School's are out, summer is almost here, and for many families, that means it’s vacation time. Vacations are great, but getting there isn’t always so great. And sometimes when kids step away from their regular routines, the wheels come off, and it can make an otherwise blissful vacation anything but.
That’s why we asked moms who have traveled with their kids for their best tips and tricks. Here’s what they had to offer.
Kristy, who recently returned from a trip to Disney with her kids, instantly noted that she couldn’t have done without the white noise machine during her trip. “I’m SO glad I brought that!” Kristy was also thankful for the brand new sticker books she brought on the plane. “[My son] loved them and was so entertained the whole flight! (2 hours!)”
Another mom, Amanda, echoed this and pointed to the sound machine as an invaluable tool on her trip - or even a sound machine app on your phone. “It helps anywhere sound like home when it’s time for a nap and bed!”
Sarah, who frequently travels with her kiddos, suggests trying “to plan around nap times, or have a plan in place for napping on the go! My oldest has never been able to nap outside of her crib unless it's overnight, so when we take long car trips we try to do them late so that she'll be able to sleep and not just fuss.”
“My oldest has never been able to nap outside of her crib unless it's overnight, so when we take long car trips we try to do them late so that she'll be able to sleep and not just fuss.” -Sarah
Sarah also pointed to the mess-free coloring books and markers that kept her toddler entertained without having to worry about making a mess.
According to Aubrey, "When taking an overnight trip, I try to bring items from my son's bedroom so that our travel sleep set-up feels a little bit like home. In the toddler stage, that includes his favorite lovey, tiny toddler pillow, sound machine, and his book du jour. Sleeping in a new place can be difficult and we find these small touches can make a big difference."
For entertaining her toddler during the trip, Aubrey says she’s always sure to have a brand new toy ready and waiting. “Familiar toys are good to have, but something new can provide lots of distraction and create a sense of excitement. If the toy turns out to be a hit, I usually pack it away when we return home and refer to it as our 'special travel toy'."
“Familiar toys are good to have, but something new can provide lots of distraction and create a sense of excitement." - Aubrey
Francesca, mom of an almost-2 year old, says, “I always find that including [my daughter] in the packing process helps make her more excited for our trip and inclined to take advantage of the fun goodies she packed as time-wasters. Such as her etch-a-sketch and sticker book. Making the trip planning process fun and inclusive helps make the actual trip a little easier.”
And Melanie adds, “If my last trip was any clue for lessons learned, it would be to always pack the melatonin! Toddlers especially can have a very hard time falling asleep and STAYING asleep in a new place. By the third day I realized I hadn’t slept a wink because my normally 11 hour sleeper was running into my bed every night because he could not stay asleep in new surroundings.”
Melanie adds, “I’d also say if near the beach bring baby powder…. It removes sand off skin in an instant!”
Photo credit: iStock.com/tatyana_tomsickova