Quick Travel Tips From the Trio
Black Bean and Salmon Tostadas
Chickpea Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites
Try tostadas topped with a savory slaw and finished with these most delicious (and nutrient dense) chocolate chip cookies. My sister shared this cookie recipe and when "chick peas" topped the ingredient list I didn't believe they could taste anything like dessert. I stand corrected.
Both of these recipes are super easy (use ready made tortillas) and very quick to make so you don't have to interrupt the business of playing on a warm summer's day. It's all about quality time.
Optimizing time with family, whether you work or stay home, is especially pivotal when you are on vacation. Having just returned from a quick trip myself, one plagued with car trouble, it goes without saying that it can't go according to plan all the time. However, we have a few tips that might help minimize stress and amp up the fun on your next family trip.
Comic Con in San Diego and The Sturgis Bike Rally are great events if you are looking for that kind of fun. However, a concentrated uptick in visitors to one location can also impact your stay if you are not prepared. If your dates are flexible, check your destination ahead of time for festivals and special events. Talking with a local Chamber of Commerce representative ahead of your departure can help create a seamless itinerary and help you stay clear of events that may impede family fun. And yes, your Chamber rep will tell you that the Sturgis Bike Rally in early August may result in human sightings at Mount Rushmore that may not be suitable for young children.
Book Directly with the Local Hotel: The largest advantage to booking your hotel reservations directly with the local establishment is site based customer service because the prices are comparable. If you book with an online discount broker like Expedia or Kayak, customer service is limited to what you can work out on the phone. Often, phone calls for help through the brokerage serve only as an exercise in frustration and futility. When you book through a discount broker, the hotel has no obligation to accommodate or change your reservation. However, if you have booked directly with the local hotel they will bend over backwards to ensure a satisfactory experience for you and your family.
gather the kids and research (either online or through the local Chamber of Commerce) what fun things there are to do and see at your vacation destination. Museums, National Parks, famous landmarks, educational venues, and adventure activities abound so get creative. We have done ocean kayaking trips (kids can ride in tandem kayaks), outdoor rock climbing adventures, horseback rides along coastal trails, whale watching excursions, zip line fun and a long bike ride down Maui’s Mount Haleakala at sunrise. Each time, we have used online rating sites, like Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google Reviews to help guide us in the right direction. When you have found a tour or activity that interests you, call and talk to personnel and check online ratings to ensure you are doing business with a reputable company.
Give Yourself Some Down Time: Most of us are running wild with schedules all year long. We are driven and dedicated which helps us juggle the daily grind at home. It is not so helpful when planning a vacation! Plan large chunks of down time. It will promote peaceful coexistence.
Check Schedules and Planned Closures Ahead of Traveling: Remember the movie National Lampoons Vacation when Clark and the Griswalds arrive at Wally World only to discover it is closed?! If there is a famous landmark, museum, or amusement park you would like to visit, check the website or call ahead for planned closures or special operating hours. Those types of surprises create disappointment and may require finding a Plan B activity. Planning ahead will help your itinerary flow. It is also advised to purchase any tickets ahead of time. That will help guarantee your entry to what may be a busy vacation hot spot.
Plan Your Meals to Avoid Meltdowns: Driving aimlessly around a new neighborhood in the throes of hunger and fatigue is not advised when on vacation, especially if it's dinner time. If you are anything like us, eating can be a dramatic family vacation black hole. Debate too long and your family will end up cranky and eating the remnants of snacks from between the rental car seat cushions. Check out your options ahead of time so you can sit down and enjoy what you want when you are ready! Put your dinner plans on the itinerary. Most restaurants have menus and reviews posted online so you can pick a place that will make the whole family happy!
I recommend Lion's Breath.
Light and Peace, The Busy Buddha
Talk Back to the Trio
What is one of your favorite vacation destinations?