Reducing Vacation Stress

I love going on vacation. It’s the stress of planning and packing for the trip that I dread. This is especially true if you are the one in charge of prepping the entire family for a getaway. Having to pack for three or four little ones in addition to getting your personal items together can be a real chore. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the amount of stress that comes with family vacations. For starters, regardless of where you are planning to travel, it’s a good idea to create a packing checklist. Include functional clothing that can be … Continue reading

Giving Your Kid a Boost

My daughter is in the second grade and still rides in a five-point harness child safety seat. You’d think by now she would have graduated to a backless booster, but not all kids grow at the same rate. Similarly, not all car seats are made the same. My daughter’s Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat is designed for kids up to 100 pounds. Currently, she doesn’t even weigh half that. While the seat converts to a backless booster for a child 40 to 100 pounds, my little peanut barely makes the mark, so for the foreseeable future she will remain strapped … Continue reading

Ways to Make Summer Travel Easier on Your Child

It takes a brave soul to embark on a long vacation, with lots of travel, accompanied by young children. Parents of kids who have special needs are going to need to plan ahead in order to make their child’s travel experience as comfortable as possible. This could mean the difference between a family vacation, and turning the car back around towards home. All vacations require planning. Parents of children who have certain types of special needs are going to have to do some extra preparation in order to make it easier for their children to tolerate the stress, unexpected changes, … Continue reading

Think Pink This Christmas

There’s nothing like shopping for Halloween candy in Target while being stared down by Rudolph, Frosty and Santa in all their inflatable glory. Long live commercialism. Given that Christmas displays have been up in various stores since the beginning of the month, I didn’t see it inappropriate to blog about holiday gift ideas in the days before Halloween. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Conformity seems to spreading this year. Believe it or not, we’re thinking pink around here this Christmas. Thanks to a delightfully charming treasure chest of Pinkalicious goodies, my true-blue, anti-frou frou daughter is looking … Continue reading

More Travel Tips: Now for 4 Months!

As Christmas approached my wife and I knew that we had yet another task ahead of us: travel. Our invitable 15 hour trip loomed over our heads like a dark cloud. We knew, however, that at the end of the cloud would be much greater than a silver lining. We would find warm beds, clean towels, and more smiles and hugs than we are able to give each other at home for lack of additional arms. The last time we embarked on this epic journey we were able to complete the trip in a single day… would the same be … Continue reading

Disney by the Bay and Other Family-Friendly Travel Attractions

Disney in San Francisco? It’s no joke. Beginning October 1st, you’ll be able to get a taste of Disney by the bay… San Francisco Bay. That’s where The Walt Disney Family Museum will be opening. The new structure, dedicated to all things Disney, will feature 10 galleries focusing on different chapters in the life of founding father Walt Disney, from his early years in Kansas City to his arrival in Hollywood in the 1920s. The museum also spotlights Mickey Mouse’s dad’s technological genius, like synchronizing sound to a cartoon. Other displays include the one-of-a-kind Oscar statuettes awarded to Snow White … Continue reading

Fall Travel Deals for Families with Young Children

Even if you don’t have school age children, this can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. In addition to having more room to move at the mall and the park, resorts around the world are slashing prices to entice parents with young children to visit. Back-to-school means back to reality for lodgings that saw a jump in bookings during the summer months. When school kids clear out, prices come down, and moms and dads can score big savings on getaways with their little kids. Here are some of the better deals to be had this season: … Continue reading

A Hotel Every Parent Can Love

The good news is that some brilliant entrepreneur has just opened a hotel that provides one-of-a-kind childcare, so parents can enjoy some much needed R&R. The bad news is that it’s located in South Africa. Introducing the Baby Hotel. The upscale property is getting high praise for its unique amenities. Namely, the fact that parents can check-in their children and be assured that their tots will be well cared for while they live it up somewhere else. Technically, the Baby Hotel is more of a daycare service than an official hotel, but you wouldn’t know it by reviewing its services. … Continue reading

Who’s More of a Pain to Travel With–Teens or Toddlers?

Here I thought traveling cross-country with a toddler would do me in. I was wrong. While a 2-year-old can be placated with a bottle, pacifier, soggy Cheerios or empty DVD case, calming a cranky teen requires quite a bit more finesse… and patience. It’s true; the one thing worse than dealing with an irritable toddler on vacation is finding ways to handle a crabby teenager. I learned this a couple of weeks ago when I hitched a ride to Chicago (for a “working vacation”) with a pal and her teenage sons. I won’t get into the gory details regarding our … Continue reading

Families That Fly Separately to the Same Destination

Surely you know families who insist on taking separate flights to the same destination. They rationalize that by doing so they will avoid the unthinkable: perishing together should tragedy strike. I happen to know two families who practice this method of travel. My friend from high school flies solo with her two youngest children and has her husband travel with their oldest. For them, the practice has worked out fairly well (if you disregard the incidents of lost luggage and annoying delays). However, the same cannot be said for the Schnabl family. The Schnabl’s were taking a planned vacation to … Continue reading