Getting organized for a family trip is often so overwhelming that parents can’t get over it and relax on that trip (btw, a get away with kids is a trip — not a vacation, am I right?). I love the tips and tricks in this post to help you get ready quickly and easily for your next trip
Our guest is Kim Fidler from Get Away Today, where she is the Internet Marketing Director. She’s also the writer behind my Pregnant at Disneyland post. She’s also one of my VERY favorite people to hang out with. Someday we’ll go to Disneyland together. Until then this podcast will have to do. 🙂
This post is inspired by all of my family travel posts. I give lots of tips and tricks for picking a spot, picking activities and saving money!
Big thanks to this week’s sponsor, Family Routines — if you’re looking to pack and make trips less stressful, I have a whole chapter on that. Instead of being stressed out with forgetting something, I will help you streamline it and have your family help you get ready! BTW, don’t miss the coupon code mentioned in the episode!
In this episode we’re going to talk about
- Choosing where to go
- How to organize packing
- Deciding on where to stay (you might be interested in ALL of my Disney hotel travel reviews that helps you know what I look for in a room).
- How to stay organized while “on the road”.
Other things you might be interested in:
- My 2nd episode of my podcast where I share my #1 tip for family travel.
- My love story with Get Away Today that runs back to 1998.
- Other things to do in Southern California (includes Legoland)
Some of my favorite trip info:
- Yellowstone for Families
- 20 essentials for Car Trips
- My Trip Calculator (it’s set for Disneyland, but you can use it for any trip!)
- Great things about camping (I know, you’re surprised, I was too)
- Family-Friendly Fun in Hollywood
- Flagstaff, AZ
- Tucson, AZ
- Cruising with Kids
- Passports for Kids
- Audible Alternatives on Road Trips
- Kanab, UT
- Grand Canyon in a Day
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out all of our travel episodes:
Check out all of our podcasts:
Hilary Erickson 0:00
Hey guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast! Today, on Episode 26, we’re talking about planning trips. That’s right. We’re going to talk about like, how to decide where to go. And my guest has a really interesting way about how they decide where to go. We’re going to talk about staying organized, of course, and I love one of the golden tips that my friend Kim gives about keeping kids in the loop about what’s going on. So, let’s untangle it.
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting, home routines, even some family travel because, heavens knows! Our lives are tangled. I’m your host, Hilary Erickson.
Hey guys, today’s guest is one of my favorite people. She is actually someone that I work with on the blog. She is the internet marketing director at Get Away Today, which you guys know I always plan my Disney trips through. We’ve actually just become really good friends because we’ve been at conferences and stuff together. And she’s just really fun. So I ended up really liking her. She, of course, is at Get Away Today and if you want to book with getaway today, I of course have a $10 coupon code and they are my favorite people to book with for Disneyland. I will have all the information about that in the show notes. You can find her at Get Away Today on Instagram and if they ever post about a raspberry macaroon, you can guarantee that it was inspired by my friend Kim Fiddler.
This episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast is sponsored by Family Routines, how to automate your housewife life. Ever wish life was more like you pictured it would be before you had kids? Being able to spend less time with a mundane task and more time teaching kids the fun and valuable life skills you know they need. Family Routines teaches families to simplify daily tasks into routines that help them feel more peace and joy. Save 15% with the coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find it at pullingcurls.com and the menu under COURSES or in this episode’s show notes.
Hey, Kim! Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast. I’m so excited to have you here today.
Kim Fiddler 1:51
Thank you Hilary. I’m so excited to be here.
Hilary Erickson 1:53
Yeah. So you guys know, like I said in the intro, that Kim works at Get Away Today. But we are not just talking Disney today. She has lots of little people at her house and I thought it would be fun to talk to someone who does travel all the time about taking those kids lots of different places, right?
Yeah. How do you decide where to go? Especially working at a travel agency, there must be so many good options.
Kim Fiddler 2:07
It’s a lot. And there are so many good options. So right now my kids are, in fact, my youngest just turned three yesterday. So my kids are three, four, and six. And we have been traveling since my first one was born. My kids are all really good roadtrippers and of course Disneyland’s super easy because of course, I work at Get Away Today and it’s either a car ride or a quick flight. So, Disneyland’s always a great option. But we decide where to go, really based on where we can drive, or where we can do a nonstop flight. I will not do any connecting flights with little kids. So those are my two requirements. Either have to drive it or nonstop. Mike will go somewhere maybe farther or whatever, when they’re a little bit older. But for now, that’s what we base all of our decisions on.
Hilary Erickson 2:54
That makes sense. So have you ever had a flight canceled and you had to do a connecting flight… with littles?
Kim Fiddler 2:59
Not with my kids, no.
Hilary Erickson 3:00
Oh, living the dream.
Kim Fiddler 3:01
Thank goodness. I would probably be the like nightmare passenger that throws a fit and demands nonstop and to be put up until you can handle that. So, luckily we haven’t been put in that position yet.
Hilary Erickson 3:11
That is awesome. That’s a great way to decide because I think for families, they are so open. Where do you go. And, do you have any favorite places you have gone maybe in the US?
Kim Fiddler 3:21
Yes. So in the US for our kids’ ages again, we- we live in Utah so we like the western states particularly. Of course Southern California is awesome. My kids, if they could pick anywhere in the world to go it really is Legoland California because it’s designed for little, little kids. And you can just play an explore. Of course you’re by the beach. It’s just awesome. We also love Arizona. Where you live, Hilary. We love going to Arizona it’s warm year round. There’s great children museums and the zoo is awesome. You have the aquarium, that fun little area in Scottsdale, there’s just all sorts of stuff there in Arizona.
Hilary Erickson 3:55
Yeah, Arizona is great. Just not in July.
Kim Fiddler 3:57
Yes, we try not to go on July, normally March. You can get in some spring training games. It’s good, good times.
Hilary Erickson 4:02
Yeah, Arizona is a great place for families. There is a lot up in Scottsdale. So super fun. So how do you decide where to stay? Because, I know when I had little kids, my requirements of where to stay were different than they are now for sure.
Kim Fiddler 4:14
Yes. So my kids, they have to have some place with a breakfast. We’ve occasionally done some like Airbnbs, if we’re going to be staying for a long time or if we need a kitchen, but a lot of times, any hotel will do. We try to base it on convenience versus effort. And it has to be nice. I won’t take my kids to a sketchy area. It needs to be safe, of course. And then we need a breakfast and we want to be close. And, when I’m doing that I like to stay close where I’m going to be early the next morning. For some reason, morning travel is like, no good with my little kids, I’m like if we’re going to be doing an attraction I want to stay right by that attraction the night before. If we’re going to be at a museum I want to be right by that museum the night before whatever it is that we’re doing, I want to be close the night before. It just makes the next morning run so much smoother.
Hilary Erickson 4:59
Yeah, that makes sense. And that’s a good idea when parents are trying to pick. Because you know, when you pull it up on a website, there’s just all this option. So it’s nice to be able to narrow it in.
Kim Fiddler 5:09
Yes, that’s that’s what I do anyway.
Hilary Erickson 5:11
Yeah, your kids have any weird requirements. My kids couldn’t see me when they were asleep, or they would cry. So anything weird like that?
Kim Fiddler 5:18
Oh, that’s funny. So as far as weird requirements, my kids are pretty chill. And I attribute that to us, kind of making them be chill, by traveling with them from a very young age. It’s not new to them. It doesn’t matter if we’re on a cruise ship. If we’re in a weird hotel, in a city they’ve never been, they, just are fine. As long as we’re all together. That’s really all they care about is making sure Mom and Dad are both there. So.
Hilary Erickson 5:18
Oh, that’s cool. Have you traveled with your kids without your husband?
Kim Fiddler 5:42
Ooh, I don’t think so. I’m not that brave.
Hilary Erickson 5:45
Yeah, ugh. Little kids and travel.
Kim Fiddler 5:47
I know. We have three, I don’t like to be outnumbered, now.
Hilary Erickson 5:51
You’re already outnumbered. I don’t know what math you’re doing.
Kim Fiddler 5:53
Well, that’s just really way too much. So yeah, I would not do that.
Hilary Erickson 5:57
All right. So, what kind of tips do you have for packing for small kids? Because your kids are little enough that you’re pretty much doing it all. Right?
Kim Fiddler 6:03
Okay, Yes. And now. And again, I attribute this all to just being consistent and always doing it. Ever since Liam was born, I learned this trick and I have used it with all of my kids and I pack everything. I do start packing a few days before we go some. If it’s a big long trip, I mean, we’re talking two weeks, I will start packing a week before. Because I’m not gonna miss a day or anything like that. Each child has their own Ziploc bag for each day of the week. I write the name of the day of the week on it. I don’t write the kids name. They know what clothes are theirs. And then it includes their shirt, shorts or pants, underwear, and socks for the day. And for Ruby, our baby girl, any accessories. It’s everything that they’re going to wear that very day, I let them help me pick it. And my four year old is now to the point where I’m like, okay, we need four shirts, four shorts, and four underpants. He comes, he knows exactly how to stack them up perfectly. And we just put those on the Ziploc bags and then we have everything. There’s no arguments over what you’re going to wear. You don’t lose socks, you don’t lose anything. And that is how I pack and then of course, I wait for toiletries until the night or the morning ah..for toothbrushes and everything else, but I have everything organized, we just put that in very last. But everything else is done, days ahead of time. And in a very orderly fashion. And I just spread it out all over my bedroom. Like, for the time being, it’s like 21 little bags of clothes, or whatever it needs to be. It’s nice because you can squish the air out of them. They fit really well. I just put them all in one suitcase. It’s really nice.
Hilary Erickson 7:20
Yeah. So do you put the kids in a separate suitcase than you? Usually?
Kim Fiddler 7:23
I do. Yeah, I do the kids separate.
Hilary Erickson 7:25
So what we do, is all my kids, so I have kids 10 to 19. Although the 19 year old doesn’t come with as much with- I just give them their own suitcase now. I’ve given up and I figure if they wear the same pair of underpants all week. That’s their own problem.
Kim Fiddler 7:37
That’s that. That’s on them. Absolutely. With these kids’ ages. This is what works for us when they’re older. And because they’ve learned how to pack for themselves, I myself probably be pretty okay.
Hilary Erickson 7:47
Yeah, I think so. I think scouting also helped my boys definitely. Because they would get out there with zero clothes or… Like, life lessons. And yeah, yeah. Yeah. Any tips so it sounds like you’re pretty organized. Any other tips about staying organized while you’re gone?
Kim Fiddler 8:02
That… I always try to do this. So, sometimes, like I mentioned, I like to stay close to the attraction that we’re going to, we will occasionally switch hotels during trips. If I do that, I will organize our backpacks or our suitcases or whatever we’re taking. Not into, all the kids clothes on this one and all the adult clothes on this one. I’ll do it based on where we’re staying. So I’ll be like, this is our monday, tuesday bag, this is our Wednesday through Friday bag and then I will chunk it out that way instead, I always try to keep dirty clothes I of course use the, like the laundry bags at the hotels. Get the plastic ones, I just put whatever dirty clothes in that from that time. And then I will put that. If we drive it’s a lot easier sometimes. And sometimes we’ll just drive because it’s easier because then you can put all the dirty clothes and stuff you’re not using just back in the car and you’re not hauling it in back and forth.
Hilary Erickson 8:45
Kim Fiddler 8:46
To your hotel room. Other tips for staying organized. I would say, before you go, just having a very you don’t want to over schedule that a very clear plan of what you’re going to do. Because in my experience when I haven’t known what we’re doing or we haven’t had somewhere to go or something in mind the kids get restless. They just like to know. and I don’t like keeping my kids trapped in a hotel room or or even an Airbnb, anything like that for an extended period of time. So yeah, I think anything you can do beforehand is just going to make your vacation go a lot more smoothly, particularly with young kids.
Hilary Erickson 9:17
Yeah. And I love that about having a clear plan because my kids are always like, what are we doing? How long are we staying there? What hotel are we going to be at? Does that hotel have breakfast? Is there a pool? Is there?
Kim Fiddler 9:26
Hilary Erickson 9:26
Is there a maitre d? Can I have a concierge? Can it.
Kim Fiddler 9:30
Seriously, like it’s like, Where’s the sushi? For reals? Like?
Hilary Erickson 9:36
How close is the nearest sushi? What? So if you’re going to switch hotels, is it just based on the attractions that you’re going to? So like Orlando Disneyland, maybe a switch, clearly.
Kim Fiddler 9:45
Yes, exactly. We’ve done trips where we’ve done one or two nights at Universal Studios by Hollywood, and then we’ve gone and done a few nights and Disney and then we’ve gone and. We’ve even done, I’m not kidding, like when I say I like to be really close to the attraction when we do Knott’s Berry Farm. I don’t Stay by Disneyland, we stay in a park and we do Knott’s Berry Farm the next morning. And then, after that, then we’ll go down into Disneyland and stay there. But it just makes our days go a lot more smoothly. And I’m willing to pack up and do another hotel because of the pre-organization to make that go smoother. Yeah. Now some people that- that’s not going to work for and that’s totally fine. It’s just what we preferred it.
Hilary Erickson 10:20
Yeah, that makes sense. And especially in LA. I think, if people aren’t used to LA and the traffic, and all that. They might think, oh, they’re only you know, 20 miles apart, but those 20 miles are like 100 miles.
Kim Fiddler 10:33
Oh, they can take forever. There was one time we went from,yeah, Laguna Beach. We’ve been staying in Laguna Beach. And then we were like, oh, we’ll just go to Universal Studios for the afternoon. Because at that point in time, I had an annual pass and it took us three and a half hours in traffic. And I’m like, never again, like we’re just not going to do that. You just do need to understand when you travel someplace else, it’s likely not the traffic patterns that you’re used to at home and it is it can really throw a wrench in your plans if you don’t do that. So we just like to eliminate that. We never want to be late to a theme park, especially because you get your best time in the morning. And we just like the day to start off on a good foot and not battling traffic.
Hilary Erickson 11:09
That makes total sense. I like that tip. All right, Kim, thanks so much for coming on. I’m sure we’ll have you on for more Disney tips. But I like this one on basic family trip ideas. Hopefully it helps everybody out.
Kim Fiddler 11:18
Thanks so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.
Hilary Erickson 11:21
All right. Thanks, Kim. Talk to you later.
Kim Fiddler 11:22
Hilary Erickson 11:23
Okay, guys, I hope you really enjoyed that episode. I loved how Kim talked about having a clear plan and how that can help your family vacation. I think that’s something that sometimes we just go to a destination thinking we’re just going to do whatever, but kids thrive on knowing what’s going to happen, knowing what to expect. And so I really like that idea. It’s very different than traveling if you just went with you and your husband, versus taking kids, especially little kids or kids who have anxieties or all those kinds of things. So, great tips.
If you want to learn more about the information that we shared with in here you can check out the show notes you can find that the pullingcurls.com/podcast. Today’s episode is number 26. Big thanks to our sponsor family routines. I have a whole packing section in there. So if you’re like I that is one of the worst parts of my trip is getting my family pack for a trip. Check it out, you can save 15% with coupon code UNTANGLED. Check it out in the show notes or on my site under COURSES. Big thanks to Kim for coming on today’s episode. She has so many good tips about traveling with little kids. I know I personally didn’t actually travel that much when I had little kids like her. Of course, I was a labor and delivery nurse, and she is a travel agent so different lifestyles, but hopefully she gave you some great ideas. If you liked today’s episode, I would love it if you leave a little review they mean so much we’d love it if you’d subscribe so that they can notify you every time we drop an episode which happens on Mondays for the Pulling Curls Podcast. Until then, I hope you have a tangle free day!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai