My job as a Family Travel Expert is to use my experience and share tips for taking the hassles out of family vacations. Sometimes, the best advice comes from other mothers, who have found their own secrets to keeping kids busy and finding solutions to problems of life on the road with kids.  As I always say, “Happy Kids Make Happy Parents.”


A new book, “The Smart Family’s Passport: 350 Money, Time and Sanity Saving Tips” by Nina Willdorf, editor in chief of Budget Travel features collected travel advice from her readers.

Here are some ideas to jot down for your next family vacation:

1) When we take our kids to foreign destinations, in addition to spending days at museums, cathedrals and castles, we visit supermarkets and department stores. We learn a lot about each culture by perusing the aisles. Some food is odd to us, some is familiar and we always buy something new to try. — Gwen Gibbons, Thousand Oaks, Calif.


2) Whenever we stay at a hotel whose rate doesn’t include a continental breakfast, I bring several packages of instant oatmeal. Even rooms without a microwave often have a coffeemaker, so heating water isn’t a problem. We all make our own oatmeal in the coffee cups provided. — Julie Bunczak, Wausau, Wis.


3) We pack a pop-up tent and set it up in a corner with books, a blanket and a few small stuffed animals. … My son has his own “room” when we vacation, and we all get to sleep through the night. — Geri Kronyak, Boonton, N.J.


4) While packing for a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, it occurred to me that instead of taking pillows, we could place our down coats inside our pillowcases. Just turn each coat inside out, form it into a pillow shape, and stuff it in the case. — Kathy Walle, Gettysburg, Pa.


5) My husband uses a small soft-sided cooler as his carry-on bag. When we arrive at our destination, we have a cooler to use in the hotel, in the rental car or at the beach. — Mary Wohlers, Fairfax, Iowa


If you are a mother, father or someone that just travels often with little ones, give us your own family travel tip by leaving a comment below.


Source:  Heidi Stevens, Tribune Newspapers

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