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Traveling with Other Families

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Traveling with family can be the most memorable experience or can slowly turn into a vacation of horror's!
If you go with two or three families make sure you have a plan on where your going and where your staying. Speaking from experience, stay in the same hotel, condo or wherever you may be sleeping. Trying to locate a child's favorite sleep toy can be upsetting, especially if you are doing a search in a 10 miles radius! To make matters worse, your son has the exact same lovey sleep toy as his cousin, which can cause utter confusion and hurt feelings! This can definitely make or break a vacation! 
Once the decision has been made where everyone will be staying, choose one level headed family member to make reservations. This person should also collect all the money up front for the trip. 
Be sure to choose a place where there is something for everyone to do. Remember it's not just one person's vacation, but a family vacation. 
Discuss prior to your vacation who will be driving and what route you will be taking. You don't want to lose a family early in the trip because they took a wrong turn, got lost and now your going to lose a few hours trying locate them. Stay together! 
Try making a plan for all meals. Don't assume everyone wants to eat out every meal. Make a list and have different families plan a meal and a game night. Make it fun! 
Most importantly remember, it's ok if each family wants time to themselves. Everyone needs to relax and reconnect with each other. After all it is called a "vacation"! 
Vacations with families is not always easy, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Just be sure you don't forget to take your patience, a lot love, understanding and a sense of humor. 
Now I am not saying there will be no squabbles, but try to remind yourself family time with each other is really priceless. You may want to remind yourself this when your sweet toothless smiling niece tells you that your favorite watch didn't float once it was flushed down the commode. Mom made her confess to her crime!


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Traveling with kids can be crazy, especially if they are toddlers. Plus let's make it really interesting and have three boys under the age of five, traveling in a van for about 12 hours. I know what your thinking, why would any smart sensible parent even think about the idea, much less do it!

Traveling with kids has become easier today, with built in electronics, parents can now carry on a regular relaxing conversation up front while the kids are happy watching a DVD movie. Having small kids certainly changes the type of car choices you may be looking at, one has to consider with three boys, as mentioned above, one has to think about having to have three car seats, toys, and snacks. This can take up a lot of room, so buying a small car isn't even in the equation.

There are three things parents need to consider when looking at new cars with children, child safety, easy access and cargo area.  You will be packing diaper bags, extra bags, toys and you will definitely need all the extra cargo space you can find.

Buying a new car can be challenging enough, so taking the kids with you on this big purchase is not exactly what I would want to do, but I do think that once you do make a final choice, bringing the kids would be a great idea then, to make sure the car is a good fit for your family. Definitely bring all car seats to make sure you have room enough for all of them would also be a great idea.

Make sure you do your research before you head out van shopping. According to Parent's magazine, below are some great selections for busy families on the go!

Best Minivan

Toyota Sienna
    • Starts at $29,485
    • MPG 18 city/25 highway
    • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2015 Top Safety Pick +
    • 8 passenger capacity
    • 5 car-seat capacity
      The revamped Sienna moves atop our minivan ranking thanks to a quieter interior and many appealing features, from eight air bags to a standard backup camera to optional all-wheel drive (the only van that offers it). With the rear seats folded, the cabin is large enough to swallow a giant BJ's run. Intuitive controls include a single switch to reconfigure all three climate zones. The Premium version ($45,905) pampers rear passengers with a 16.4-inch screen that splits into two displays from separate sources. And you'll enjoy the Driver Easy Speak, which amplifies your voice in back so your kids can't pretend they didn't hear you.
    Best SUV

    Chevrolet Traverse
      • Starts at $31,870
      • MPG 17 city/24 highway
      • 8 passenger capacity
      • 5 car-seat capacity
        For growing families, it's a common challenge: finding a trusty, large, affordable vehicle that maneuvers like a midsize. The Traverse is your solution. It offers a robust V-6, confident handling, Grand Canyon space, and nice creature comforts (up to 12 cup holders, tilting second-row seats, lots of storage nooks). An industry-first front-center air bag creates an extra layer of protection in side-impact crashes. Second-row seats slide with one-touch operation, so accessing the roomy third row is a breeze. The LTZ model ($43,685) includes leather seats, a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, and the latest protective gear, including monitors for blind spot, lane departure, forward collision, and rear cross-traffic.

      Buying a large enough car will make traveling more pleasant on all involved, but you have to put
      yourself in your kids shoes, back seats while driving can be boring, tiring and a closed in experience, which is why even with all of todays electronics to help make our kids happy, siblings will be siblings. Remember riding in the back seat when your were young on family trips? It simply comes natural to fuss, fight or want to irritate your brother or sister!


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