring and activity books, storybooks and small toys. The variety and the quantity of the items in the bag are crucial; having a good combination helps to keep the kids distracted for the length of the trip. No matter how much they love a given book or game, one activity alone is not going to get them through a multi-hour plane trip.

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