Each year after the holidays, we say “let’s not be so busy next year” … and every year we’re busy. This is not a complaint — we are so lucky to be able to see all of our family over the busy holiday season! But it means a lot of travel — now with a toddler in tow!
our travel plans.
I will admit that this year’s holiday travels are a lot less intimidating than last year’s when we braved the trek to New Zealand with a 9 month old. But that doesn’t mean that traveling with a toddler is guaranteed to be easy!
This year we will be traveling most of North Carolina over the span of a week. It’s a lot and I tend to get stressed thinking about it, but having a plan in place tends to calm me down! I am actually grateful that this year we will be in charge of our travel schedule since we are road-tripping instead of flying! I’ve written a travel post before, but thought this was a very appropriate time to update it!
tips for traveling with kids.
Make a packing list. This is the most critical part of traveling with kids in my opinion — there is nothing worse than realizing you left a lovie or pacifier at home! I start my list a week before we leave and make sure that everything is checked off the night before.
Do as much as you can beforehand. We try really hard to make our day-of-travel day as calm as possible. Which often means a lot of prep, but also means a much more calm departure. So get gas, pack the car, and have all your snacks on hand before you get ready to leave!
Plan around your kids sleep schedule. We try to get in the car around naptime when possible. The car usually soothes Adelaide to sleep which serves as a great distraction for getting down the road!
Take breaks as needed. If you’re anything like me, I don’t like to stop unless entirely necessary — or at least that was “pre-baby Lauren”. Now we plan our stops ahead of time and know that they will be slow — we try to let Adelaide get as much energy out as possible.
Pack A LOT of snacks. This goes without saying if you’re a mom — but snacks are a literal lifesaver when you’ve run out of all other entertainment options!
Have a secret bag of tricks. Let’s be honest, screentime is a love/hate for us all. But even screentime can grow boring for kids. Enter your secret stash — these should be toys/games/puzzles that kids have never seen before — all low tech!
Find kid-friendly lodging. Our go-to is Airbnb — it’s always easier when everyone can have their own room! But if that’s not an option, I’d suggest a hotel suite — there is nothing worse than being stuck in a dark room with a kiddo whose bedtime is 7pm. haha!
Rent your equipment. This may be a bit controversial and not totally necessary if you’re driving, but we always rent portable cribs, carseats, etc if we’re flying. It makes travel days so much easier!
Manage your own stress. None of us enjoy meltdowns from the kiddos, but the longer you travel, the more likely they are to happen. So the best thing we can do for ourselves: close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and remember our kids absorb our energy.
suggestions for your bag of tricks.
So what about you — are you traveling for the holidays? What are your best tips?