Since having my first child 4 years ago I’ve had the adventure of traveling with kids several times. Whether you are traveling by car or plane (we’ve done both), there are limits to what you can bring. Either way, it helps to know a few good tricks to make the trip go smoothly! We went to Sarasota over Thanksgiving for a short family trip so I decided to share a few of my favorite tips for traveling with young kids!
#1 Create a packing list a week before your trip – Travel light! I have learned to pack the bare minimum. Unless you are traveling somewhere that is 85 degrees one day and snowing the next and you have no access to a washer and dryer, you won’t need those all those extra outfits.
#2 Each child has their own “activity” bag – Here’s an example of what I pack in their bags to keep them busy:
- Their own crayons and coloring book
- Color Wonder books/paper. My favorite product EVER! They can get a bit pricey but it’s worth every penny when traveling. And I can usually find some on clearance at Target and Wal-Mart.
- Their favorite comfort toy/blanket
- A spill-proof cup with water. THESE are my favorite cups. Inexpensive, but can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
- One or two books
- A few small toys (either new or put away a few they already own a couple of weeks ahead of time that way they are new and exciting) THESE magnetic blocks are one of my favorite traveling toys. My kids love them and since they are magnetic you don’t have to worry about loosing them.
#3 Individual snack bags – I have learned this the hard way. If you just throw all the snacks in your bag it becomes a big confusing mess. My kids also fight over snacks, so by packing individual bags that have the same snacks for each child, it helped eliminate a few fights.
#4 Electronics will save your life! – I am one of those parents that limits my kids screen time at home. They have tablets but aren’t allowed to use them unless we are going on a trip. I load them up with their favorite movies/shows and games and I don’t let them use them until we’ve already gone through their activities in their backpacks, or if they are just really cranky/restless.
#5 Accept that it might be chaotic – Be prepared in advance that traveling with little ones is going to be hard and chaotic. If it’s anything less than congratulations! You’ll be pleasantly surprised! Just remember you’re the adult, you’re the parent, and you can do it! It’ll be over before you know it and the trip will be well worth it, so be prepared, plan ahead and keep your cool.
-Hannah (City Sis)-