The Mom’s Guide to Traveling with Kids, with Giveaway

by 5 Minutes for Books

Starting with my 7 year old’s first vacation to the Bahamas at the age of 5 months, our family has traveled pretty frequently. It’s in both my husband’s and my genes – I remember road trips from New Jersey to Hilton Head and Disney World (having relatives that lived in Orlando was wonderful luck), flights to California, visits to Maine with friends filled with lobsters, cold oceans and luggage lost on the Tappan Zee Bridge (not ours thankfully!). Before we had kids my husband and I traveled quite a bit, and we saw no reason to stop once the kids arrived. Alex has 16 states and 2 countries under his belt and we’re currently planning our next road trip to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone.

But for some parents, the thought of traveling with their kids evokes images of airport security nightmares, cramped hotel rooms, and a week full of stress instead of relaxation. It doesn’t have to be that way, and The Mom’s Guide to Traveling with Kids by travel agent and mom of four Allison Umbricht can help you plan that vacation you’ve been dreaming of.

At 5″ by 8″ in size, The Mom’s Guide fits into a purse or glove box. The layout makes it easy to find just what you’re looking for, with bullet items used for tips, comments from real moms and a quick summary at the end of each chapter summarizing the most important things to know. It’s broken up into sections that are laid out in order of what a vacation looks like: planning, packing, flying, enjoying, planning ahead.

Some of my favorite tips, with my comments in italics:

  • Ch. 2: Where to Go and Stay: Consider renting a suite…You may sleep better if your kids are in separate rooms.
  • Ch. 5: Packing: Don’t bring it. Rent it. Most hotels have cribs available. There are also services in most resort areas that will rent you all the baby and toddler gear you need.
  • Ch. 11: Car Trips: Plan your trip so you are not hitting rush hour traffic in your area and in other major cities you are passing through. We learned this the hard way when we hit the D.C.-Baltimore section of I-95 at 5pm on a Friday. Big mistake!
  • Ch. 13: Enjoying Your Vacation: One of the first things we do when we arrive is find a local grocery store. There we can pick up items we didn’t want to weigh ourselves down with…A local grocery store or wholesale club is a much more cost effective option for some of these items than the hotel gift shop. We also get a store membership card, and some of these can be done online ahead of time. The cards are free and worth the few minutes to fill out the paperwork if you can take advantage of store sales.

I did have some minor quibbles with the book. I was surprised at the short chapters on Disney (though there are dozens of books dedicated to the House of Mouse) and road trips. Also the section on “where to stay” has recommendations from moms on great family-friendly resorts, but the book doesn’t tell you where they are. The book also doesn’t really take budget into account, assuming that if you travel, you can afford the Atlantis in the Bahamas (WAY expensive, I know this from experience) or some of the all-inclusive resorts that run on the pricier side. Perhaps a section on how to travel in a more budget-conscious fashion would have been a good addition.

If you’ve been dreaming about a vacation but don’t know quite where to start, check out The Mom’s Guide to Traveling with Kids. The memories you’ll make with your family will last a lifetime.

We are happy to offer 1 copy of The Mom’s Guide to Traveling With Kids to one lucky winner. Leave a comment here and the winner will be announced April 11.

The winners of Made to Crave are #19 Jaimie, #14 Cathy, #40 Karen.

Written by book blogger Nancy, who has visited 34 of the 50 US states and is already planning out how to get to the other 16. She writes about her 2 boys and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys.

Email Author    |    Website About 5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Books is the 5 Minutes for Mom sister site devoted to reviewing books for adults -- fiction, memoir, and nonfiction -- and kids of all ages. Managed by Jennifer Donovan, other contributors are Dawn, Lauren, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Follow us @5M4B on twitter and subscribe to our feed or like us on Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenna March 28, 2011 at 12:12 am

Oh wow, I’d definitely like this! I need all the advice about traveling with kids as I can get!


2 angie March 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

being a grandma I would love to have this book to share with my children as they travel with theirs


3 Heidi March 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

We love to travel. This looks like a great book!


4 Jen March 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

I’m road tripping with 3 kids while 6 months pregnant this summer. I could totally use this book!


5 Kimberly March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

This would be great for our family of 7 children. We rarely go anywhere just because of the fact that our family is so large so any tips to make it easier would be a blessing!!


6 Debby March 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I would love to have any helpful ideas ! Sounds like this book has lots of them.


7 Ali March 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I would love to have additional tips and advice for traveling with kids.


8 Tonya March 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Since I am starting to look at vacation spots this summer I think this book would greatly help me!


9 customstoriesforkids March 29, 2011 at 3:01 am

I need all the advice I can get about traveling with my kids because I will soon be going on a long trip with them.


10 Janet March 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

This is great :) Thanks for the opportunity to win.


11 emily l March 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

I would love to read this!


12 Tracey March 29, 2011 at 11:52 am

We have our first flight w/ kids planned for next year and I’m already freaking out. I would love to win this book! Thanks.


13 LaVonne March 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

We travel so much. I need this.


14 Fabs March 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Now that my kids are a little older (8 & 11) it’s getting easier, but I’m always looking for good advice or ideas! The biggest problem for us is how expensive it is to travel out of Southeast Alaska.


15 courtney March 29, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Oh we are going on a trip this summer (first for my youngest) and even though my oldest (3) has traveled several times, I could always use some advise!


16 Catherine Simons March 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

As a new mom of twin boys and many traveling friends with babies on the way I would love to have this book. It would be nice to know how I can have a summer of traveling with my 7 month old boys AND relax!


17 melissa n March 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

This sounds great – we’ll be making a trip back to TX with our first baby, we’ll need all the help we can get! *lol*


18 debra March 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I’m another Mom who LOVES to travel. I traveled during all 3 pregnancies and never slowed down after they were born. now I am single and the kids are 10,8 and 4 and WE could probably write a book on how a single Mom can travel with kids. It’s VERY do-able and it’s very fun . The key is to not stress, to make the most of the trips by avoiding traffic, waiting time, etc..and to juts have a family bonding and fun experience.


19 Petula March 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Sounds like a great book and your comments seem spot on. Oh my, I’m from MD so I definitely know that I-95 at that time is murder. Hmmm…. I would think most major cities are. I wonder if there is a book listing the major highways in each city…


20 Carolyn March 30, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Oh I need this. Just came back from a difficult trip…


21 Mia March 31, 2011 at 6:24 am

Oh my do I need this. We have a Disney Land/Sea vacation planned for October. I have a 7 year old child with emotional/behavioral needs and an 11 year old. This will be our very first family vacation. I’m already anxiety ridden!


22 Megan Earley March 31, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I could really use this!
mearley1979 at gmail dot com


23 Kristina Ziegler March 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm

This would be wonderful for trips!


24 MageeMommy April 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I’m hoping to get to start traveling again in the future! This would be handy!


25 Urailak ("LivingforGod") April 2, 2011 at 4:20 am

This book may be helpful for our next trip :).


26 tennille April 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

if this is open to canadians I would love to be entered


27 Erin April 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm

We love to travel! I would love to check out this book.


28 Athena April 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

This looks like it could definitely help on those family vacations!


29 Ellen C. April 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I’d love to win this. Thanks for the chance.


30 Shannon Baas April 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

We travel a lot so this would come in hand.y.


31 Suzanne R. April 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

We love to travel, but since our daughter was born (now 20 months) I’ve been too neurotic to take her anywhere but the grandparents’. Would love to win!!


32 Pat April 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm

This would be a wonderful book for my daughter and her family.


33 Desmond April 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Count me in!


34 Jason April 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I can use all the tips I can get! My best advice is to bring something to occupy their time.



35 apple blossom April 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

please enter me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com


36 Courtney F April 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

I love to travel and want to instill that same love into my children. They are pretty good travelers (ages 10 & 12), but a new little one is on the way and I’m not sure I can remember what traveling with a baby was like anymore! So every bit of advice will help!!


37 Doug Denny April 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I would love to win this for my sister and nephews. Thanks!

ddenny20110 at gmail dot com


38 Sally April 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

would love to give this book to a single mom friend of mine who is always doing her best to get her children out into the world to see things.


39 ChrisAnn S April 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I’d love to read this!


40 Gianna April 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Please enter me :)


41 James Coyne April 10, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I hope i win this book


42 Kimberly B. April 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm

This would be so great to have.


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