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Have you made any summer vacation plans? I know many of you are going to be packing up and heading somewhere this summer. I have several trips planned myself that I am super excited about!
I get so many questions asking for Disney advice or airplane tips, since I have been so many times now. You might notice, however, that no one asks me for camping tips. I’m not a camper since I’m a big fan of air-conditioning and indoor showers.
Anyway, I love sharing what I have learned from my experience of traveling, especially from my Disney and Universal trips. Traveling to Disney or anywhere you’ll be walking all day long, high activity and crowds is a whole different kind of vacation. You walk so much that your feet need extra care, the heat is a problem and sometimes people cry. Or is that just me?
I’ve discovered products that help make traveling easier and simple tips to smooth out the bumps. And there are always bumps. That’s my first tip….
- Expect there to be problems. No matter how well you plan your trip, there will be kinks along the way. Tires go flat, lines get long, rain pours, people get sick, it can’t be helped. That’s part of it, the messiness. That’s what adds the flavor to the memories.A couple of years ago we went to Disney World with 11 people: James, me and 9 kids (although a few of them were over 18, we still call them kids). It was 3 hotel rooms, 33 meals every day, no one replying to text messages, not knowing where half of them were most of the time, etc. After a couple of days I had a Mom-meltdown and started crying in the lobby of our resort, like bawling. The kids stood around me like I was a display in a freak show, not knowing what to do. Should they pet me or walk away and pretend not to know me? We laughed about it later, it was pretty funny. On another day we were so late for our dinner reservation that we had to wait until about 9PM to eat. We sat on the sidewalk outside the restaurant like beggars, waiting to get some food tossed out to us. Those things weren’t part of our plan, but honestly, they are some of the funniest memories. Make the best of those hard times and let them add to the fun! (the crying wasn’t fun, but even in the middle of it I could see the humor of how ridiculous I looked)
- Relax. Active trips can make you forget to just relax. Parents all around you will be begging their screaming children to stop crying. Bribery (“Want an ice cream cone?!”), empty threats (“If you don’t stop that we are going to leave.”) and throwing their hands up in exasperated defeat is what you will witness everywhere you turn. You don’t have to be one of those parents. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by it all, take a step back and relax. Sit down with your kids (this is MUCH better than having a meltdown in a resort lobby) and chill for a minute. Yes, you might miss something, but in the end you will be better for it. There’s always plenty to do on these trips, so if you miss a Fast Pass just let it go or try to get another one. If you don’t make it to a show because you were resting, so be it. You will enjoy your trip so much more if you slow down.
- Eat well. This is tough, but if you eat well you’ll have a much better time if you eat as healthy as possible! Even if you’re dining out for every meal, you can stick close to lean protein and veggies as much as possible. Instead of giving the kids a bunch of sugary treats, stick with fruit, water, hummus, veggie sticks, etc. You can find these on the snack plan at Disney or you can bring them with you. Here’s a post about how I went to Disney without eating sugar!
- Wear comfortable shoes. Before my last trip to Disney a few weeks ago I was on a mission to find shoes that would keep my feet from hurting after walking over 20,000 steps every day for 7 days. I don’t ask for much….comfortable, water proof, and look really cute. I went out three times and looked for shoes. I could wear sneakers, but it’s really miserable once they get wet and it almost always rains in Florida. I could wear my Birks, but they tend to hurt my feet after a few thousand steps and they also don’t do well in water since they’re leather. I tried everything from Chacos to Crocs and nothing worked. I love my Otz shoes, which is what I wore the past few trips, but they get ruined in the rain and I didn’t want to lose another pair.
I was just about to give up when I found the perfect shoe. I saw it on my way out of my last store, giving up all hope. I’m pretty sure a sunbeam was shining right on them so I couldn’t miss it….a sign from God that this was the answer to my search. They’re made by Oofos. They had all of my requirements….comfy, cute and waterproof! And believe me, I tested them thoroughly by wearing them for my entire trip and my feet never hurt at all! I am not kidding, they gave my the arch support I need. It feels like you’re walking on a cushion. In fact, I am so amazed by them then whenever I run into anyone on the street or in the grocery store I make them try mine on so they can experience it for themselves. Trust me, you want these shoes and they come in both between the toes (this is what I wore) or as strap over the foot (this is what my husband wore).I’m going to be wearing them all summer! (read all the way down to see how you can WIN a pair of these!)
- Stay cool! Like I said above, I like air-conditioning. But this is summer and it gets hot. You have to be outside in the heat sometime. So I found this great way to stay cool. Or cool-er. I used to carry a small fan with me and hold it up to my face when I got hot, but then some friends on Facebook told me about this little beauty! It’s a fan you wear around your neck and it blows on your face. Oh. My. Heaven! I ordered two and I don’t care that it makes me look like I have on a medical alert necklace, I will be wearing it all summer! I even added something extra to mine by putting a piece of sticky felt to the top and now I can add a drop of my favorite essential oil. It blows the aroma right up to my face, which is perfect!!! I’m going back to Orlando in September for Universal and this personal fan will be my BFF.
- Stay hydrated. Water, water and more water! I decided to get a holder for my water bottle so it’s easy to access without my needing to hold it all the time. I like my camelback backpack, but you can’t add essential oils to the water pouch on that. You have to use glass or stainless steel when you’re adding oils, and I prefer stainless since it’s lightweight and not breakable. I got this bottle holder that makes your water available to you hands free! I wore it crossbody and even rode the rides with it still on with no problem. You can buy the companion water bottle, but I found that a plastic bottle fits in it and so does the stainless steel bottle I already own. I’m going to get a few more for the kids before we go to Universal in September so they can carry their own.
- You know I have to add my beloved essential oils to this list. I can’t make a helpful travel list without including my oils. They bless me so much on all of my travels both for the plane and through the exhausting days. I carry around with me peppermint, PanAway, StressAway and Thieves (usually more but these are my must haves). Those are all in the Premium Starter Kit that I am always talking about. Plus I take a diffuser for the hotel room which is fantastic for eliminating odors and germs. I make sure to have lemon, lavender and Purification with me for the room diffuser (also in the kit). Using the oils while traveling helps me deal with the inevitable problems I mentioned in #1.
- Prayer. I saved the best for last. Places like Disney and Universal are incredible family trips, but there is a lot of pressure around any vacation. What to pack, how to pay for it, what activities to do (because you can’t possible do it all), how to get there, keeping the kids (and Mom) happy, being patient with other travelers and the workers who are not always in a good mood are only a few of the hard things that we need help with. Put on the armor of God be “prayed up” every day and throughout the day. There is so much peace in His care….prayer is a vacation MUST!
Now…..you will LOVE this so be glad you read all the way to the end! I reached out to the folks and Oofos and told them how much I loved my shoes and they offered to let me give away a pair to TWO of you! HOW COOL IS THAT?! You have got to enter as many times as you can to improve your chances of winning! And if you don’t win, I urge you to go find where they sell them in your area and try them. Or just believe me and order a pair for yourself right now!
All in all, vacations are a blessing, but tiring and challenging. These 8 things will help you no matter where you’re going and what you’re doing when you get there. But especially if you’re planning a trip that is demanding, you’ll want to gear up and say those prayers!
And yes, I realize the picture says 7 things and the list has 8. I didn’t realize it until after I had published and I was going to make a new graphic, but then I thought, “Nah. My people don’t care about that,” and I moved on. See? There’s always a mess.
Have a great summer vacation!