Travel Tips & Hacks with Kids
I wanted to share with you guys my favorite hacks & travel tips along with my favorite items that simplify traveling for our family of 6. First let me say this: it's not easy, it's stressful, and my anxiety is totally though the roof whenever we travel (whether with one kid or 4) ... BUT ... it's always worth it and coming home just feels extra sweet. We don't travel a ton but have taken the kids enough places in the last 5 years that we've got it down to a science.
1. Bring the routines of home: this means packing our diffuser and oils that we use for sleep (sleepyize is life!), packing noise machines and blankets and dock-a-tots and whatever makes them sleep at home. Because on vacation, sleep is extra important and there's nothing worse than being trapped in a hotel room with an awake kid in the middle of the night. Nothing.
2. Snacks: There are never too many snacks on vacation. At home, the kids have a snack between breakfast & lunch and a snack between lunch & dinner (after naps). On vacation, I bring snacks everywhere and happily supply them all day. This keeps their hanger at bay and keeps the party alive. This is especially key on the plane. We try to keep the snacks healthy though (applesauce, dried mangos, string cheese, apple chips, sweets & beets chips, popcorn, etc...) to avoid a sugar crash. Plus, sugar weakens your immune system, which we need extra strong during travels!
3. Less for More: Less bags is more with kids. We use two LARGE suitcases instead of 4 smaller bags and it keeps our hands free for strollers & kids. The kids each have a back pack they wear which has their toys/coloring books/legos, etc and then we carry a bag full of snacks for the plane.
4. Packing: if you're taking a long trip, pack half of the trip in one suitcase and the second half in another. That way, if bags get lost, you won't be without all of our clothes. Also, pack outfits (mind you, I'm very non committal and feel hives coming on when it comes to planning/packing outfits but it's the only way to travel without packing 600 unneccary items. ) more below on a few packing hacks...
5. Do laundry!: Not only does this enable you to pack less, but coming home with two suitcases full of dirty clothes makes unpacking even more daunting than it already is.
FAVORITE TRAVEL ITEMS:
PACKING CUBES: These are amazing when you're sharing suitcases. I pack 2-3 cubes per day - one cube has all 4 kids outfits for the day - head to toe with the exception of shoes (makes getting dressed so easy!) . The second cube has either dinner outfits, swim suits or whatever is needed depending on where we're at, and the third has everyone's Jammie's for bedtime. This makes it easy to keep the bags organized, helps to pack efficiently and eliminates having to decide what the kids are wearing 2-3 times a day. Simple enough, even dad can get them dressed!
BABY BJORN PACK & PLAY: (on sale!!) Hands down my favorite travel crib. I'm always grossed out by the hotel ones and my kids have always refused to sleep in the metal cribs (portable jail cells). This guy folds up so small and light, takes 10 seconds to setup and looks sexy while it's at it. Worth Every Penny.
GATHRE MAT: We travel everywhere with out gathre mat (we have two midis and a diaper changing pad) - it's seen airport floors, hotel patios, pool sides and beaches. Great for picnics or toys, changing a baby or So versatile, folds so small and durable. Plus, so pretty!
HERSCHEL BACKPACKS: These backpacks are high quality, fit just the right amount for the kids, and allow us to travel without rolling a ton of bags. They have tons of cute patterns, matching lunchboxes if you wish, and make me a bit jealous, if I'm being honest.
HATCH BABY: We've always traveled with a noise machine, but this guy really upped the game. Serves as a nightlight & a noise machine, is compact enough to travel and plays lullabies or white noise. Love this gadget.
We also always travel with a baby carrier, lots of extra swaddle blankets (use them for everything), and new toys for the kids. We Amazon Prime things like diapers or floaties to our hotel and try to buy groceries for breakfasts & snacks and eat lunch & dinner out.
Leave your travel hacks below ... always looking for more!!