Thursday, June 27, 2013

Travel Tips and Tricks for Healthy Families

by: Kendra Thornton

Travel Tips and Tricks for Healthy Families

I love spending time with my family and the family vacation is my favorite trip of the year.  It is important for my family to enjoy the vacation and maintain the same healthy eating and living habits that we have at home.  Over the years, I’ve developed some great trips to traveling healthy.

1. Breakfast IS the Most Important Meal of the Day: We always eat breakfast at the hotel before heading out for a day at a theme park.  This way I can make sure my family gets a healthy meal instead of a bag of cotton candy or hotdog on a stick.  Since many hotels provide an included breakfast, it saves me money, because I don’t need to waste money on expensive park food. I used Gogobot to sift through a great list of Orlando hotels to find family-friendly continental breakfasts that were offered for free!

2. Great Reminders: Children love to draw, so combine that with the new places, people, and food they encounter on the trip.  I have found by having them draw or list new foods they’ve tried and enjoyed, it is easier to encourage them to try new healthy foods at home.  I also by postcards from the cities we visit and get them to write something about their trip.  I’m sure, when they become adults they will have a great collection of postcard memories.  

3. Pack a Snack: With a little preplanning, the kids and I pack a variety of healthy dry snacks for a long car ride or flight.  We pack string cheese, pretzels, cut up fruit, a little trail mix, and some M&Ms.  This allows me to make sure we all get a healthy snack and save money that I would have spent at airport stores or rest stop vending machines.  

4. Plenty of Stops: Children can be little balls of excess energy.  A great way I keep my children from getting too restless in the car is to make frequent stops.  Stopping at a rest stop or park allows the entire family to get some fresh air, stretch our legs, and burn off some of that energy.  It is a great way to make a long car ride more bearable for everyone.  

5. Timing is Everything: I have found it is easier to travel with my children when they are wide-awake.  I plan car travel and airline flights to coincide with periods in their schedule when they are awake and active.  It is much easier to travel with an alert child than one who is overtired and cranky, because they are missing their normal naptime or bedtime.  

With a few simple tricks and some great pre planning, I have found that it is easy to have a healthy family trip that everyone enjoys.


Kendra Thornton is a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mommy, Kendra was the former Orbitz director of communications and was able to travel all around the world.

She's personally been to 28 countries on 6 continents and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States.