Traveling with kids isn’t always fun as we hoped it would be. In fact, it’s always stressful. I remember a colleague saying “Going on a vacation with kids is NEVER relaxing.” which I found to be true. You would always question yourself why in the world did you ever plan a trip for the whole family; I know I always do. However, no matter how stressed out I get when traveling with my kids, I would gladly do it again; because I honestly think it’s a great time to spend quality time with my family. And it brings us closer too. So if you’re like me and want to travel with your kids as much as possible, I’ve rounded up some essentials to make your life easier when traveling with them.
This should be on top of everyone’s list when driving or flying anywhere with their kid – be it a short or long one. It’s up to you if you want to start with an infant car seat and switch to a toddler car seat when your baby has outgrown it; or if you want to start using a convertible one right from the start.
Check out quality car seats here if you’re still shopping for one or looking to replace your current one.
Interact With Them
Whenever we’re driving somewhere with my kids (either short or long), I always sit in between them. I don’t just give them toys or snacks to keep them busy. My first plan of action is always to talk to them, sing to them, and play with them. I make funny faces and sounds to keep them entertained. I only give them their toys or snacks when I need a break or I’ve done everything I could to entertain them but they’re still fussy. I honestly think this is a great way to utilize the hours you spend in the car or plane and bond with them.
It’s essential to bring some of their favorite toys (if you can’t bring them all) and other toys to keep them occupied during the trip. I always make sure to bring my daughter’s Minnie Mouse stuffed toys and her 2 babies, and my son’s plastic hand toy that makes a noise (as if clapping) whenever we’re traveling. It gives them comfort while they’re restrained to their car seat. I also bring books that they can flip through during the drive and some musical toys to keep my 1-year old busy. Worst comes to worst, I also let them watch an educational video during the drive to keep them from getting bored.
Check out this DIY Car Magnet Activity (from Turtle & Buddy’s) that you could do for your kid, some toy recommendations (from Shopaholic & a Baby), and books (from Marcie in Mommyland) that you could bring with you during your trip.
Anyone who’s hungry gets grumpy, even myself; so I always make sure to pack A LOT of snack for my kids. I make sure that they never run out of their favorite snack and some others to make sure they have enough food to last them while traveling. I usually bring a combination of everything – cookies, crackers, fruits, water, juice, chips, veggie/fruit pouches, bread, etc – to make sure I have some when they ask for it.
I never leave the house without their diaper bag with all the essentials even if we’re just running to the grocery store because you never know what might happen; so it’s always best to be prepared. And it’s more important to have all the essentials in their bag when you’re traveling – diapers, wipes, change of clothes, extra underwear (for my daughter), epipen (for my son), first aid kit, etc.
Check out some awesome diaper bag recommendations here – a backpack diaper bag (from Running with Stroller), another option for a backpack diaper bag (from Growing up Zee), and a hand-carry diaper bag with tips on what to pack in your diaper bag (from Marcie in Mommyland).
Storage bags are a great way to keep my diaper bags organized while we travel – soiled clothes, unfinished snacks, clean clothes, etc. You can definitely use ziplock bags or the reusable ones if you want to be more practical. I’ve actually kept some of the crib sheet pouch from when I bought them and got some storage bags to organize my diaper bag. It makes it so much easier for me to find stuff in my diaper bag especially when I’m in a rush.
Check out this colorful reusable storage bags (from The Very Best Baby Stuff) which makes organizing your diaper bag more fun.
Patience; lots and lots of it! Things don’t go as planned when traveling, especially with kids, ALL THE TIME. Most of the time, it’s when they’re fussier, it’s when they throw more tantrums. It’s probably the fact that they have to be restrained to their car seats for long periods of time and they just simply don’t enjoy it. It’s wise to just let the little things go and not make a fuss over everything to keep your sanity.
If you’re driving, try to stop for a few minutes every 1-2 hours just to let them move and release their energy. I know it will take you longer to get where you need to be but it will definitely help make your drive more peaceful.
Check out these tips for traveling with a baby (from Tabitha Lane).
I’ve partnered with Nakturnal to give one lucky winner a $50 gift card which can be used towards your purchases at Diaper.com. Enter below by answering the question What’s the most memorable trip that you had with your kid/s? and by unlocking the other bonus entry options.
This giveaway is open until March 8th, 2017 at 11:59 PM EST and is open to US residents only. The winner will be notified through email within 24 hours after the giveaways closes. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If the prize is unclaimed after 48 hours, we will choose another winner.
If you loved this post, don’t forget to pin it.
This article is published in partnership with Nakturnal.
What did you think of this post? Have you traveled with your kid before? What other things helped make your life easier that you’d like to share with us? Tell us what’s the most memorable trip that you had with your kid/s? Let us know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.