Traveling with kids can be super stressful. In fact it can make or break a vacation real quick. The little ones are off of their typical schedule which causes them to stress out and in turn causes stress on the parents and well, it’s just rough all around. We’ve been traveling a ton lately for my work and fun little trips so and I’ve been asked a ton of questions, so I’m going to answer them all here and share my best tips for making traveling enjoyable with little ones. Plus, I’m going to share my must have, go to meal that I take every time we travel for my one year old (and I have a coupon code so y’all can grab some!).
- Expect the unexpected and roll with it. The first time I took Blake on an airplane I thought I was SO prepared. I had a lovie, binkys, a bottle, toys, the iPad, you name it–and I had it. Well, guess what? She didn’t want any of it. She screamed, I stressed that it was going to hurt her ears, attempted to force a bottle in her mouth and well…go ahead and picture that and you’ll probably see that it was a hot mess. Our trip started off on the worst possible note and I was in tears five minutes in. So what I mean is don’t worry! If your little won’t take a bottle, a pacifier and she just wants to scream, it’s fine. Most people on that plane are going to be understanding or have little ones themselves-so they get it! Let your little one figure out their surroundings for a few minutes (that’s the luxury of getting to board early. 😉 ) and then slowly get them into the position they need to be for take off. We will usually let Blake play with the seatbelt next to us, until the passenger sitting there comes or we will let her stand up on my lap, honestly whatever she wants to do for a few minutes, we let happen because it starts things off best. Think about it, they’re in a new surrounding just like you are so they’re confused, anxious and all that too, just be comforting and loving and it’ll be fine. I also recommend a mini pillow and blanket! Blake loves to lay across our laps and watch the ipad, drink her bottle or nap once we’re up in the air.
- Throw the schedule out the window. I mean this in a loving way, but when you’re traveling schedules are GOING to get messed up. If they fall asleep in the car, call that a win and drive around a little while longer so that you have a happy baby/toddler later. Expect to be up a few times during the night because well–they’re in a pack n play and things are new. Just roll with it. I like to prepare myself for the worst possible things, that way when they don’t happen I feel like I am livin’ the dream 😉
- Pack extra everything. Don’t pack the exact amount of outfits you need, in fact pack double that. Bring 2X the pajamas, an extra bag of diapers, wipes, bottles, formula — just trust me. That way you’re not washing an outfit in the sink because your babe just pooped everywhere and that was the last thing they had to wear. Not that I’ve done that or anything….You know the saying less is more? That’s not applicable here. More is more.
- Always have snacks, food, milk, all the yummy stuff! Our go to food is OrgaNums and the reason why is because one, it’s filling, two, it’s easy to grab on the go (or put in a squeezy pouch) and three, it’s healthy and that’s a rarity on vacation. I always throw several of these in a bag with a small ice pack and it’s been game changing. My 16 month old still loves them and they’re easy to throw into a squeeze pouch so that she can feel independent and eat “on her own”, but I still know she’s getting the good stuff. As far as milk and formula goes, formula you can bring with you. We usually buy a half gallon of milk once we arrive to our destination. We have found this to be easiest and then we throw it in the hotel’s mini fridge for her bedtime bottle!
Q & A
Q: How do you enjoy traveling with kids when you’re running on little sleep?
A: Sleep as much as possible and don’t worry about getting up on time do to things. Honestly, if your little one doesn’t fall asleep until 4am, that’s fine–let them sleep as long as they want and you do the same. The attractions you want to see will still be there at noon. 😉 And my second tip, drink ALL the caffeine…AKA: Dr. Pepper if you’re in my shoes. Just do your best and don’t be afraid to take breaks and go back to the hotel room.
Q: How do you keep Blake entertained?
A: We bring all the things; the iPad, music, toys, a quiet book, OrgaNums food, milk, juice, you name it and it’s probably in my bag. 😉 Here’s a list of a few of my go to items for traveling to keep her entertained:
Q: Is it worth it to travel with kids?
A: It’s exhausting and some days are more rough than others, but in my opinion it’s SO worth it. You get to make memories you wouldn’t at home, you’ll most likely find yourself laughing at the end of the day (whether it be because you’re sleep deprived or something is actually funny, that’s another question) and you are SO much more relaxed when you’re on a trip. At least for me I am–most of my trips are work related, but I always seem to be a little more patient and a lot less stressed when I’m on “vaca”.
Q: Where has been your favorite place to travel with your baby in the U.S.?
A: We’ve been to a lot of the same states over and over again (since it’s for my work), but I would have to say, so far we have had the most fun in Arizona! It’s really kid friendly, warm and there’s a ton to do. You can check out that travel guide, here.
Q: What should I bring on the plane?
A: There’s not a ton of room, so don’t totally over do it, but if I had to give my top items I would say: the iPad (with headphones), a blanket, mini pillow, sippy (or bottle), pacifier OrgaNums and a lovie.
THE MUST HAVE FOOD ITEM
I talked about it briefly above, but here it is again–ORGANUMS. Seriously, just go buy some right now just to have at home. We currently have enough for a couple of weeks in the fridge and love taking it with us when we travel. It’s great for babies and perfect to stick in a squeeze pouch for toddlers. I swear by it and well, my 16 month old, world’s pickiest eater–eats it, so obviously they’re doing something right. AND guess what? I’ve got a promo code for you. Use the code “OAKES” for $10 off your first purchase.