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As an avid traveler, I am thrilled to be kicking off an exciting partnership with Alamo!  FMK and I were frequent flyers before having Knox and we want to continue experiencing new places while also teaching Knox about different cultures now that we are parents.  As an Alamo Chief Travel Mom (CTM), it is my goal to relive some of the anxiety that comes with traveling with children, as well as, make sure your family has fun along the way!  We are tackling hot travel topics by breaking them down into a few categories for you, and I will expanding on each through the partnership in the upcoming year – Navigating Mom Problems, Moms for Moms & The Laughing Mom.  Get excited because this one is going to be fun and you just might be in for a prize along the way!

First up – how to avoid basic travel this holiday season.  The holidays are the heaviest traveled days of the entire year so it is the perfect time to start this conversation.  With Alamo, we want to make sure you don’t fall into the basic travel rut by sharing these 5 tips on how you can go above and beyond to make the upcoming holiday season (and rest of the year) meaningful.  And I don’t just mean by spending more money, but by making it unique and special for the entire family.

5 not so basic travel ideas:

1. This one sounds like the easiest, but it is probably the most common mistake we make as parents when it comes to travel.  You’ve all heard the age-old saying, “Attitude is everything.” and when it comes to travel it couldn’t be more true!  Don’t be the anxious, stressed out Mom that sets a negative mood for the vacation before you even leave the house.  Some of my favorite childhood memories took place in route to vacations so try not to think of the vacation starting when you arrive at your destination, but rather when you leave your house.

2. Let your children in on the planning (if they are old enough).  Do some research on a variety of things to do in the area (educational, active, outdoors, indoors, etc.) and present several options to your family.  If you have more than one child, let each child pick an activity or place to eat.  This way no matter what they pick it is a win since you pre selected the options, but the whole family feels involved and gets excited about whats to come!  Bonus: They can’t complain if they picked it!

3. For older children, provide a notebook and writing utensil for them to journal your trip.  They can write about what animals they spied out the window, places they ate, people they saw, things they learned, etc.  It is also great to have to play hangman or tic-tac-toe if you find yourself with some down time.

4. Give each child an inexpensive throw away camera.  Let them take pictures to document the trip through their own eyes.  Hey, you might even be surprised when the pictures get developed!

5. Start a family travel tradition that you can continue on every family vacation.  I like the idea of getting a picture at a famous landmark (what the destination is most known for) and starting a photo travel map back home.  Put your picture on the map and watch your map fill up over the years.  This creates a visual memory board of all your vacations, and it also teaches your children geographically where they have been.  Your kids will have fun picking where they want their picture taken on each trip.   It is great to have a visual goal of where you want to go next when you see an empty region on the map just begging you to come explore it!

To share your creative tips and to join the discussions for more fun ideas, be sure to tune into our twitter chat on 12/03 at 8:00pm EST.  It willl ensure sure your holiday travel is anything but basic.  You can continue to follow along with all the CTM’s with #AlamoDriveHappy.  By joining the conversation, you will be eligible to win the Alamo Family Travel Prize Pack ($400 value: $250 AMEX Gift Card, Alamo Striped Tote Bag, Alamo Sunglasses 5-pack, Alamo Mini LED Key Light, Anker External Battery ChargerSelfie BoomstickJoby Gorillatorch Flexible Tripod Flashlight)

This post was brought to you in partnership with Alamo Rent A Car.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make HOUSE of HARPER possible!