Vacation season is quickly approaching — I can hardly believe it. So, I decided the best way to celebrate the upcoming summer fun is to share a helpful post about traveling with little ones which may help a momma out!
Traveling has been a big part of my life since I was a very young age. While under my parent’s roof my mom made family trips a priority. So, a Disney Land trip every other year was not uncommon nor was sightseeing. My grandparents owned a beach cabin which my family made as a priority vacation spot each year too. Even though we lacked a large budget, my mom was very good at saving until she had enough to treat us to a trip. She believed that making those beautiful memories were much more important than materialistic things which I wholeheartedly agree.
As I aged, traveling just became…. apart of me. In my teenage years, I opted for putting my hard earned money towards my first oversees trip instead of a new car. I have visited most of Europe and in college I invested in a trip to the Middle East. I learned how to use bus systems, taxis, and the beauty of bike travel. Basically what I am saying is that I was a “somewhat” seasoned traveler for my young years.
But then, life caught up to me…
I married my husband and soon after became pregnant.
And just like that traveling was no longer an easy thing! Seriously. I about died the first time I took a small trip with our baby girl. What was once an easy in and out potty break turned into diaper blow outs, puked on clothes, and wailings from the baby as mommy tried to hold her and use the potty at the same time.
I use to tell myself, “once she is older than a couple of months traveling will be easier”.
At least when our daughter was a baby she would sleep for half of the 8 hour trip. Now… NOW she is a continuous ball of energy that is strapped to our back seat. She’s cute to be sure but nothing is easy about traveling with a toddler who is developing her own likes and opinions.
A classic example would be me asking Yvette, “Do you need to go potty?” and she is quick to respond “NO!!!!” Of course, a minute later she goes potty in her carseat — which, by the way, is nearly impossible to clean/dry while on a trip.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Because I have endured the blow outs, the screaming, the tantrums, I am beginning to become not just a seasoned traveler BUT a mommy traveler. I have also learned that the key to successful “toddler” traveling is by being prepared — traveling smart and light.
Here are a few items/tricks that have made my traveling experience a little more enjoyable!
1. If you travel often then I believe an important component to an easier trip is a good carseat. We are currently using the Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Matrix and love it because it held our daughter just as comfortable a year ago as it does now! Although you should definitely do your own research (I always told myself I would never buy Graco) but I do like the convertible carseats because of how versatile they are with a toddler’s size.
2. Every time you hit a rest stop and you don’t have your amazing husband helping you out, you’re going to need an extra hand (or sling). This is why I loved traveling with an Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier Grey when my baby could not yet walk. I was so thankful every time I could set her in a carrier and use the bathroom with both hands free.
3. This Lotus Travel Crib and Portable Baby Playard has been on my “must buy” list for quite some time. I can’t give you my own review about it BUT there are a ton on Amazon. I just love how you can carry this like a backpack and zip up the side when it’s time for your little one to go to sleep. Small and portable is the key!
4. Or, if you need something even MORE portable there is always this Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed Portable Inflatable Air Mattress on Amazon for $69.95!
5. Having a good diaper bag is essential. With this Ju-Ju-Be Legacy Collection you will have a portable changing station, insulated pockets, and an ample amount of space for soaps/toys/diapers/etc. The best part? You can carry this like a backpack which is SO NICE for us moms with our hands full while traveling.
6. If you have a teeny, tiny one then this Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmermight be a good product for you. Simply keep your hot water in the thermos and when you’re ready to use poor the water into the container which holds a bottle.
7. If you do any flying then you may want to look into this Car Seat Travel Bag. For $25, this will make it possible to carry your carseat like a backpack and creates an easy “bag check” for it.
8. I do not have this particular “busy book” but these things are FABULOUS. Seriously, they keep my toddler entertained for hours. I found the My Quiet Book for Toddlers on Amazon but the one I currently have in my car is from Target. There are a variety of these “busy books” — scenes (ex. firefighter/ballerina), dollhouses, and learning.
9. I don’t care what anyone says about harnessing your children, I believe this Goldbug 2 in 1 Safety Harness is the best parent invention. EVER. With the way the world is today and the predators that seem to have a friendly face, I am so thankful for this plush little backpack that gives me peace knowing that even when my eye isn’t always on my daughter in a crowd, my hand is.
10. This Aqua Travel Doodle is pretty cool! It just takes a little water for a toddler’s masterpieces to come alive! I love that you can easily fold this up afterwards too — no mess, just water fun.
11. Isn’t this CozyPhones Kids Headphones adorable?! This is the perfect accessory for those toddlers who love to watch tv in the car and us parents don’t want to hear the song “Let it go” one more time.
12. I’m not going to lie to you, this isn’t really…. needed. But, it sure is cute and makes terminals a little more fun! This Melissa & Doug Trunki is a ride on suitcase for toddlers. When their little legs get tired and you don’t have a stroller in the middle of an airport, this is a great and fun option to drag your kid along. However, I do believe Melissa & Doug is discontinuing these Trunkis so you will need to do a little digging if they have sold out completely.
13. Last but not least, if you are not opposed to techie things then I’d check out the Fire Kids Edition Tablet. It’s not perfect — I mean, it’s made for rough and gruff toddlers! But, it does the job when you need a distraction in the car. So, if $99 is worth it for a distraction for your kids then maybe this tablet will do the job?
These are just a few great products that have lightened our travel load. The key to traveling with a little is to just keep them happy! A child can be easily distracted if you are properly prepared. I am not one of those lucky parents who has a baby that sleeps the entire car ride — in fact, mine NEVER sleeps.
Another idea is to keep a busy bag in the car at all times. I have a bag that can only be played with in the car that includes pipe cleaners, googlie eyes, puff balls, cardboard, popsicle sticks, etc. Basically, any craft items that won’t hurt your child may keep them busy! The idea is that these items are things that a toddler rarely explore because it’s only in the car which makes them more special.
I hope these few tips help and good luck with your travels!
P.S. I do receive a small but extremely helpful commission if you purchase something through the links above which I will greatly appreciate! I have not tried each item listed but I have read the reviews thoroughly and believe these products would be great help! Thank you for the support and love.