I know winter break just ended and for most of you, spring break is already booked.
However, for many, this may be the first family vacation and you are nervous as heck. I know we sure were when we started. But have no fear. You have to start somewhere and there is not time like the present.
As seasoned travelers, we have some tips and tricks that may help you travel with kids and not lose your mind.
Buckle up and take notes. But most of all, have a great time.
S M A L L – if this is your first time travelling with your child/ ren, start small. Plan a 1-2 hour trip. Not too far where you have to sleep over but far enough where you will test your and their patience. I mean endurance 😁. In a good way of course.
Don’t take the back roads either. You want to have access to gas stations, supermarkets and such. You would be surprised how many times we had to make emergency stops for diapers and even onsies. Oh the blow outs this little girl used to have. 😫
It’s important to remember, that even if your first trip isn’t the best, don’t give up. Try again. Give it a few shots before you make a big long trip. Be prepared for some whining and lots of stops. Be open to positives and negatives but most of all – make the best of it all. Which brings me to my next point.
P L A N – plan ahead. Travel at night or during nap times. Save yourself and the kids all the hassle. Enjoy the drive and or plane ride with less fuss. Notice how I said “less” not “without?” That is because it is not a fail proof plan. There is not such thing.
The first time we traveled with Adriana, a lot of new parents and even her doctor recommended a very popular allergy medicine to “help her sleep.” But guess what? It had the absolute opposite effect on her. She was bouncing off the seats for 2.5 hours.
But if you are road tripping, plan some stops along the way. A museum here or there. A fun, kid friendly restaurant or city walk. To break up the drive but also tire them out and stretch your legs.
A C T I V I T I E S – it is almost silly not to prepare activities for children. They need constant entertainment. Visit your local dollar store or check online. But if they are old enough, have them help pack a backpack with their favorite random little toys, travelling bingo, car or plane friendly coloring books, boxes, books, etc. Plan on an activity for every 30 to 60 minutes. Especially if you are travelling for long periods of time and not during their nap times.
You also don’t want to bring toys or activities that require your help. Unless you plan on sitting in the back of the car or are on a plane. We love UNO or Spot It for plane rides. For car rides, we enjoy 20 questions, I Spy or lately bring along a family friendly conversation starter game Our Moments – family edition.
E L E C T R O N I C S – If you are not into this type of thing, this blog isn’t for your. We resort to electronics, well, pretty much for anything and everything. If they aren’t in school, doing homework, activities, heck breathing – they are on electronics. So is most of the world and in my book, that is okay.
As far as travelling goes, electronics are a must for us and for kids. We download movies before we leave. We all pick 1 or 2 for each way. This way they we can watch them on the plane and without wifi. We also download a few of their favorite Netflix shows and they have enough entertainment for the time being. They know that if they watch it all at once, we will not download anything else. They are responsible to manage their own time. Plus they have games as well.
But with little kids you may have to do that for them. Either way, it is a nice change of pace. Whatever you do – do not forget the headphones. I recommend the Puro Sound. The only kid safe, volume limited headphones on the market. Designed and developed by a father whose child went deaf because of headphones that were not safe for children. So please do your research.
S N A C K S – I cannot stress this one enough. Between the activities, the electronic entertainment, you must and I repeat MUST feed the monsters. They are like hungry caterpillars when travelling. You cannot feed them enough. Plus it helps pass the time and keep them quiet for the remainder of the time. That is if you consider, munching on chips and crackers so loud you have to turn up the music or use your earbuds to tune out the noise, quiet time. 😏 Maybe while you are at it, grab yourself a pair of those Puro Sound headphones as well.
ORGANIZERS – I also highly recommend these back seat organizers for your car. I recently got the leather ones and they not only protect the back of our seats but they really fit a lot of the kids stuff. Plus they serve as a tray for their tablets, playing, snacks and more. Also, there is a pocket where I stock large Ziploc bags for throw up. Yes, throw up! This way I can close it up until the first rest stop. You are welcome.
Comes in 4 different colors as well.
Happy and safe travels.