I have always LOVED to travel, and the list of places I want to visit seems to constantly be growing! Although my husband enjoys traveling as much as I do, we are learning that traveling with kids is very different than when it is just the two of us.
My youngest is almost two months as I type this post, so he hasn’t been further than about an hour from the house. My oldest, however, is almost 3 and he has probably been more places in his short little life than many adults. We are training him young to enjoy seeing new places, and I truly believe he has learned a great deal exploring the vast world around him.
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Tips for Traveling with Kids
I have never been the person who packs enough stuff for a month whenever I will only be gone for a weekend, so this one is a no brainer to me! My husband, however, ALWAYS packs more than he needs (I like to think I am rubbing off on him a little though!). When it comes to traveling with kids, I suggest only taking the essentials and items to entertain on the way to and from your destination. Everything else becomes a nuisance when you have to drag it in and out of the car and don’t even end up using it.
Bring New Activities for the Road or Plane
Although I like to stress not overpacking, I definitely encourage you to bring something new and exciting to entertain your kids while traveling, especially if your destination is far away. My oldest rode a plane for the first time when he was about 14 months old. He wasn’t allowed to use the iPad yet, but we made an exception for the plane and brought along his first set of headphones too! It worked like a charm for the time spent on the plane that he wasn’t sleeping.
When we travel with my parents, my mom likes to make him a travel bag of toys and activities for the car (mostly from the dollar store). We grab something new out of the bag whenever he starts to get bored, and he is instantly entertained for at least a little while.
Have a Good Carrier and Stroller
Having a carrier and/or stroller is a must when traveling with kids. We started with a stroller that the infant seat snapped in until our son was big enough to ride in it facing forward, then moved to an umbrella stroller, and now have a sit and stand double stroller. Each of these worked well for us at different stages. Our trips to zoos and amusement parks wouldn’t have gone as well without a good stroller.
We also have two different carriers. The K’tan I use more with my newborn at the library, church, etc. when I just want him to sleep on me for a while. This other one is great for traveling when you will be exploring and hiking. This one can be adjusted for my husband to use too, which helps us to share the load a little better.
I talk more about my carrier and stroller in this post about must haves for baby number two!
Be Flexible When Traveling with Kids
I would describe myself as a “go, go, go” individual, and my oldest is the same way so far. I have learned though that not only do my children need more breaks and time to relax, since having children so do I! Maybe partly because I am getting older and partly because children just wear you out sometimes. Anyway, be sure to leave your schedule open for naps and quiet time. We usually always take a movie or two with us whenever we travel, so we can all pile up in the bed and watch something.
Book the One with a Pool
My oldest absolutely loves to swim. No matter where we vacation I honestly think he would be content if we just went to the pool every day. And now that he wears a puddle jumper without protest (Make sure you get one with shoulder straps like this one!) his dad and I can relax while he swims around and entertains himself for a little while. Entertainment for him and a little rest for us is a win win!
Bring Help (if you can)!!
We went to the beach when I was about 8 months pregnant with my youngest. I remember my husband saying, “I never thought I would be so excited to be going on vacation with my mother-in-law.” LOL! He was so serious too!
Having extra hands, particularly at the beach, is a huge blessing when traveling with kids. My favorite vacations right now are with my larger family. When we travel with grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncle, we have help with the kiddos and can sometimes have date days or nights to ourselves, which is always a plus.
Don’t Forget the Snacks
I don’t care if we are traveling across the country or simply going to the doctor, snacks are a must! Snacks are always in our bag. They go a long way in appeasing my child.
Well, I hope you found this helpful if you are planning to travel with your kids soon. Also, I look forward to sharing some of our travel adventures with you!
Thanks for stopping by!