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Travel Tips for the Winter Season

Martin Luther King Day weekend is upon us and we're heading up to the mountains with a group of friends for a long winter weekend. The Catskills are only a 2-3 hour drive and we're fortunate to be staying at friend's place where we'll surely enjoy all the comforts of home. But as we begin thinking about our travel plans for the rest of 2012, I'll be taking into account these great tips from my fellow Residence Inn by Marriott Residence Moms for stress-free travel:

Tip One: Soar on flights
“When we’re flying, I go to the 99 cents store and I buy each kid 5 toys they have never seen before, and then when they get on the airplane they get to pick one out of the bag, and it/s exciting because they’ve never seen it before and it keeps them busy. I also always wait until everyone gets on before getting on with my kids, so there’s no extra wait time.” Laurie McDermott (LA Examiner and LA Family)

Bubba Travels

Tip Two: Get your children involved in the planning
“Involve your kids in as much of trip’s planning as possible. Let each child choose at least one favorite, must do activity.” Joyce Shulman, Macaroni Kid

Tip Three: Rest your head in a comfortable bed
“When traveling, the number one thing that appeals to me is a good night’s sleep. Meaning that I need a comfortable bed to rest my head. It is one of my favorite things about my house, so I feel more at home when the bed measures up to what I’m used to.“ Laurie Cooper, Clueless Mama

Tip Four: Room to relax (without the kids!)
“When I travel, I look for suites that have a door that closes between the bedroom and the other rooms so I don’t have to go to bed at 7:30pm at night. It’s also nice to have a balcony or patio, because then the kids can go to bed and my husband and I can sneak out and have a glass of wine and talk without having to whisper.” Colleen Lanin, TravelMamas

Tip Five: Compliment your stay with a complimentary breakfast
“A complimentary hot breakfast is key when traveling with kids. Having organic food options or grocery delivery is great; apples, strawberries, and grapes are great for my daughter.” Sarah Chang, Stroller Ballet

Tip Six: Full size fridge ahead
“We have to bring a lot of food for food allergies, so we always call ahead to see if there is a refrigerator and microwave in the room, which is helpful. It’s nice when there is a full freezer and fridge.” Shelby Barone, OC Mom

Tip Seven: Choose hotels that are child-friendly
“Great hotel experiences I have had are where the staff acknowledges my children. I love it when they treat my children as guests as well.” Carol Cain, NY City Mama

Tip Eight: The inside scoop on where to go, eat, and visit
“It’s important to plan or find child friendly restaurants in the area. I have always thought that hotels should have sample itineraries when they know families are coming with some great places that other families have enjoyed – a great cupcake shop, restaurant suggestions for kids and for date nights – the gems of the city. To have it all on one cute little card would be great.” Andrea Fellman, Savvy Sassy Moms

Tip Nine: Regroup and recharge in spacious lobbies
“I love great seating areas in the hotel because when I’m with my family I like to have our own space to regroup and chat for a few minutes.” Chelsea Skaggs, Someday I’ll Learn

Tip Ten: Quality first
“The most memorable trips we’ve had, and the hotels we’ve liked, are the ones that have offered good quality all around. Sure you want a nice room but when the restaurant is awesome and there’s a clubhouse where you can grab a great burger, it makes all the difference. People like good food and it can make a trip. What differentiates hotels is the service.” Jill Seiman, Glamamom

Do you have any trips planned for 2012? What's your best advice for traveling with children?

Happy long weekend!