Experiences Over Things: Why Traveling As a Family is So Important

If you haven’t taken a family trip yet, there is no better time! Many parents feel nervous and unsure about traveling with their young children, but providing your kids with experiences over things is so valuable on many different levels. It can seem like a lot to take on; packing the car and heading to an unfamiliar destination. Will baby/toddler sleep well in a different bed? Will the room be dark enough? What if their nap schedule is ruined? How can we possibly bring everything we need? Will they cry on the airplane? These are familiar concerns from parents who have yet to take their first family vacation. Once you actually do it, I promise, it isn’t as bad as you might think! Traveling as a family exposes your kids to so many wonderful opportunities that you often can’t replicate at home.  Continue reading “Experiences Over Things: Why Traveling As a Family is So Important”

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Setting the Right Expectations When Traveling with Kids

Have you ever heard the expression “life is what you make it?” Well, remember that phrase next time you’ll be traveling with your kiddos.

Life with kids is full to the brim with fun, joy and laughter….but we all know that there are plenty of challenges and hardships we have to deal with along the way too.

Traveling with kids is no different, but I’ve talked to many parents who avoid traveling with kids because it doesn’t feel doable or “worth it” to them.

If you fall into that camp, I challenge you to shift your perspective and reframe your expectations so you don’t miss out on awesome opportunities to create memories as a family!  Continue reading “Setting the Right Expectations When Traveling with Kids”

3 Ways Traveling with Kids Makes You a Better Parent

Oftentimes as parents (especially new parents!) it’s easy to feel a little like life as you knew it is now over.

Gone are the days when you were relatively carefree and could go wherever the wind led you.

Now your days are marked by responsibility for someone other than just yourself – someone who’s daily needs are 100% dependent on you.

It can feel a little overwhelming if we’re being honest, right?

Naturally, when you’re considering the ways life changes when you become a parent, traveling with little ones is among the first to get tossed out the window.

It just seems like it would be too crazy hard with too many things to plan for and remember, and too many risks and unknowns.

It’s an easy thing to overcomplicate, and many parents today do. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated! Continue reading “3 Ways Traveling with Kids Makes You a Better Parent”

Tips for Traveling with a Baby Under 12 Months Old

Traveling with kids can seem pretty daunting, especially traveling with babies one-year-old or younger.

There are so many variables and factors that are ultimately outside your control, it can often feel easier to put off traveling until your baby is older. But don’t!!

Traveling with your kids can be so rewarding in many different ways! Family adventures, when planned mindfully, can be some of the sweetest memories you’ll ever make.

The key to successful traveling experiences with babies is being prepared in advance. Do your best to anticipate obstacles or changes to schedule, but then just go with the flow!

Even the most scheduled babies will survive if they stay up late one night or get to lick a popsicle for the first time.

Remember, vacation is supposed to be fun! But I get that stress can certainly creep in, so I have put together some tips for traveling with baby to hopefully help things go as smoothly as possible.  Continue reading “Tips for Traveling with a Baby Under 12 Months Old”

10 Tips for Packing & Traveling with Kids

We have all been there: you booked a trip to visit friends or family, put it on the calendar go about life as normal.

As the weeks pass and the trip gets closer you keep telling yourself, “I’ve got plenty of time to get ready!” Then suddenly it’s a week before the trip and full panic mode sets in.

What do I pack (the whole house?!) What will I need when I get there? How will my little one do in the car or airplane? How will I keep my kids entertained?

There can be so many unknowns, especially if you are traveling with kids for the first time. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Check out the following 10 tips to help set you up for success when packing and traveling with kids.

1. You don’t need to pack everything!

It might seem like you need #allthethings, but I promise you don’t! Use common sense and creativity. Your bags can only hold so much (and your arms can only hold so many bags!)

Create a list of “must have/can’t live without” items and “would be nice” items. This will help you clearly see what you really need.

2. Arrange for a crib at your destination

Most hotels have cribs available for families to use, so call ahead and see what might be available.

If traveling to San Diego, you can rent the toys & gear you need from a local family using The Sharing Exchange™!

We make it super easy to browse inventory, read reviews on owners and their items, and book ahead of time.

Having the things you need when you arrive relieves so much anxiety and will make your packing list so much shorter!

Pro tip: Bring your own clean crib sheets if using a hotel crib.

3. Consider the weather and circumstances when packing

Thinking of the weather where you’ll be traveling will help you pack only what is necessary you and the kids. Be sure to pack comfortable favorites for the kids that are versatile – and don’t forget layers!

If you are heading to the beach, most days will be spent in bathing suits, so only pack a few outfits (this will reduce the list!).

For the traveling in the airplane or car, dress the kids in easy outfits for bathroom trips, especially something easy for non-potty trained kiddos.

Also, remember to bring a few new small toys for the car or airplane ride and wrap them up with layers of colorful wrapping paper. This will keep the kiddos entertained for an extended period of time.

4. Pack outfits in ziplock bags

When you’re packing for your kids, choose full outfits, including tops, bottoms, socks, underwear and accessories, and place each outfit into a gallon-size ziplock bag with their names on the front.

This travel hack will make dressing your kids each day a breeze! No more digging around in your bags trying to find all the pieces for complete outfits each day.

5. Pack enough food & snacks for each travel day

You never know when there will be an unexpected delay or hiccup in your plans.

I don’t know about your kids, but when my children are not fed they become hangry! Hangry kids on a plane = no bueno!

Make sure you have snacks, sandwiches, drinks, pouches, bottles for baby, etc. Many flights do not offer any in-flight food service, so don’t rely on this!

6. Pack a small carry-on for important essentials

This will allow you to consolidate everything that matters into one easy-to-access spot: passports, wallets, keys, paperwork of any kind, prescription medicine, medical cards, hotel details, etc. Be sure to never let this bag out of your sight!

Other possible items to include if there’s room: the stuffed animals or blankies your kids can’t sleep without, sunglasses, cell chargers, an extra set of glasses or contacts, pacifiers (yes, multiple!), and an extra change of clothes for you and kids.

Why an extra set of clothes for you? In case of a baby blow out on your lap, throw ups, drink spillage, etc. You never know what traveling with kids will throw your way, and you want to be prepared!

7. Use a baby carrier

Wearing your baby with a baby carrier is a fantastic way to travel hands-free with your little one. Try to be realistic with that you can feasibly carry while wearing your baby, so if your partner heads to the bathroom, you can still carry everything.

8. Prepare for airport security in advance

Explaining the airport security screening process to your kids ahead of time will help them understand what to expect. Be sure to touch on things like having to remove their shoes, walking through the security scanners and possibly talking to TSA officers.

Also, make sure that you’re ready to go when you enter security, so you don’t hold up the line. Car seats and strollers will have to be hand swiped with the wand, so give yourself time to go through this process.

9. Arrange for early flight boarding

This will allow you to settle into your seats and install car seats if you decided to bring those onboard (which we always recommended!)

10. Put a last call checklist on your back door

Make sure to include a master list of everything you need to make sure is packed and everything you need to make sure is done before you leave. Go through the list before leaving to ensure nothing falls through the cracks!

Above all else, remember that this trip is supposed to be FUN and you’ll be creating memories with your family to last a lifetime. Don’t let packing and traveling anxieties steal from the joy of it all!

10 Tips for Packing & Traveling with Kids