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Easy Ways to Simplify Traveling with Kids

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Listen, just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you don’t want a vacation. In fact, all the more reason you need one — with your busy lifestyle, you deserve a break!

But traveling can be complicated. It can even become a list of to-dos: planning your route, figuring out a budget, and, of course, finding the time to take a step away from all your responsibilities.

Throw some kids into the mix, and it can get even messier. Literally.

But fortunately, there are some easy, surefire ways to simplify your life when you’re trying to get you vacation on — even if you’ve got the kiddos in tow.

So, ready to take your dream vacation? Here are a few of our favorite ideas for making traveling easier when you’ve got all your favorite little people along for the ride.

1. Don’t try to fight the school schedule.

Want to know one way to make traveling with kids even more complicated?

Take one distracted child, and add a pile of homework and make-up work — neither of which your child has any interest in completing — to the mix. You’ve got yourself an instant nightmare (and several parent-teacher conferences to deal with once you get home.)

Listen, we get it. It can be difficult to get the stars to align when you’re traveling with a big family, and there are limits to when exactly you can get away from work. And then you have to compound those complexities by the work schedule of your spouse.

But there is one big plus to the public school system: Your kids get a whole summer off school, and several weeks in winter, too. Take advantage of it. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. Consider RVing.

Think RVing is just for old, retired couples? Think again! It’s actually one of the most kid-friendly ways to travel.

That’s because RVing combines all the freedom and flexibility of road trips with the comfort, privacy, and ample storage space you need to make your next family vacation totally hassle-free. Plus, you’ll never again have to be “that parent” with the crying child in a TSA line at the airport. (Or, more than likely, ever again field that classic question: “Are we there yet?”)

Renting an RV is actually surprisingly simple, and high-quality rentals are available all across the United States. Aside from checking out large commercial dealerships, you should also take a look at the listings at the peer-to-peer rental market at RVshare. These privately-owned RVs are often available for a fraction of the price of traditional rentals, and they’re usually cozier and comfier, to boot.

RVing gives you the space you need to bring all your kids’ goodies along for the ride (see item number 4 on this list), and you also don’t have to worry about paying for expensive hotels or airfare. Give it a try and see for yourself why so many young families are falling in love with this travel lifestyle!

3. Pick destinations with kid-friendly activities.

Although lying on a beach for endless hours with nothing but a good book and the sea breeze to distract you might sound like paradise to mom and dad, it can get old for your kids. There are only so many different ways to construct a sand castle.

So when you’re planning a vacation with your children in tow, try to plan your destinations around places that offer fun, kid-friendly activities. No, this doesn’t mean you have to spend every one of your vacation days at Disney World from here on out. But several cities have museums and exhibits aimed specifically towards youngsters, like the Boston Children’s Museum or Baltimore’s Port Discovery.

You can also get your kids excited about nature — and, let’s be honest, tire them out — by taking on some fun outdoor activities if you’re staying in or near National Parks and other wildlife reserves. Plus, it never hurts for mom and dad to get a little bit of extra exercise, either!

4. Pack accordingly.

If your kids are anything like ours, it’s the little things that can mean the difference between tranquility and a tantrum. Get ahead of the screaming fits by bringing along the favorite blanket or toy she’s sure to want at the most inconvenient moment.

Even if there’s not one given thing that you know your kid will want, make sure you have some entertainment options available for those inevitable moments of boredom on the road. Although it’s easy to let them while away in lala land on your iPad, we recommend something like a book or a Rubik’s cube to keep them engaged and challenged.

This also goes for the regular must-haves you use on a daily basis as a mom. Your vacation will feel like it’s going a whole lot more smoothly if you don’t have to make multiple stops for necessities like diapers or favorite snack items! You might think you couldn’t possibly forget any of these items, since you use them so often, but the moments before a trip can be a whirlwind. It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you need, from car seat to sippy cup, and double-check it before you lock the front door and say goodbye.

5. Feed them healthy, nutritious snacks and meals.

Even for the very health- and diet-conscious, vacation is often a time to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever we want. And sure, you should indulge in some specialties at your destination. (You only live once, after all!)

But if there’s one way to ensure your child will wind up cranky and miserable — and thus make everyone else miserable, too — it’s to feed her a steady stream of sugary treats from gas station and convenience store stops along your journey.

Eating healthy the majority of the time will make the trip more enjoyable for the whole family, and it can also save you money if you pack your snacks ahead of time. Plus, you’ll avoid teaching your child to associate junk food with celebration or leisure, so she’ll instead learn that healthy food always feels and tastes awesome.

Enjoy your trip, moms — you deserve it more than anyone!

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Travel

5 Life-Saving Tips for Holidaying with Kids

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Many of us have fond memories of family holidays as children. What we tend to not remember as adults, however, is the amount of complaining and moaning that children often do on holidays. If you’ve been dreading taking the family on a trip because you’re worried how they will behave, this guide is for you. Here are five simple tips for making your next holiday with the kids as stress-free as possible.

Take Your Time

Children’s brains work very differently from our adult brains. They take in their surroundings in a different way, they interact with the world differently and, of course, they physically take longer to do many things. One of the most important pieces of advice for avoiding your kids losing patience with their situation, and you with them, is to allow them to go at their own pace. Not only will your kids enjoy things more at their own pace, you will also find it easier to keep your cool if you factor in the need for rest stops and toilet breaks into your schedule.

Plan Book Things Ahead

When you’re travelling as an adult, exploring away from the obvious paths is often one of the main attractions. However, when you’re with kids, as much as they love to explore, it can become very stressful. The problem lies in the fact that you are in unfamiliar surroundings. Even the most cool-headed of us can’t help but worry if we get lost in a strange place with our children in tow.

Instead, you should plan out what you are going to do in advance, including planning for how you will get there. Make sure to factor in plenty of time to account for unexpected stoppages. If there are events or activities that you want to attend which will have limited spaces, book these as far in advance as possible.

Invest in Apps (and a Case)

Smartphones are wonderful devices, and they can do a lot for the modern traveller. Our smartphones have GPS software to help us if we get lost, translator apps to help us communicate with others, and recipe apps tell us how to make the most of local ingredients. On top of all this, however, your smartphone also has another very important hidden function; it is perfect for keeping young minds occupied.

When children act out on holiday, it is very often in response to them becoming bored. If you can keep them entertained and occupied as much as possible, they will have no reason to throw tantrums or to become upset. However, children, especially younger children, can easily become frustrated at their games. Make sure that your phone has a case capable of protecting it when it’s dropped or thrown.

Stay in a Villa

Choosing the right accommodation when you travel with children is one of the hardest decisions that you have to make. A hotel room will be quite crowded with more than a few people, and not every child and their siblings will be able to stay in another room together. Villas are a fantastic choice when you are travelling with family. They offer you the kind of space that a whole house does (often more), but you are paying considerably less for every metre than you would at a hotel.

Another serious advantage of staying in a villa is that they allow you to stay near to the places and attractions that you want to see, while themselves being located in relatively rural areas. The result is that you get the benefits of being away from civilisation, and often other tourists, while also having fully furnished accommodation, with all the amenities you’re used to at home.

A Santorini Greece Villa from bluevillas.com is the perfect example of why villas are such a great option for many areas. If you look at the map on their website showing the distribution of villas, you can see that there are villas available within an easy travelling difference of all of Santorini’s major population centres. Blue Villas offer villas around the world. They are a company with a solid reputation and an extensive history. Many people still view villas as prohibitively expensive. They are in fact becoming more affordable all the time!

Prepare for All Climates

If there’s one thing that children are not renowned for, it is their foresight. In fact, by some people’s reckoning, children are downright awful at making predictions about the future. Which is to say, if it isn’t raining when they wake up, most children won’t take it upon themselves to bring their raincoat. In order to avoid any fuss or any attempts at turning the car around, make sure that you pack clothing and gear suitable for any kind of climate you are likely to encounter.

Holidaying with kids can be tricky. However, by taking a few simple steps yourself, and doing everything you can to make sure that they keep themselves amused and entertained, you can enjoy your holiday with children who behave like angels.

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How To Choose The Right Kayak For Your Family Camping Trip

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When you are going on a family camping trip, you need to make sure that you are prepared for every type of activity. One of the most popular activities for families to enjoy is kayaking but you cannot just start kayaking without having the right equipment. In this article, we are going to explain how you can choose the right kayak for your family camping trip. Make sure to keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

The Purpose

If you are planning on buying or renting a kayak, you need to make sure that you buy the right one for what you are going to be using it for. There are lots of different types of kayaks with some being for fishing and others for touring. If you are planning on going kayaking with young children, then you might want to choose a tandem kayak as this will allow your child to sit in the kayak with you. This is a lot safer than having them in their own kayak and it would be a better choice for a family kayaking trip.

Transporting It

Depending on where your camping trip is going to take place, you might need to transport your kayak. This is why it is important to consider the weight and actual size of the kayak. You need to make sure that you are able to get it to and from the destination so make sure to consider this carefully when choosing a kayak for your family camping trip.

The Seat

Another important consideration if you are trying to choose a kayak is the seat that is in it. You will want to have a seat that is comfortable and fits well within your kayak. The material that the seat is made from is also very important so make sure to do your research beforehand. If you want to find out more, look at kayak seat reviews online.

The Hull

If you want to choose the right kayak for your family camping trip, then you also need to consider the type of hull that is in the kayak. There are lots of different types of hulls with round hulls and flat hulls being popular choices amongst kayakers. You’ll also find kayaks with pontoon hulls and v-shaped hulls on offer.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on taking a family camping trip in the near future, then you should think about the activities that you are going to get up to. Kayaking is very fun, and it is a great activity for getting your family out and enjoying the outdoors. Before you go, you need to make sure that you know what sort of kayak you are looking for. Make sure to consider things like the seat, the size for transportation and the hull on the kayak. Once you understand these things, you can enjoy your kayaking trip sooner rather than later.

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What to Do Around Australia’s Iconic MCG for Your Holiday Trip

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Planning a trip to Australia with your family or friends? Then you surely need to plan a great itinerary. And one place that you should never miss visiting is the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), famously known as “the G.”

This boasts as one of the biggest sports stadiums in the world that can accommodate around 100,000 people. It also serves as the largest stadium in Australia. It’s the tenth largest stadium in worldwide, as well as the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

Melbourne Sports Precinct at Yarra Park where the stadium is location also includes the Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, and the Hisense Arena. It also hosts sports matches in the winter, while summer is usually for cricket. The G, as the stadium is affectionately known, was a scene of many great events in Australian sporting history since it opened in 1853.

Here’s our pick of things to see and do around the Home of Cricket—the MCG.

Federation Square. This cultural section of Melbourne blends modern architecture and classics. It where you will find major cultural attractions including the the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria (entrance for both are FREE). The place is also filled with festivals, events, exhibitions and concerts throughout the year. Flinders Quarter, the chic, creative and artsy spot in Melbourne is Half-a-block away. You can also pick up fascinating crafts or indigenous art here.

Docklands. Head over to the Docklands and ride the Melbourne Star observation wheel Looking for great riverside views. Experience stunning panoramic views of the city, the Dandenong Ranges and Port Phillip Bay. This spot is also a great place for bargain hunters. Hop on to a ferry at dusk to the Crowne Plaza, or try your luck and play some games at one of the largest casinos in the southern hemisphere.

Great Ocean Road. A good option, though you should keep this one for between match days. The picturesque 243-km drive is one of the most spectacular experience in the world, and takes you to beautiful beaches, stunning limestone cliffs, and thick rainforests. The most iconic landmark is the Twelve Apostles, the majestic rock stacks that shows it best form at sunrise or sunset. While a couple of days would be ideal, you could make this a day trip.

Degraves Street. Hungry? Head over to this is food central that’s bursting with a plethora of bars, restaurants, and cafés. This is essentially Melbournian experience. Many locals insist you’ll only find tourists here. Regardless, there is no dispute about the range and quality of food offered here. Fantastic place for post-match beer and banter.

Accommodations around MCG. Staying near MCG is a fantastic way to experience Melbourne for anyone looking to witness a couple of cricket matches or watch a couple of events in the stadium. The area has a range of hotel accommodations whether you’re well-off or on a shoestring budget! You can read more tips on your Melbourne vacation here.

There are more locations, activities, and experiences you’ll find in MCG that’s not listed here, and that’s for you to discover! Have fun in and around MCG!

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