4 Simple Ways to Eliminate Stress When Traveling as a Family

Vacations are planned with hope and optimistic anticipation. Unfortunately, sometimes vacations can cause more stress than they can relieve. Because of this, we listed a few simple ways to alleviate a great deal of unnecessary stress that can be brought on by a family vacation. 

 

Rent a Car

When you rent a car, you are on your own timeline. You can relax at the restaurant because you do not need to worry about the last public transportation bus leaving at a certain time. You can stay out as long as you like, or if the kids are getting fussy, you can leave as early as you like. Public transportation with kids is more stressful than it is worth. 

 

But sometimes car hire can be very stressful, too. Because of this, be sure to plan your rental in advance, so you get a car that is roomy enough for your family. Renting the car online well in advance will also save you money. Plan a little ahead as to what will benefit your family the most.

 

It is also nice to rent a car even for road trips so that there is less of a chance for the car breaking down. Since rental cars are almost always new and boast low mileage, they are less likely to fall apart in the middle of a road trip. Or if heaven forbid a car accident occurred, you can return the car and swap it for a new one on the road as opposed to waiting for your vehicle to get fixed.
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5 Point Checklist for Mountain Adventures with Your Kids

Heading to the mountains with your kiddos in tow can provide a lot of fun adventures. Whether you’re looking to go during the winter months for some skiing excitement or you prefer to head out with nicer weather for a fun hike, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, no matter which option you decide to choose, it’s important that you take all necessary precautions. After all, mountainsides can provide additional challenges for those little ones, so be sure to follow this five point checklist for mountain adventures with your kids.

 

  1. Food and Drink

Your child requires sustenance and hydration, and whether you’re on the mountain in cold or warm weather conditions, it’s important you have plenty of food and drink on hand. You know your child best, so you should plan your schedule and food/drink supply accordingly. For instance, if you know your child needs snacks throughout the day, you should prepare to bring plenty of snacks along for the trip. In addition, you may also want to consider keeping your mountainside adventures shorter in duration so you have time to head back to the hotel/cabin for a rest. When you can plan food and drink ahead of time, you can help alleviate any instances where your child has a temper tantrum on the edge of a mountain because they’re hungry.

 

  1. Clothing

It’s very important to put your child in the right type of clothing when you are taking a mountain adventure. Before you pack for your child or get them dressed for the day, it’s very important you take into consideration the following:

  • Weather
  • Outdoor pests
  • Temperature changes based on incline

The outside temperature and weather at the time of your adventure will make a difference in how you dress your child. Be sure to have items on hand like wool socks to keep their feet warm (especially in colder conditions). If it’s raining, you’ll want to ensure they have waterproof clothing on, and if it’s hot, make sure they’re not overheating.
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Want More Time to Spend With Your Family? Try Working From Home

Cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta have some of the worst traffic in the country. Depending on where you live, you can spend up to 10 hours a week or more commuting to and from work. But what if there was a way to get those 10-plus hours back? Imagine being able to spend that time with your kids, helping them with their homework, sitting down with them to a nice breakfast or lunch, or just talking with them about their day. An extra 10 hours a week would also give you more time to work out, spend quality time with your spouse, work on hobbies or even get more sleep.

 

One way you can convert your commuting time into family time is by working from home. More Americans than ever before are ditching their commutes and working at jobs that can be done from the comfort of their home offices, kitchen tables or living room sofas. And you can be one of them. Below, you’ll find some ideas for finding full or part time work that will allow you more freedom to travel with your kids, save your car some wear and tear, and maybe even help you find some time for yourself.

 

Working from home also has the added benefit of being better for the environment because of the decrease in the use of fossil fuels, and it can help keep you from having to miss work because of bad weather or when one of your kids gets sick.

 

Do a search for remote job openings.

 

Job listing sites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Zip Recruiter make searching for work-at-home jobs simple. Once you know what you’d like to do, type the type of job you are looking for into the site’s search bar followed by the word “remote.” Make sure you set your search’s geographic area to “anywhere” so your search results won’t be limited to jobs in your area. (After all, you’ll be working remotely so the location of the company isn’t that important.) Once you find a job you’re interested in, these sites also make it easy to upload your resume and fill out an application online.
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Managing a Major Move with Young Children

A major move can be really stressful for anyone. If you’d like to make it even more challenging, add a few young children to the equation. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to successfully complete a move, keep your children entertained and maintain a sense of peace. There are a few tips you’ll want to employ as you move forward. Consider these four.

1. Plan ahead.
You don’t need to hire someone to help you clean out boxes if you do it in advance. If you decide that you’d like to move in the next year, begin to declutter. Don’t wait until you’re two months away. Take time to go through boxes to throw items away and sell things. If you’re able to put yourself in a position to tackle one box a day, you’ll be in great shape. Wait until the kids go down to bed. Spend thirty minutes to an hour on one box, closet or area. You’d be surprised how much you can tackle within a few months when you dedicate a little bit of time each day. Plus, you would’ve done all of this while the children were asleep. Use your phone or a calendar to keep yourself on track.

2. Create an organized schedule.
When things begin to get a little hectic in the days before the move, find ways to create a schedule for the children. Most children (and adults) thrive on routines. Knowing this, create a schedule for them. Once they get out of school, give them different activities to work on each hour. If they decide that they’d like to spend more time on a particular task, this is fine. After all, the goal is to keep them occupied. Activities like painting, coloring and other arts projects are great for creativity. If your children love puzzles, set up a station for puzzles and popcorn. As dinnertime gets closer, they can enjoy dinner and a good movie. As you’re able to finish up your moving tasks, you can join them.
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How to Use Walkie Talkies When You Travel

travel with kids

Walkie Talikes—or two-way radios, if you want to be “technical”—offer a variety of uses when traveling. While many regard these little beauties as relics from the 90s, walkie talkies actually still possess great relevance for today. 

1. Children 

Do you remember being a kid? You didn’t have a cell phone. Maybe your parents were strict. Maybe it wasn’t in the budget. Maybe mobiles didn’t even exist! But for whatever reason, if your family was using the internet, you had only 3 methods of communicating with your friends. 

There was: the fake telephone, A.K.A. two cans on a string; running to their front door; and of course your handy dandy walkie talkies. 

Now obviously many kids today have cell phones, but what happens when your family is hiking in the woods and little Timmy takes a wrong turn? 10 times out of 10 there will be no service. Why? Because your service is spotty? No. Because service ALWAYS disappears whenever you need it most. Remember Murphy’s Law. 

The invariable solution to this potential issue is the walkie talkie. Not only are these items battery powered, but their functionality is not relegated to clear skies or corporate efficiency. Since walkie talkies are their own little entity, you have much more control over how you stay in contact with your children while you’re traveling—whether they forget their phone, you’re in the woods, or the labyrinth of a resort is just so stinking huge. 
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Summer Fun In New York With the Family

There is a lot to do in New York with the kids this summer, no matter what your interests are. From waterparks to Broadway shows, indoor or outdoor activities, you and your crew will find much to do in the Empire State.

When it’s hot, but you still want want to be outdoors, why not consider a water park? Splish Splash Waterpark is a great place to spend the day as a family in the heat of the summer. Waterparks should be high on the summer “to do” list, and this is one of the best spots in the area.  There are lots of options for kids of all ages, with smaller splash or wade pools for smaller kids (scaled down pools and slides, little swings, spray parks, etc) in several varieties so that everyone can have fun and enjoy themselves. The bigger the kid, the more places they can play- but of they are too big, they can’t play in the small kid areas, so that the little ones don’t have to worry about being trampled.  Some favorites were Mutiny Bay, which puts your family in brightly colored boats, letting riders use water-spray “cannons” to blast other boats while those outside the ride can blast those inside the boats- and get sprayed themselves. Abyss Tube Slides were a favorite with all the kids, twisting and and turning your way down the enclosed slides. So was Bootleggers run, which holds up to four at a time in a tandem raft.  “Climb aboard a four-man raft that actually goes uphill with new generation hydromagnetic technology. It flies like a roller coaster without rails. So much fun, it just may be illegal!”says the park.  It really did seem as much like a roller coaster as it did like a tube ride, it was very cool. There are also favorites like wave pools and “lazy rivers”, and so much more.  Head over to SplishSplash.com and get your tickets soon, summer will be over before you know it.

luna park

 

Coney Island, a “must” for locals and tourists alike, is a great place to beat the summer heat, or at least lean into it somewhat gracefully. A go to spot for generations, each season changing slightly, adding more rides, keeping new and fresh while still appealing to the nostalgia of days past. Just steps from the boardwalk, there is a beach with a clean shore and big open ocean.  For the animal lovers, there is the New York Aquarium just a little ways down, which also has a wonderful seal show that should not be missed.  For the adventurous types, there are big thrill rides at Luna Park which include 7 roller coasters like the classic wooden Coney Island Cyclone.  For the littler park goers, there are tons of attractions and rides at Luna Park like the Happy Swing and Magic Bikes. This year, Luna Park has also opened new rides Cozmo Jet and Coney Clipper, so even if you have been before, there is a great excuse to go again.
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Get Outdoors And Play This Summer

It’s beautiful outside these days, and we are spending as much time outdoors as humanly possible. If you are looking to get outside and play, here are some fun options.

spinner swing

A fun twist on the tire tree swing, the Super Spinner® is a “UFO shaped” (according to my 10 year old) disk swing that lets one or more kids (and even a parent) take a ride. It comes with “adjustable double-braided ropes and weather-resistant clips are designed for a safer, more comfortable ride” according to the manufacturer. Super Spinner can be suspended to swing and spin from trees, play sets, a porch beam or a secure structural beam wherever works for your family.

There are two sizes of Super Spinner currently available. The original Super Spinner is sized one or two little kids, and can hold up to 200 pounds. It is available in green, blue, red, purple, pink or  yellow. If you want a larger size, the Super Duper Spinner lets more kids and adults ride, and can hold up to 650 pounds. That size is available in hunter green alone.  Get yours for $49.99 – $89.99 at stores like Amazon or Target.

pool float

Heading to the pool? Grab a fun float and head out. Intex makes a really fantastic assortment of floats your family is sure to love- my kids love the Intex Inflatable Mega Unicorn this year- they are, in fact, mildly obsessed. They have brought it to friends’ houses, and all the kids have had a fun time floating about the pool on the very colorful, very magical, large floating unicorn. You’d think this is mostly girls, right? Wrong. The boys love it as well, and so do mom and dad. My partner and I like to have our turn as well- although in all honesty, that rarely happens.Intex’s mega-sized, oversized pool floats are a lot of fun, more durable then many, and worth the price at $29.99.  Mega Unicorn and also the new Peacock design are newly available this year. You can also get Mega Swan, Mega Flamingo, and Mega Duck Island Floats. Tough choices- you might end up with more then one of these floaties.
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Create a Family Holiday Tale of Two Cities – Birmingham to Andalusia

It’s always fun to travel abroad with little ones, however it can be just as challenging as it is exciting. Whether you live in Birmingham or this is just the first leg of your holiday, the one thing you may want to make easier on yourself is getting the kids safely to the airport. If you are encumbered with luggage and kids, parking far from your concourse makes it almost too stressful to make it worth taking such an extended holiday.

Make Travelling Easy with Birmingham Airport Park and Fly

Perhaps you should take advantage of the hotel park and fly Birmingham Airport service that makes it easy for you to get everyone and everything to the flight safely. According to birminghamparking.com, you should arrive the day before your flight, stay at a Birmingham Airport hotel and leave the rest to the park and fly service. It’s amazing just how easy they make it for families travelling with children!

What to Do in Family Friendly Andalusia

When visiting the autonomous community in the South of Spain, it isn’t so much what to do but rather where to go. Spain is known for its fun-loving atmosphere and so you’ll find the historical region as the perfect part of the country to enjoy a family friendly holiday. Whether you choose to stay in the area’s capital of Seville or one of the other amazing cities such as Cordoba or Granada, you will find an amazing number of things to do and see that are truly family friendly.
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