June 27, 2017

8 Things Traveling Families Should Give Up for Lent

epcot runSo, it’s the first day of Lent, and many people (at least, many Catholics) have their eyes on giving up something for the next six weeks. If you’re a traveler, and since you’re here, I’m guessing you are, I’ve put together eight things you may want to consider giving up now to enhance your family travel experiences later.

1. Tweeting Out Every Experience. Enjoy the moment. That’s something you’re just not doing when you’re head down looking at your smartphone. Look at your kids. Learn something new. Have your kids describe to you what they’re seeing while you’re actually looking at them.

2. Touristy Photos. I’ve never liked pictures of people touching the top of monuments or their bare feet, so please give this up for Lent (or for good). There are lots of other great photo opps out there for you.

3. Mobile Web & Apps. Since you’re giving up tweeting from your smartphone anyway, just go ahead and set it on Airplane Mode and enjoy your vacation day. It’s not imperative that you check your email, check in on Facebook or post to Instagram. Do it later once the kids are in bed after a fun day together.

4. Same Old Destinations. Go somewhere new. Try something different. Why are you planning another trip to the beach, as in, the same beach you’ve gone to since the kids were born? Try a new beach. Go to the mountains. See another part of the country. Expand your horizons for yourself and your family.

5. Uneasiness with Points Programs. Get a frequent flyer number or a hotel rewards card and use them. Don’t leave points on the table that can go toward future travel. Look into credit cards that offer points. Get smart about these programs. Two good places to start are Mommy Points and The Points Guy.

6. Speaking English. I don’t mean give up speaking English entirely, of course. What I mean is, if you’re planning to visit a foreign country, learn a few phrases, take a Rosetta Stone course, even look for an immersion program, like Scuola Verde L’Olmo in Italy. Have fun learning a new language with your kids and speaking the language on your travels.

7. Thinking Exercise & Vacation Don’t Mix. Why not plan a vacation with a fitness element, like a family fun run. Check out Run Disney for running events that take place throughout the year at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, like the Expedition Everest Challenge in May at Animal Kingdom.

8. Looking Like a Tourist. Not only is it safer to blend in when you travel, but you’ll also get better service and more respect when you dress and act like the locals. My article on IndependentTraveler.com, 10 Things You Should Never Wear When Traveling Abroad, is a good place to start.

Are you giving up anything travel-related for Lent? Let me know in the comments section below.

Photo Credit: Matt Pasant 

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.  However, the views and opinions expressed here are my own. 


  1. Great list and yes, I agree people should give up the Touristy Photos for good – not just for Lent.

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