Collect Memories, Not Things

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SunTrust now Truist. All opinions are 100% mine.

Collecting Memories… Not Things. If there is anything I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s how much I LOVE to travel and how much of this world I not only want to see and experience, but what I want to show Caroline and Carson as well. Different languages, all new food and drink, and of course the culture that only international travel can offer. Which is why I think traveling with kids is so important!

That’s the sentiment behind our next big excursion… as we are planning to say BONJOUR next spring as we head to Paris, France for Caroline’s 10th birthday! Our sweet girl has begged to see the Eiffel Tower in person ever since she laid eyes on the book “Madeline” when she was a toddler and so Jeff and I put pen to paper and are taking our little mademoiselles to the city of love next March. 

Traveling With Kids by popular Nashville travel blog, Hello Happiness: image of a young girl wearing a Paris graphic t-shirt and holding a passport in her hands.

Thankfully, our daughters have two type-A parents [a blessing and a curse I’m certain], but because of the Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card–a debit card that helps you earn miles in the Delta SkyMiles program–we’re going to be flying in style. This perk, combined with Suntrust now Truist, who serves all of our personal AND business banking needs, will ensure we do everything we need to in preparation for Paris the right way… now let the saving for all the souvenirs begin! 

But before we actually jet set somewhere, we start planning for vacations well before the trip actually happens…shocking, I know! So I thought it would be fun to share a handful of tips and tricks on how we plan for international travel in the hopes you can head somewhere on your bucket list soon, too:

Traveling With Kids Tips and Tricks

Traveling With Kids by popular Nashville travel blog, Hello Happiness: image of a neck pillow, floral print passport holder, and blue and white stripe bag.

ONE | DO YOUR RESEARCH + EARN THOSE MILES

Figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there. Begin with a draft itinerary of things to see, places you want to be sure to to visit and then use your Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card on all your everyday purchases [gas, groceries, clothing, bills and more] to rack up those SkyMiles so you can fly in style to wherever the wind takes you! Funny enough, Jeff and my parents have been to Paris, but I haven’t, so this will be an all new destination for the girls and I = I’m so excited my heart could explode!! 

And since we are Truist clients, we have access to a host of incredible card benefits that we plan to take advantage of as the countdown to France inches closer: 

Traveling With Kids by popular Nashville travel blog, Hello Happiness: image of a Delta SkyMiles card.

TWO | USE A TRAVEL AGENT

I cannot say this enough…and I’ll repeat this over and over again. When you’re spending thousands of dollars on a trip, you want to make sure all the details are organized and you’ve got backup just in case something you don’t foresee happens. When Jeff and I traveled to Italy a few years ago, we used a travel agent to plan our itineraries for each city and it was truly a saving grace… local recommendations, private drivers helping us to each of the destinations, train transfers with luggage assistance = it seriously took the guesswork out of everything so that we could actually focus on enjoying our vacation. And since they have access to hotels and options the average customer doesn’t, we were able to save significant money by utilizing their services as well. 

THREE | MAKE SURE YOUR PASSPORTS ARE UP TO DATE

I cannot tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard of people getting to the airport to leave for their destination and being denied entry because their passports are expired or set to expire within 6 months. Yes, it’s true so be sure to check your dates early in case you need to renew! Another helpful tip is to make copies of your passport: one to leave with a family member and one to leave inside your suitcase for identification! 

Traveling With Kids by popular Nashville travel blog, Hello Happiness: image of a young girl wearing a Paris graphic image t-shirt and holding a passport in her hands.

FOUR | MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Another recommendation would be to reach out to your bank [Truist of course in our case!] and let them know you’ll be traveling overseas… that way they can flag your account so you won’t experience any issues when trying to use that Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card during your trip! I learned this next expert step from Pappy: bring a bit of currency of the country you’re visiting before you get there just in case… this has helped us with valet, car transfers, luggage assistance, etc and can be done a few months before you leave! 

FIVE | MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE

Finally, the dreaded packing list… the one that overwhelms, but still excites, yet it keeps me from packing too much or bringing along items I simply don’t need. Be sure to check the forecast so you know what to take with you, use packing cubes to keep everything organized in your suitcases [especially if you’re switching cities and/or countries], bring along a carry-on suitcase with your toiletries and a few extra change of clothes in case your checked luggage gets lost in transit, and make sure you’ve gotten the correct voltage adaptors as well [yes, I’m speaking from experience here, too]. 

Finally say “ AU REVOIR” to the states and let the vacation and memory making begin! And go ahead and sign up NOW for the Delta SkyMiles® Debit Card online [they’ll waive the first year’s annual fee/offer ends August 31, 2021] so you can start stocking up miles to go wherever the wind takes you… 

Traveling With Kids by popular Nashville travel blog, Hello Happiness: image of a floral print passport holder, and blue and white stripe bag.

Do you have any extra tips on traveling with kids? What upcoming trips do you have planned? Let me know in a comment below!

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