Secrets to Travelling with Kids

Secrets to travelling with kids from www.theprofessionalmom.com

E and I love to travel. Before we had R we would go on a couple of great vacations per year. We were both working very long hours and needed time to decompress and relax together.

Once R came into the picture our travelling patterns changed but we decided that having a munchkin wasn’t going to slow us down!

We took R to Boston for four days when he was a few months old. We had some major cranky moments and when we would come out of the room in the morning our hotel neighbours would smile and say “oh you’re the ones with the baby…” but all in all we had a great time.

In four years we’ve been lucky enough to travel to Boston, New York, Bermuda, Florida, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Disneyland, Montreal, the Laurentian Mountains and Hawaii in addition to taking three cruises.

Secrets to travelling with kids from www.theprofessionalmom.com
Secrets to travelling with kids from www.theprofessionalmomproject.com

We’ve learned a few things from all of these adventures – here are our top secrets for travelling with kids:

Our Secrets for Travelling with Kids

Bring snacks

R gets super cranky when he’s hungry so we always have snacks I know he likes on hand. Whether the snacks are for the plane, the room (ask for a fridge) or road trips, I am rarely without something to munch on. We pack some snacks from home in our carry on and checked luggage to make sure there’s always a taste of home not too far away. Some of our favourites are granola bars, crackers, squeezy fruit pouches and cereal.

Once we get to our destination, we make a stop at the closest grocery store to pick up some fruit and cheese as well. I also always bring extra snack baggies and plastic containers for easy transportation.

Distractions!

In case you’re delayed at the airport, your little one is going stir crazy at a restaurant or if you need a break one afternoon during the trip, a variety of distractions are key. We bring Lego, sticker books, colouring books (with washable markers), mini puzzles and  magic colouring books that reveal the colour only when wet (affiliate links).

We also carry around our iPad (affiliate link). If you’re ok with your kids using tech, there are some great free apps that are educational. We also download movies, tv shows etc.

If you plan on using an iPad, don’t forget to bring your own earphones for your little one. There are special earphones (affiliate link) with sound blocking properties that won’t hurt their little ears.

Favourite Things from Home

R is attached to his blue baby blanket. It’s cozy and majorly comforting for him. We can’t go anywhere without it and it must come with us on the plane.

When R was small we also brought along a crib sheet so for him so that the smell and feel of the sheet would be the same wherever we went. Bringing our own crib sheet also reassured us that R wouldn’t have an allergic reaction to the harsher chemicals used by hotels and cruise line laundry services.

Can your son or daughter pack his or her own bag? For the last few trips R has packed a small carry on of his own. This way R gets to choose which toys, books and stuffies to bring on the trip. We tell him a few days ahead of time so he has time to decide and ask him to put the bag together the night before we go. This tactic not only gives him a sense of responsibility but it also ensures that he’s bringing what he wants to take.

Bring your Patience

Don’t leave home without your patience. It doesn’t matter what stage your child is at, traveling is a challenge. We only have one little guy but he is super high energy, spirited and inquisitive. He always keeps us on our toes and we don’t always get to do everything we want to which leads me to –

Don’t forget a Plan (and  a Plan B, Plan C…)

While we always have a plan, we’re also ready to go with the flow.

Now that R is a bit older, we discuss our proposed plan as a family and give R a couple of options and then we decide together. As long as we’re happy with the different options everything works out well.

We’re also always ready to have a rest in the hotel room if R (or all of us) need to chill out. This was huge on our last trip to California where we travelled from San Francisco to Disney and then to LA.

Travelling with a little one is so much fun. I love visiting places and seeing them through R’s eyes. He always makes us look at things differently and appreciate where we are. It brings me such joy to see him splashing in the ocean, running around a new park and living life to its fullest.

What are your tips for travelling with kids?

39 thoughts on “Secrets to Travelling with Kids”

  1. We have been traveling a lot, my husband and son are experts, my daughter and I aren’t so good at it. I mean I can pack bags and stuff but I always forget snacks and my husband’s pace is way too fast for me. My tip for traveling with kids is, can the parents handle it? 😉 Either way it is worth it and that’s why I keep doing it.

  2. I have not travelled with children but I can only imagine the challenges and the extra planning and preparation that needs to go into every trip. But what an amazing experience you are giving your children – the opportunity to be young explorers and to have a greater understanding of the world around them and the people who inhabit it. Happy travels.

  3. My 5 year old son loves to travel. Granted, we haven’t been flying anywhere yet. Especially since mom and dad are both scared to fly. But my kid does great on long road trips. His favorite thing to do ever is stay in a hotel. It doesn’t matter what hotel it is, he just loves it. We always bring “Brobee” his stuffed animal pillow that he sleeps with every night. And that definitely makes any transitions easier.

  4. I think we must be of one mind..lol. We follow the same rules when traveling with our kids. My youngest has been the biggest challenge and I ve forgotten to bring my patience a few times! It’s my new year resolution…serenity now!

  5. These are really great tips! A few things I do; make a surprise kit for my boy. If we are on a road trip and they start getting cranky, I bust this out and they get super excited. Also, we pack snacks in small portions to make it easy to grab and go. Biggest tip, things will never go as planned and it’s an adventure. You just need to go with the flow 🙂

  6. These are great tips. We mainly travel by our RV which makes it much easier to travel with 5 kids! My biggest travel advice is to PLAN. I like to go through each room and pick up things we need to take as well as get the room tidy and in order. It just feels a lot better to come home to a somewhat picked up home! I found you on the Sunshine Blog Hop and would love for you to check out my party http://faithfilledparenting.com/2016/01/faith-filled-parenting-linkup-party-5-2/. Thank you for sharing these tips and wow! you guys have been on some awesome trips. So cool!

    1. Hi Christia I really like the idea of going through each room and picking up stuff for the trip/cleaning at the same time. I always feel much better coming home to a cleaner house. Thanks for letting me know about your linkup I’ll check it out

  7. We travel a lot for our jobs and our daughter is always along with us. Great tips for us to keep in mind! Warmly, Lori from The Novel Endeavor

  8. Hi 🙂
    Some great tips which I hope to be able to put into practise at some point soon. Our last holiday (in France) with our then 2 1/2 year old and our 4 month old was a bit of a disaster, maybe I expected to be able to do more things that appealed to my husband and I, forgetting that my son would have other ideas!
    If we do go away this year, it will be somewhere in the UK where we can bundle all our stuff into the car, rather than have a very limited baggage allowance as we had that time. Hopefully that will repeat the success of our holiday the year before, where the hosts provided some lovely toys for him to play with whilst we were at ‘home’, as well as the things we were able to bring with us. In France, we ended up with no toys for him to play with but he was too young to be out and about for whole days, so he got bored in the house. I think we will leave it a few more years until we brave anything like that again, and try to find somewhere that has more child friendly accommodation!
    x Alice #kcakols

  9. These are great tips. It is so important to be prepared when you are travelling with kids, especially if you are doing long journeys. I agree with you with these 5 tips and I think you are right we definitely need to have patience! If you are mentally prepared for the worst perhaps things will turn around okay! I love travelling and I find it very stressful to travel with kids. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x
    PS: Oh Nicole I could not find my badge. I would love you forever if you could please add it to your posts. Thanks lovely.

  10. Wow! You certainly have travelled lots! Some fab tips here – I always have to remember to bting my younger sons comforter wherever we go. I would be in all sorts of trouble if we ever lost or forgot to bring it! Patience is also a must!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on sunday x

  11. Great tips! I love the headphones for little ears idea! One thing that I would suggest is bringing a thermometer. We ended up taking our baby to the emergency room on our last vacation because we knew she had a fever but we had no idea how high. Also, if you’re traveling to visit family, ship as much as you can ahead of time. I always set my Amazon Subscribe & Save to send diapers, milk, sunscreen, etc. when we travel to visit my parents. #FFBH

    1. Hi Alison thank you for the additional suggestions – a thermometer is a great idea. I’m not sure if we have Amazon Subscribe and Save in Canada – something to look into for sure!

  12. Yes to all of this! I’ve learned that traveling with my son is always a different experience. We’ve been traveling with him since he was a few months old. He’s been to the Keys, to Disney World, and just recently he went on his first cruise. The best thing I can also suggest is to keep to their schedules. Nap time is still very necessary as is going to sleep at their normal time. All this means that you need to modify the way your vacation when you take a young child, but it is still definitely doable!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us on the #FFBH!

    1. Thank you for your suggestions Lissette! I totally agree with all of them. Traveling is a bit different now with a child but it’s even more fun getting to see everything through your little one’s eyes 🙂

  13. As children get a little older, I would also set their expectations for the vacation or trip. If you have to travel by plane, how long will it be? Where will you be staying and what types of activities will you be doing? When children know what to expect they are less likely to be disappointed. Thanks for visiting Mom to Mom Mondays.

  14. As a military spouse that has traveled all over the world with my children, these are great tips. Pinned. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

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