The following is a post from Contributing Writer Jenny Reed. Jenny, through her business, helps her clients in Cumming and nationwide take the vacations of their dreams.  And with Halloween 2011 now behind us, it’s time to get in Holiday mode!

Top Ten Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

Holidays can be fun but can be stressful too, particularly if you are traveling during this busy season!  Here are a few tips to help ease your mind and keep the whole family sane!

  1. Get the children involved in planning the trip — especially if you have teenagers! This way they are less likely to complain, will take pride in knowing they helped choose the itinerary, and will know a bit more about trip destinations.  Make it fun!
  2. When staying in a hotel or rental home, bring baby-proofing items like outlet plugs and a portable gate. This will help with curious toddlers. Also, a few hotels offer these items for their guests, so ask when you call for a reservation.
  3. When road-tripping, pack a small bag of essentials to keep in the front seat. Keeping certain items handy such as snacks and first aid items will prevent you from having to stop and dig through the tightly packed trunk.
  4. Before the trip, come up with a family plan of what to do in case someone gets lost. For example, each person should carry emergency contact numbers, including children.  Also set a specific location to meet and stay put should the group be separated.
  5. Have the children engage in creative games such as License Plate Bingo or Count the Cows.   Not only does this keep young minds entertained, it is fun for the whole family!
  6. Create a toy box or back pack for each child.  Have the child participate in choosing what items to pack in his or her bag.  These can also be purchased on-line from various companies as well.
  7. Highlight the road trip on a map or the destination on a World map.   Have the children give periodic updates as to where they think you all are.  For teens have them track the trip on the GPS.
  8. If a portable DVD player or electronic games are part of the family road trip, make sure to bring headphones as well!
  9. Pack the car the night before and start the trip out very early in the morning so the children will sleep for the first few hours.  They will awake around breakfast time and mom and dad will have had several hours of quiet time!
  10. Take breaks! Whether flying or taking a road trip, make sure to schedule breaks where everyone can stretch their legs.

Most importantly the time we spend with our families away from all the stresses make memories of a lifetime.  Enjoy this holiday season, have fun and explore!  Happy Travels!
What is your Top Tip for Stress Free Travel?

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