With spring nearly officially upon us, many parents are itching to take one great warm weather vacation that will be fun, memorable, relaxing and cost effective.
Renowned travel expert, Kendra Thornton (who also happens to be a mother of three children under the age of eight) joined me recently to share advice for parents traveling with their kids by plane, her favorite place and time to travel with the kids, why under planning for a trip is a GOOD idea and what makes Orlando the perfect vacation for children of all ages!
Candace Rose: Traveling alone by plane can be difficult enough, what advice do you have for parents who plan on traveling by plane with their kids?
Kendra Thornton: “Three tips that I think will make the air travel experience easier for families – the first is to give yourself extra time. I’m still surprised how many families don’t do this. At a minimum, 30 minutes more that you would need if you were going through the airport without your children.
Secondly, one resource I want parents (especially with you young children) to know about- let’s say your bags or you are delayed because of mechanical or weather related issues or your bags don’t make it to your final check destination, that the baggage claim offices will have emergency baby supplies. They have diapers and formula and blankets- whatever you might need for your kids. So not that resource is there if you unfortunately need to use it.
And then last, I think families know about using technology when they travel with their kids to keep them occupied, but it’s good to also know that most airplanes now have onboard WI-FI, so let’s say maybe you aren’t able to download a new game for your child before you travel or maybe they’re bored with what they have during the flight, you can buy them a new one using the onboard WI-FI so that they can stay occupied and you can hopefully feel like they’re being a nuisance to other passengers.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice when it comes to the best places and times to travel with the family?
Kendra Thornton: “Yes, I have three young children, so I think if you’re a family like mine, Orlando is going to be at the top of your destination wish list. I was actually here with my three children and husband a few weeks ago, and we had an amazing vacation.
As far as when to visit Orlando, May is really the best time to think about taking a vacation here because of course the weather is going to be amazing, but what’s also great, especially if you have preschool age children is the lines are so much shorter. There are a lot of cool things happening here, today I am at LEGOLAND in the new DUPLO Valley that will be opening up in May, so that’s exciting. May is also a month for great savings. This park as well as SeaWorld will be admitting kids for free that month, and Disney as well as Universal have some great savings to be had too. People can go to VisitOrlando.com/May to learn more about those.”
Candace Rose: Why do you think under planning might be the best way to plan for a family trip?
Kendra Thornton: “I just think it’s important when you’re traveling with children to leave a little wiggle room so you can have some unexpected fun experiences and moments. With my family, we really enjoy having a day where we can take advantage of the entertainment options at our hotel. What’s wonderful about most of the resorts here in Orlando is they have these great swimming pool experiences and water slides, the character meet and greets that the kids love so much.
When we were here we stayed at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort which was a perfect example of a hotel that really has a lot of fun, entertainment and other cool amenities that you don’t necessarily have to pre reserve or preplan for.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Kendra Thornton: “I do have other tips, and I think the best place is to go to VisitOrlando.com/May. We have some videos up there with some other tips.”