Tips For Traveling With Kids :-
Travel comes in all shapes and sizes. Road trips, weekenders, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bachelorette/bachelor parties, winter and spring breaks, trains, planes, automobiles, cruises… the possibilities are endless. Sometimes we travel alone, with our partner, friends, coworkers, or family. If your traveling with young children, that can definitely add an extra layer of hoopla. There is no right or wrong way to travel, but there are ways to make it a smoother experience.
How can you make this more of a seamless experience for you and your children?
Especially with infants and toddlers, there are so many items that they depend on for everyday use. The key idea is to pack as little as possible. First and foremost, check with your accommodations about high chairs, cribs and roll out beds, formula, mini bath tubs, etc. This creates less of a hassle for you to worry about items. Stroller and car seat rentals are very popular when traveling, to help minimize the schlepping around of big items.
You may have to do your homework and make calls and emails to get these plans in place but it is well worth it in the end game. Pack up your bag the night before your next day of vacation to make sure you have all of the essentials for your children. You could even make a checklist sheet to guide you before and during the trip to keep things organized. Using a large handbag, crossbody, or backpack are all great options instead of juggling multiple bags for you and your little ones.
Something with numerous compartments that zip or snap are highly recommended. Snack size bags, freeze dried fruit, breakfast bars, cereal cups, and juice/milk boxes in a carry on and checked luggage is perfect. Try for snacks that can't crumble easily, and keep the sugar to a minimum (you'll thank me later)! Baby food in pouches instead of hauling around premade food in containers cuts down on weight in your bags, and if you can do a powder for formula instead of a liquid, this is a plus.
Try to keep the utensils and bottles to a minimum. You can always heat up your bottle later on to clean out, as well as utensils. Use restaurant bowls and plates instead of packing your own. Make sure to pack activities for your children to keep them busy through all of the transporting. Stickers, activity books, coloring… anything not messy, and stuff you can dispose of after is a plus.
Keep a few key items in tow like their favorite book, light toy, or stuffed animal, but don't go crazy because it's more to haul around. Bring crayons instead of markers or paint to minimize the staining, and no glue, slime, or playdoh. Wipe off books and games, along with reusable sticker books are great because there is no mess and can be reused many times over. Remember to keep things simple. Your child will be so amazed and busy throughout your trip that you really only have to worry about keeping them occupied during meal times or down time at the room.
Infants, toddlers, and even young children do stain and tear their clothes easily. Vacation is no exception. Bring lots of extra clothes, but buy cheap ahead of time or pack stuff not in the greatest shape that you won't miss it if a wardrobe catastrophe happens while away. Trash bags are great for dirty clothes, wet bags or plastic bags for bathing suits and the like, and zip locks (double up) for any must have toiletries and medications that are liquids.
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If you are staying somewhere that does laundry or has a washer/dryer, that's a bonus. Then you can minimize the amount you pack. If doesn't hurt to get your child their own suitcase or carry on for their items, but if you can help it, try to fit their stuff into your luggage for less to haul around. Rolling clothing items helps to save on room when packing, as does travel size toiletry items.
A vacation isn't complete without souvenirs for your child! Bare in mind you need the room, so I suggest doing this at the end of the trip after you have trashed any toiletries and clothes that can't be saved.
At the end of the day, you just want to enjoy your trip and make it a memorable time. Packing and unpacking should be the least of your worries. If you follow these tips, tricks, and hacks, they will help to benefit you and your children. The most important thing is to make a packing list and abide by it. Yes that means not sneaking in extra items into your luggage! Items are replaceable, but the joy and happiness you get to share with loved ones aren't. Make the most of your time spent together doing what matters most.