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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

Safe Driving Tips for Your Vacation

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Looking forward to your next vacation? More of us than ever before are hitting the open road, relishing the long winding roads and enjoying every stop and landmark along the way. There’s a lot to consider, from the route you’re going to take, to what to pack and how you’re going to keep your children occupied on the long journey.

Another element of your travels that you should consider is how you’re going to stay safe on the roads. Roads are much busier, there’s a lot of traffic to contend with, and there are unfamiliar towns and cities to navigate – the last thing you want is to find yourself caught up in a road accident… call a personal injury lawyer from Greenville if you’ve been involved in a car crash that wasn’t your fault.

So, with this in mind, I’ve gathered some simple, safe driving tips you can use for your next vacation.

Get plenty of sleep

Driving takes concentration and endurance, especially if you’re driving long distance. Therefore getting plenty of sleep the night before your journey is essential. In the days leading up to your trip, try to get as much sleep as possible, go to bed early and avoid drinking or late nights. If you struggle to drift off, don’t worry just keep yourself relaxed and avoid anything too strenuous in the days before you travel.

Share the driving responsibilities

If you’re traveling with another adult, consider sharing the driving responsibilities so you can help each other navigate the roads, keep an eye on each other and rest while the other takes the wheel. Falling asleep at the wheel or driving whilst tired is incredibly dangerous, and you’ll be endangering your own life, your passenger’s lives and the lives of other road users.

Drive defensively

Driving defensively means driving to save lives, time and money. Being aware of your surroundings, following the 3-4 second rule and not depending on other drivers. Brush up your defensive driving skills by taking a course before you travel or do some simple research to familiarise yourself with defensive driving practices.

Plan your stops

Of course, you want to get to your destination as soon as possible, but failing to make any stops will put pressure on you, leave you feeling fatigued and incredibly stressed and uncomfortable. Planning your stops will ensure you and your family can stretch your legs, get something to eat and enjoy your journey. It also means you’re more likely to get there safely.

And finally, keep your passengers happy

If you’re a parent you’ll know that traveling with kids often means fighting on the backseat, tears and incessant choruses of “are we there yet?”. Keeping your kids entertained on long journeys means that you can concentrate on driving, avoid missing your turn off and hopefully prevent a crash with another vehicle. Always bring plenty of snacks, toys and games to keep the little ones (and the big ones) occupied whilst you concentrate behind the wheel.

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Travel

Staying Safe on Your Honeymoon

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You have said yes, and are now legally married to your partner. You may have both been looking forward to your honeymoon, particularly if you found planning the wedding to be overly stressful. While it is good for you and your beau to be able to relax together and enjoy the beginning of your married life, there are still some safety aspects that you may need to remember.

It doesn’t matter whether you are having your honeymoon in the same country to keep costs down, or going abroad for an elaborate adventure. You need to put your health and safety, and that of your new spouse, at the forefront of any planning and decisions. If you do end up injured or unwell while on your honeymoon, then call a Long Island PI lawyer to discuss your options – any recourse would ultimately depend upon whether the incident was caused by neglect on the part of a business or person, or your own recklessness.

Drinking Water

Drinking water can be a problem depending on where you go. In some parts of the world, the water in the taps of your hotel bathroom will be absolutely fine for human consumption. In other parts, however, the water will not be sterile and should not be consumed. If that is the case, buying bottled water to keep in your room can be a good idea. While boiling water can help, it may be beneficial to also use bottled water in the kettle for making hot drinks.

Having bottled water is also a good idea to avoid any form of dehydration, particularly if you are in a warm location or are fairly active while on holiday. Signs of dehydration can include a dry mouth and headache. Ensure you are drinking enough fresh, clean water to avoid any complications this may cause.

Vaccinations

Some countries may also pose a risk of illness and, as such, will require a set of vaccinations before you travel. You may be required to show proof that you have had these injections prior to your flight, or else not be allowed to board. These illnesses should not be taken lightly, as they are highly severe, can sometimes be incredibly contagious, or may prove fatal. It is not worth the risk of catching these illnesses. If you do not want a vaccination, you should alter your honeymoon destination to one where these are not a stringent requirement.

Sun Exposure

Dangers from the sun can also cause potential injury while on holiday. Sunburn may not be overly dangerous in the moment, but extensive exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer, especially melanoma, to develop. For that reason, wearing a good quality sun lotion is essential.

While your honeymoon should be one of the most enjoyable holidays of your life, it doesn’t mean you can throw all caution to the wind. By being careful and safe, you can help to ensure that your memories are positive ones that you can look back on fondly with your spouse for years to come.

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Travel

Hiring a Car in Texas

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If you’re not a local, visiting Texas can be a brilliant experience, especially if you like the heat and a bit of southern hospitality. Getting around a whole state can be fairly challenging, and relying on public transport is not always the most feasible or cost-effective option. You might prefer to hire a car for the duration of your visit, especially if freedom of travel and choice are important to you.

There may be some rules and laws you need to follow when you are in a different state or country to the one you usually live in. It is a good idea to research these potential differences prior to your trip so that you don’t end up in any trouble, for example, click the link for more information on ‘how to get DWI reduced in the state of Texas’.

As long as you meet certain requirements, you should be able to hire a car during your stay. Let’s look into it some more…

Age Requirements

To hire a car, most companies will ask you to be at least 18. This is due to you coming from outside the area, as you may not be as familiar with local laws. Younger drivers are, stereotypically, more likely to have an accident too. While the stigma surrounding young car racer stereotypes may be unfair, it is known that more experienced drivers do have a better handle of the roads. Due to this, rental companies would rather allow those who are more confident at driving on the roads, due to a few years of experience, and the face that older drives are more likely to have used a car in a foreign state before.

Rental Insurance

While some car hire providers may also include insurance within their quote, others will require proof of a policy before you can pick up the car. There are many insurance providers you can choose from. Just like with owning a car, you are required to have an insurance policy in place before driving. In Texas, a fault system is used, meaning you have to be able to cover the costs of any accidents you may cause. Due to this, the minimum requirement here is that you have $30,000 cover for bodily injury per person, $60,000 cover for bodily injury per two or more people, and $25,000 of property damage cover. These will all cover you in the event that an accident is your fault. While you can get higher cover levels than this, this is the lowest amount you can have in Texas to remain legally compliant.

Driving in Texas need not be difficult or concerning. By looking at the laws and ensuring that you have the correct level of cover, you would not have problems regarding documentation. Having your license and other paperwork on you at all times can help greatly if there is an issue. Ultimately, by practicing safe and sensible driving, along with following the rules, you can have an enjoyable time driving while working or on holiday in Texas.

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