As we approach the warmth of Spring and Summer, we're all prepping for those well deserved vacations. Traveling in itself is no easy feat; but adding those sweet kiddos in to the mix, that's a whole other ball game. Thankfully we have some great tips and tricks to make the process just a bit smoother so you can fully enjoy that vacation, mama!
"Here are some tips and tricks I’ve used and learned from my momma village along this motherhood journey:
Snacks are quite possibly my lifeline on an everyday basis. They’re necessary! I carry snacks that are light and easy to put into a diaper bag or purse. Ideally these snacks are filling and provide nutritional value! I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fresh fruit, crackers and cheese! When all else is failing, I always have some fruit snacks to get the job done.
Depending on the age of your child, sleeping arrangements will look different for everyone. It’s going to be difficult to adjust to the new environment wherever you are traveling, so a little comfort is always helpful. Bring your child’s favorite lovey bear, baby doll, or blanket to help calm and comfort them. Swaddle me, and Dock a tot make portable sleepers for infants. If your child is old enough for their own bed, try a portable bed. My Cot Portable bed or a Pack ‘n Play can be great options. If your child is old enough and you are comfortable with having them sleep with you, that also saves you the task of carrying any additional sleep supplies.
I know that if your kid is able to talk, they will surely tell you what form of entertainment is right for them. Tablets, music, and electronic games are suitable for older children. If you have a long drive ahead of you, consider getting a mobile DVD player for your child’s favorite movie. Toddlers and infants may be a bit trickier to keep still and quiet especially when on an airplane. I had a friend tell me to go to the dollar store and wrap a few items to give to my daughter while on her first flight. She was one at the time and unwrapping a new toy kept her entertained for… a few minutes! They are toddlers, that attention span won’t last all flight but I was happy to get those few minutes. I gave her a few new toys that flight and it definitely kept her calm. Infants may need pacifiers, stuffed animals, snacks, teething devices, or just the comfort and closeness of mom to keep them entertained. If you are on a flight with your infant or toddler, a bottle, pacifier, or nursing them will help relieve the pressure from their ears during departure.
As far as car seats are concerned, ask yourself a few questions. Are you staying with any family or friends who might have a car seat available to them? One you can borrow for your stay or rent? If so, this way you won’t have to travel with yours. Babyquip, and several rental car agencies offer car seat rentals in many cities. If you need to travel with a car seat, Britax, Safety1st, and Evenflo make some lightweight car seats that are travel friendly. If you’re flying with a car seat, think about investing in a car seat cover. I have heard plenty of stories about damaged car seats and airlines not taking responsibility for the damage. Protect your car seat because damage to it could render it useless when installed in a car.
If you know your child takes naps and is hard to transport, throws themselves to the ground because mom wont let them run into the street, or is heavy as a sack of potatoes, you might need a stroller handy in many travel situations. Again, there are a few questions you need to consider before you take up the entire cargo area of your SUV with packing your double BOB (I love my double BOB so I know)! Are you traveling to an attraction where you’ll need a stroller?! A theme park or monument? Check to see if they allow strollers or if they have any for rent on site. If you don’t already own one, can you purchase an inexpensive, light weight, and compact stroller before your trip? Consider an umbrella stroller. If your child is at an age and size where baby carrying is possible, this could save you a lot of space when traveling. It also comes in handy when on planes and when you have multiples to keep an eye on!
Try not to over plan, over pack, or over stress! I know you’re an awesome mom! The fact that you’re thinking of everything you need to make your family vacation a success and to make your kids (and any innocent bystanders) as comfortable as possible tell me that! It’s tough to travel with little ones, but the memories you’ll make while on vacation are worth all the fuss! Us mommas stress over so many things, lets make vacation as relaxing as possible. Try to make a list, then check it two or three more times narrowing down the things you really need versus the things that are going to make your trip more complicated! Also, delegate some tasks to your spouse or kids who are old enough to handle the task! It is family vacation after all!
You got this momma! Enjoy your vacation!"