Going to Arizona was our first family trip with TWO kids, two and under. It was a little crazy, but an awesome learning experience. Here are some things I have learned along the way…
1. Naps, Naps, and more naps are needed.
For babies and toddlers, taking a trip to a new place can cause sensory overload. There are so many new things to see and process and it can be exhausting. Not to mention the travel time (and usually chaos) that it takes to get to your travel destination. Really, your kids will probably be somewhat tired the entire trip so whenever possible, get them to nap! Or rest. Don’t try and skip naps and think “oh they will sleep in the car” or “while we are walking,” etc. Because of everything new and different your kids will be less likely to sleep in the places that they usually do (stroller, car, etc.) All kids are different, but any chance the kids got to snuggle in bed with us is the best sleep they would get.
2. Deprive your kids of any and all screen time for at least 2 days before the trip. (If you don’t allow screen time at all then skip this one)
Between travel time, activities, and waiting for food at restaurants, you are going to need your kids to enjoy some sort of screen time to help you out. We personally bought our kids a leap pad so the screen time was more educational BUT whatever floats your boat. No judgement here!
3. Don’t forget your baby carrier!
If you have two kids, bring two carriers even!!! The baby carrier (we use the Ergo 360) is super lightweight, folds up really great into a suitcase, and will be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to any activities you plan on doing.
4. Remember that wherever you stay it’s not going to be baby proof! Bring outlet covers.
Hotel, family’s house, Air B&B…! It doesn’t matter. There will be tons of things the kids will get into. But give yourself at least a little piece of mind by bringing some outlet covers.
5. Don’t overbook yourself or set too high of expectations.
It’s hard because on trips you usually feel like there is so much to do in such a little time, but honestly small children are unpredictable. They are going to have good days and some bad. If you plan too much you might end up just getting stressed out because your aren’t getting to do everything that you want. Of course set some plans, but if they fall through just be happy you all are getting to spend a little family time.
**These last two tips are for the airplane**
6. Learn what airline let’s you check your stroller and car seats for free!
Can you imagine how expensive it’s going to be, paying for checked luggage AND baby stuff. Most airlines check strollers and car seats for free (we fly Alaska Airlines and they always do) but I would double check before you book your tickets.
7. Stale Cereal
Yup, you read it right. Buy a box of cereal (one that your kids like,) leave it open on the counter for two days and then pack some in a zip loc bag. Sounds funny, huh? But if you give your kids the stale cereal during take off and landing it will help them pop their ears and prevent pain from the pressure changes. However, if you have a babe who is still bottle or breast feeding, just go ahead and feed them. The sucking motion should help them pop their ears just fine!
Hope you enjoyed these tips! If you have more amazing tips for traveling with young kiddos, please leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you.