Vacation time is supposed to be a time centered on rest and relaxation. At least, that’s usually the case before kids join the picture. But post-baby vacations are quite a bit different! Oftentimes when traveling with little ones, even a short weekend trip can become more stressful than a typical day at the office!
As a mom, I’ve been able to find a few ways to prevent — or at least somewhat alleviate — troublesome travels with kiddos. And given summer is the season of travel, I’m teaming up with JOHNSON’S® to share my five tips and tricks all moms could probably use for their next crazy family adventure. I promise you can stay sane, ladies!
1. Be organized, but go with the flow. Staying cool, calm and collected is always rule number one! It is the most important mantra to remember, as events happen unexpectedly, especially when little ones are involved. You may even need to repeat the phrase in your head as a pep talk when things start to go south ;)
While we all know how important it is to be as organized as we possibly can before any sort of outing with a child — who can forget snacks, diapers and the 5,000 other things your kid will whine about if they don’t have? — it’s more likely than not that there will be some sort of meltdown, forgotten object or unforeseen circumstance (I’m the queen of getting cursed with flight delays!) that will test even the most zen of all of us mamas. Stay calm and parent on.
Pro tip: The more vague you make your plans sound, the less they will know what’s going on, so less disappointment will occur on their end (hopefully…).
2. Bring rituals from home with you. Trust me when I say that it’s so much easier to travel with kids if you can keep rituals and routines as regular as they are at home. Always make dinner together? Find a way to prepare a meal in your hotel room. Into puppet playtime? Bring some finger puppets for makeshift showtimes. Or if your regular routine involves things that are too big to carry on your travels, bring a signature item from their nursery that you know will soothe them when they get a little upset. One of Ansel’s favorite things is his choo choo train book (read basically every time I enter his nursery), so I always make sure to pack that first so it will never be forgotten.
3. Cleansing wipes are a major mom key. This is probably common knowledge for all parents, but having cleaning wipes handy in your bag is a travel — and really, life — must. Kids get dirty, accidents happen and mess is inevitable, so make sure to add wet wipes like the new JOHNSON’S® HEAD-TO-TOE® baby cleansing cloths to your packing list for those moments you aren’t near a bathtub and in need of a major (or minor) cleanup. You AND your baby, as well as your travel time, will be happier and more enjoyable for it.
Before you *do* finally get to your hotel bathtub, read up on these babies and bathtime facts. Your budding relationship with your baby will benefit.
4. Pack a survival kit. There are toys, and then there are “plane toys.” I reserve the right to hold on giving Ansel his absolute favorite toys (like his iPad, stickers, etc.) unless he’s on a plane. This makes him incredibly excited to fly tantrum-free… making my plane ride that much more enjoyable as well. Make sure you pack at least three of these items to ensure new exciting distractions throughout the entire ride.
5. Stay within proximity to kid-friendly spots. Last but not least, stay in areas that have plenty of kid-friendly activities right outside your door — literally. Walking distance is clutch if you can swing it! Try to stay near museums, the beach or pool, a park, the zoo, etc. This gives you maximum time to play at home OR go out for playtime… and then get back for a nap as soon as the first meltdown starts happening to indicate your little one is in need of sleep. Trust me when I say you don’t want to be far away from a rental home or hotel when that happens!
Psst, looking for even more travel packing hacks? Check out my carry-on bag secrets right here.
What kid-friendly travel hacks do you have up your parenting sleeve? Share them with me on Twitter, @brit, using the hashtag #LittleWonders!
This post is a collaboration withJOHNSON’S®.
Author: Brit Morin
Photography: Chris Andre