I’m sure you know by now that we love to travel and since having children that’s not changed at all – it just requires a little more planning and preparation! There’s lots of information on the blog about traveling with children, but I thought I would share some top travel hacks for anyone looking for tips on traveling with little ones.
When Henry was 10 months old we took him on a North American adventure for a couple of months and explored beautiful Canada and oh-so-cool California. There’s a lot more information here if you fancy some tips on traveling with a baby, and even more here about flying with a baby – we’ve done it all! But I wanted to update you and bring you some hacks if you’re looking to take a trip this year with your little ones.
– Travel Hacks for Traveling with Children –
Plan the drive/flight/boat around their nap times
If your children still nap during the day it’s so much easier to plan the bulk of your traveling while they are sleeping. When we do road trips we always make sure the main part of the driving takes place when the children sleep. This might mean setting off a bit later than normal, but it does mean you don’t have to entertain them for as long!
Make up a busy bag that they can’t open until you set off.
Our boys love these! They are filled with lots of little things to keep them occupied and the anticipation really gets them excited for the trip. They don’t have to cost a lot, just little things to keep them busy – stickers, water pens, domino’s and much, much more. Have a look at the video I filmed from our recent trip to France for more inspiration!
So we all know packing for a family means approximately 337 bags…but one way of really helping you to keep calm and be less stressed is by traveling with a lightweight stroller that you can even take onto the plane with you. It means you don’t have to worry about it getting lost or damaged, and it’s right there as soon as you disembark the plane. If you’re driving, then it’s going to take up so much less space in the car, giving more room for all. the. stuff. that comes with children!! The Baby Jogger City Tour is so so easy to pop open with one hand, it’s incredibly light and even comes with a backpack style bag to carry it in, leaving you hands free to keep little ones close to you! I love that it still has a great sized basket underneath and also has a UV50 sun canopy – if we’re lucky enough to be somewhere which needs it!
Store spare clothes in a plastic ziplock bag.
This is one of the essential travel hacks!! You never know when you might need an emergency set of clothes – travel sickness can be a disaster if you’re not organised! Within the bag pack a couple of empty bags too for any wet/dirty clothes to go into. It’s also really handy to have a pair of pajamas and a toothbrush packed separately for last minute changes before a late drive or flight somewhere, meaning they can just be transitioned into bed once you arrive at your destination.
Know your (child’s) limits.
So you’ve been sightseeing all day, maybe you’ve had a long drive to get to your destination, your child has skipped their nap or perhaps had an unsettled sleep whilst going from A-B. Now you’re heading out for dinner. In my experience this will always end in tears…don’t expect too much from your child; they’re unlikely to sit nicely for a meal when their routine and body clock is all out of whack. So maybe ditch the expectation of dining at that restaurant you’ve been dying to check out, and instead opt for a take away or something you can prepare back at your hotel and let them have the freedom of a more relaxed meal.
I hope you found these travel hacks and tips helpful. The best advice I can give you, if you’re traveling with children, is to remain calm and try not to stress; they will feed off of that. More often than not they will really surprise you and end up being really good during your journey! One flight we took to Chicago Henry only slept for 45 minutes out of 9 hours but he was still so good despite what could have turned into a disaster. Enjoy the experience and most of all the time together. Happy travels!