Win it! My Busy Kit is giving one Breezy Mama reader an Airport Busy Kit to keep your wee ones occupied while on the go. Find out how to enter at the end of this article!
Ohhhh… at Breezy Mama we LOVE summer! To ensure smooth sailing when traveling with wee ones during our favorite season, we are always looking for more ideas. This year we turned to guru Colleen Lanin of TravelMamas.com for her top 10 travel tips.
10. Print a packing list
I used to wrack my brain writing out every little thing I didn’t want to forget before each trip with the kids. It finally occurred to me to save the list and simply modify it for each trip. I have been perfecting that packing list ever since I became a mom five years ago. Save yourself some time and headaches, use mine! There are columns for every member of the family and extra rows so you can add those extra items specific to meet your family’s needs. Click here.
9. Keep a separate stash of toys and books for travel
Sure, a new diversion or two is always fun. But a hidden toy is a forgotten toy. Kids will be psyched to rediscover old favorites on the go, saving you money and effort.
8. Never, ever count on feeding your children food provided on an airplane.
A three-hour delay on the tarmac could easily thwart your plans. Instead, bring plenty of healthy snacks. A steady stream of sliced and dried fruits, whole grain crackers, and pretzels keep kids busy munching instead of fighting or whining. Throw in a few forbidden treats as a reward for good behavior too!
7. Be a hypochondriac.
I keep a zipper-lock bag of every sort of medicine and ointment our family just might need while away from home. This is especially handy when traveling to a foreign country or when embarking on a cruise, where getting familiar medications might be difficult. Even when traveling somewhere close-by where you could easily purchase some teething tablets or cough syrup, do you WANT to run out in the middle of the night in a strange town chasing down something you could have easily packed?
6. Hitting the road? Don’t forget the bucket!
You never know when car sickness will strike and if it does, you need to be prepared. Bring along a bucket (a sand pail will do) or snag an air sickness bag to stow in your car. I learned this one the hard way, people.
5. Break some rules.
You try to get little ones to take their regular naps while traveling. You do your best to get some fruits and veggies into your kids’ bodies while away from home. You wash hands or slather on the germ juice before meals to protect from germs. But try to let some things slide – that might mean a slightly later bedtime so the kids can see the fireworks, a few more cookies than you’d serve at home, or breaking out the travel DVD player so you can enjoy an entire meal in a restaurant. It is, after all, a vacation!
4. Don’t forget it’s your vacation too!
Whether you and your husband take turns watching the kids so you can get a spa treatment one day and he can golf another, or you hire a babysitter so the two of you can duck out for a night on the town, or you enjoy a glass of wine on the hotel room balcony after the kids are tucked in for the night…it’s important to make time for the grown-ups.
3. Eat breakfast in bed, or at least near the bed
Rather than making hungry kids wait…and wait until they are downright starving before they get to eat breakfast at a restaurant, eat in the hotel room. Try to book a room with a kitchen or at least a fridge and stock it with milk, juice, yogurt, cereals and other breakfast favorites. It will save you time, money, and sanity!
2. Visit a playground
One of my favorite things to do with kids on vacation is to visit the local playground. Not only does climbing ladders, zipping down slides, and soaring on swings allow kids to get their wiggles out, but also playgrounds are a great place to escape tourist attractions and connect with locals. Kids make friends easily, no matter the location or the language barrier.
1. Slow down and savor the moment
Often we are so busy on the go, go, go while traveling that we forget the purpose of a vacation: to relax, have fun, and connect with those we love. Children live so much in the present moment that they simply will not rush. This can be an annoyance when trying to make it to the museum or aquarium before it closes. At least some of the time, instead of hurrying your kids along, go at their pace. Let them boogie to the street musicians’ music until their tootsies hurt; get down to their level and ponder the ants marching across the hiking path; linger over that last bite of ice cream. Seeing the world anew through your children’s eyes is the joy of the journey – don’t let it pass you by!
Breezy Tip: Need travel toy ideas for all ages? Get those and more tips from Breezy Mama’s How to Make Traveling with Babies and Kids Of All Ages a Success — click here.
Breezy Tip 2: Breezy Mama Jenny Bower told us about the awesome My Busy Kits that are bound to buy you some tantrum free time. Check them out by clicking here! Plus! My Busy Kits is offering Breezy Mamas 20% off! Enter code: breezymama at checkout.
Breezy Tip 3: I’m currently obsessed with Minumus.biz — check out their travel packs for babies and toddlers — click here. Then venture on over for packing essentials for you and the hubby — click here.
Win it! My Busy Kit is giving one Breezy Mama reader an Airport Busy Kit to keep your wee ones occupied while traveling. The set includes linking shapes, washable markers, tape measure, laceboard, and more! To enter to win, tell us your favorite vacation spot in the comments!
(psst… double your chances by leaving a comment on Breezy Mama’s facebook page, too — click here)
And get the perfect diaper bag! Petunia Pickle Bottom is giving one lucky Breezy Mama subscriber a LIMITED EDITION diaper bag! To enter, subscribe to Breezy Mama — it’s free! Enter your email here:
Colleen Lanin is the creator and editor of TravelMamas.com, a site for parents who want to travel with children…and stay sane! The website offers printable packing lists, travel tips, giveaways, and stories for parenting on the go. Colleen is a freelance writer and author of the upcoming book, The Travel Mamas’ Guide. She has lived in Arizona, Minnesota, and Southern France. Now she makes her home in San Diego with her husband and two children.