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Are We There Yet?

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Steer your summer vacation in the right direction with five family-friendly travel tips.

By Rebecca Darling

Most moms count down the days until summer with a tiny bit of dread in their voice. Not me. I can’t wait until summer, as that means freedom in our family. Our summers are filled with endless exploration. We hit the road and explore with no school, no sports and no commitments.

We are a family that likes to travel and see new places. When the children were younger, we could plan trips throughout the year. Add in school and sporting commitments, and the time to travel together gets less and less. That’s why the thought of summer puts me into planning mode and gets me excited for new places to discover.

As a family-travel blogger, I love helping people discover the right places to travel and providing them with the best tips to get them there. Before you plan your summer trip, consider these five tips.

 

1. PLAN YOUR TRAVELS BASED ON WHAT YOUR CHILDREN ARE LEARNING.

Last summer, we took a five-week road trip from Austin to Boston and back. My daughter had just completed U.S. history studies, and my son would be taking the class in a year, so it was the perfect time to show them American historical sites, such as the battlefields of Gettysburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the site of the Boston Tea Party. While we were visiting the various sites, I found my daughter teaching us what she had learned during the past year. She even said seeing it in person “brought history to life” for her.

 

2. INCLUDE THE KIDS IN FAMILY-TRAVEL PLANNING.

Sit down with your family and brainstorm all the places you want to visit. Listen to your kids’ input based on their interests, and don’t just assume they want to go to the beach again. Give every family member the chance to pick his or her top activity to do on the trip. Making the decision together gets everyone excited from the start.

 

3. BE SMART BOOKING AIRLINE TICKETS.

The best time to buy airline tickets for U.S. travel is between three months and 30 days before departure. We always book airline tickets on Tuesdays. Airlines release sale prices Tuesday afternoons and the competition matches the lower prices, so you have more deals to choose from. Also, if you have been looking for flights for a few days, make sure to clear your cache on your computer so it looks like a new search and the airlines will give you the new price.

 

4. BOOK A PHOTOGRAPHER ON LOCATION.

Some of the best souvenirs you can bring home from a vacation are the photographs you take. Nothing can evoke special memories and feelings of a great vacation more than looking at photos from your travels. But let’s face it: Most of the time, Mom is behind the camera and very rarely makes it into the photos. For the past few big trips we have taken, we have booked professional photographers to help us capture our fun moments. Most resorts and hotels offer this service, but we like to use Flytographer (flytographer.com), as the company’s services are available worldwide and the photographers will tour the cities with you, snapping photos of your discovery of new places.

 

5. TAKE BABY POWDER TO THE BEACH.

This last tip has always been a favorite of mine. Baby powder is the best beach hack I have ever discovered. If you are covered in sand after a fun day at the beach, rub yourself down with a few handfuls of baby powder and all the sand will brush right off. It’s also the perfect thing for baby or toddler feet before getting into the car to drive home.

Rebecca Darling is the voice behind the popular family-travel blog R We There Yet Mom? Darling, a freelance travel writer and mom of three who lives in Austin, is dedicated to creating exceptional memories with her family and helping others do the same, whether it be on the other side of the world or right down the street. rwethereyetmom.com

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Darling.

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