We all that traveling with kids is stressful, and requires a certain degree of preparation, planning and deep breathing that you didn't use prior before you had kids. I'm hitting the road on several fun vacations with my young children this summer, but honestly I often feel unprepared when it comes to having sufficient activities to keeping them busy and excited from the point that we leave to the time it takes to reach our destination. Since we are hitting the road (and open spaces) via car and airplane I was excited to hone up on my traveling tips at an incredible event sponsored by KidzVuz and Homewood Suites where I learned about the latest apps, books, toys, and accommodations to make family travel easier and enjoyable.
Held at J&R Jr., the event kicked off when Laurie Schact (also know as the Toy Insider Mom) shared some wonderful products for kids of every age. I loved the Crayola Travel Pack that comes with an erasable board for drawing, a super cute Hello Kitty Ice Cream Shop, a camera that is actually bubbles, a cool R2D2 MP3 player and my personal favorites the Neat-Oh Lunch Box that serves as a cute lunch bag and turns into a placemat and the Cheeky Charlie neck rest that props a kid up when they sleep - no more travel bobble heads!
Heidi of Coast2CoastMom and Techlicious was next and shared with us some travel apps - for both parents and kids. Heidi mentioned that there are currently 8,585 travel apps on the market and she presented us with her top picks and tips about using apps.
- TripAdvisor: Excellent source for reviews
- Kayak Pro
- Hotel Tonight: Helps you to locate a hotel
Apps for Organizing:
- TripIt: Organizes your itinerary
- My TSA: Updates you on what you can take to the airport
- GateGuru: Finds places in airport for food
- Pack & Go: Supply packing lists for travel.
Apps for Tots
- Kids Geography: Teaches kids geography
- My Little Suitcase (Free on iTunes): Let's kids pack and explore
- Drawing Pad ($1.99 on iTunes): Let's kids create their own pictures
- Barefoot World Atlas($7.99 on iTunes): Provides a 3D view of the world.
- Wheels on the Bus ($0.99 on iTunes): A fun and interactive spin on the classic game.
Next up was Audible.com, a company that has over 100,000 audio books that can be downloaded via their wireless apps, Kindle Fire, or one of 500+ devices. I loved hearing more about this company how using audio books is a great way to engage children in stories as well allow you to catch up some titles. I know I haven't read in awhile and I love the idea that I can download a story to my phone and read it at my leisure.
Finally, we heard from Homewood Suites, a family-friendly vacation stay option that offers roomy suites with full kitchens. This is an amazing option when traveling with kids since you have the amenities that you are used and can save you money since you don't have to eat out all the time. On top of that, Homewood Suites has free internet, free breakfasts, spacious rooms, and the best yet - they can grocery shop for you! These stellar amenities make it even easier to travel with kids while also having the luxuries that you would have at home.
After this inspiring luncheon I now feel more confident and better prepared to 'Hit the Road' this summer! With some preparation, planning and help from technology, you will too!
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some samples.