I’m not gonna lie, when I think about vacationing with my kids, I get the sweats, eye twitches and anxiety sinks in fast. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite thing in life is creating memories with these guys, but traveling can be so stressful! From packing their suitcases (either too little or way too much, lol), to questioning ‘how am I going to keep them alive on this trip”, “who’s going to throw the first (of many) tantrums”, there’s a million things that I stress over. And having 4 of them, keeping track can be hectic especially now that they are all mobile. It’s made me seriously consider those child leashes (so kidding, but seriously?).
I know I am not alone on this. I remember a lady in church talk about her experience taking her 4 kids to a cave tour here in Arizona and, at first, she thought ‘what a wonderful experience this will be’. However, when she arrived and saw the steep steps they had to take and the tour guide telling them they cannot let go of their toddlers’ (multiple) hands, she just about lost her mind, understandably.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be so hard though! After a few years under my belt now, there are ways we can have some piece of mind while vacationing. Here are some of my tips when traveling with young children.
1. Bring Stuff To Do
Whether it’s a long car-ride or plane-ride, you will inevitably here, “I’m bored”, or “Are we there yet?”. One way to avoid this is to plan ahead. Make each child their own travel bag with things to keep them occupied such as coloring books, crayons, ipads, game systems, sticker books, favorite toys etc. Be sure to bring chargers for anything electronic though, otherwise Day 2 might seem extra long?
2. Pack Extra Clothes, etc.
This↑ especially true with toddlers. Prepare for accidents, food spills and just general mayhem when it comes to clothes. This also includes extra pull-ups, wipes, diaper, etc.
3. Take Naps/Breaks
Just because you are on vacation, doesn’t mean you have to go, go go. That’s the whole point of vacation right? Especially at theme parks, I always advise clients with small children to take a break maybe before or after lunch, to get a good nap in for toddlers (or parents) or even take a dip in the pool. And then you will be refreshed to enjoy the rest of the night!
4. Get a Child ID Bracelet
This is something that gives me total piece of mind. It’s scary to think that you can be separated from your child, but it can happen. Get an ID bracelet for each of your children that has your emergency contact info as well as any conditions that they might have that would be helpful to know if your child is found such as, autism, disabilities, medications, etc. Here’s a great one!
5. Bring Extra Snacks
This one!!! Yes!!! If it’s not ‘I’m Bored”, it’s “I’m Hungry”. Most theme parks allow you to bring in small snacks, just not a cooler full. Mostly for long journeys, this is important too. And try not to succumb to all sweet food because even though they will be happy initially, you want to balance it out with some nutritious food to avoid the carb let down. If you are bringing fruits, be sure they are not perishable within a few hours like bananas, apples, oranges.
6. Pack Extra Blankets/Pillows
Nothing feels better than having your own pillow or blanket. This can also give comfort to young ones who might have a hard time getting to sleep in a new environment.
7. Be Patient
This is probably the most important tip of all. The whole point of traveling with your family is to create memories for them and you. No one wants to remember miserable parents or mom losing her mind? If you are prepared, the likelihood of that happening decreases significantly. They are small for so little time, enjoy them!