3 tips for traveling with kids

Whether you’re traveling solo or with family/friends, traveling can be stressful. And while I know I can’t fully remove the stress you might experience during your travels, I hope the tips below can help you breathe better and have more fun on your journey:)

I’ll start off by saying that the below was put together after a recent trip to a Mexican resort for 7 nights / 8 days with my husband and two daughters (3 years and 5 months old). Of course you can make revisions based on the number of days you’ll be traveling, whether your child has any allergies, etc.

Tip #1: Keep kids engaged and occupied

My girls are not old enough to play games together (I can’t wait for that day!), so for now I pack separate toys that are age appropriate. Below are the toys/activities I brought to keep the girls busy…you can also have your toddler wear a backpack of his/her choice to carry some of his/her toys in. It helps give them a sense of responsibility while traveling too and can be used for taking things to and from the beach/pool too ;)

Toddler appropriate

  • Crayola’s mess-free markers and mess-free stamps (and booklet of course)

  • Learning book with washable marker (right now Mia is practicing her letters, numbers, matching, time, etc.)

  • 2 favourite books to read

  • “Old Maid” - Hand size memory card game

  • Before traveling, we downloaded shows (“llama llama”), movies (“the Sound of Music”), and music (raffi, and many many more!) to an iPad. Don’t forget headphones;)

Baby appropriate

  • Rubber blocks that jingle and can be stacked

  • Chew toy

  • Favourite blanket or stuffed toy

  • Scrunchy playbook

Tip #2: Food & Sleep

Food and sleep are key to a happy and smooth trip (for both adults and kids)! From the plane to the hotel, it’s important to be prepared for anything.

On our flight from Toronto to Mexico, we experienced a delay due to weather that forced us to sit in the plane at the gate for 3 hours - yikes!! So fortunately we had a ton of snacks, water, and a blanket to keep warm (since the heat couldn’t be put on until the plane left the gate!!). For snacks we brought everything from granola and fruit bars to lollipops (a “must need” for bribing when things get tough with a toddler).

Now I didn’t know this was ever an option, but my hubby planned our food for the flight and ordered our lunch meal in advance (we flew via Air Transat). While you can purchase food on the flight itself, pre-ordering the food allowed us to get our food immediately after the plane took off (which is key when you experience a delay such as ours). AND the food was delicious, with a small bottle of dessert and wine included - yes, I enjoy a sip here and there.

Tip #3: Pack smart

Since the weather was warm, I packed the following for my girls. It was just the right amount with 95% of clothing used (I’m glad I had extra just in case of spills, accidents, etc).

Clothing (the list below is for one child):

  • 2 sun hats

  • 3 long-sleeves (for cooler mornings and evenings)

  • 2 sweaters (in case weather got cold but mostly for the plane trip there and back, planes can be cold)

  • 4-5 pairs of pants (can re-use them)

  • 6 sets of day wear (tank top or t-shirt + shorts)

  • 4-5 one piece jumpers or summer dresses

  • 2-3 bathing suits

  • 1 pair of runners, 2 pair of sandals, 1 pair of water shoes, 1 pair of dress shoes since we went for a wedding

  • 10 pairs of underwear (extra in case of accidents)

  • 3 pairs of socks (she was mostly in sandals so we only used 2 pairs for the plane trips)

Accessories

  • Goggles and puddle jumper for swimming (we got a set of beach toys in Mexico from the local store)

  • Hairbrush, hair elastics, headbands

  • Water bottle

  • Shade Pack for the beach (this was from amazon and it was perfect for putting our baby under while we hung out at the beach)

  • Baby Carrier (I have the ergo baby)

  • Multi-purpose Car Seat cover that could be used as a breastfeeding cover

Health:

  • Thermometer, vitamin D drops for baby, probiotics, Tylenol or Advil or Tempra for appropriate ages, nail clipper, lip balm, hand/body lotion, sunscreen, aloe vera, baby shampoo/wash

Documents:

  • Passports (take a picture of each one and save as well in case one/all get lost/stolen), health cards, credit cards, out of country health insurance/coverage

Ok folks, so there you have it! I know it was a long one, but hopefully you found something in there that could help you on your next trip with the kids;)

I’d also love to hear any trips you have so that my next vacation can be even smoother.

Until next time,

Laura

Laura Sanhueza-MillerComment