If you’ve ever traveled with kids, you may be pretty familiar with the feeling of needing a full on vacation after vacation. You’re no stranger to airplane snacks and taking a sip of something every time your kid asks “are we there yet?”
Well, we’re hoping to make your struggle a little less real – aka a little less like a battleground and a little more like enjoying that margarita by the pool. Don’t skip these tips if you want to have a vacation that both you and the kiddos enjoy.
1. Say it with me...SNACKS!
Okay, so this tip might not be revolutionary, but you better believe it’s essential. There’s no worse feeling than finally getting settled into where you’re going, then realizing that the snacks are nowhere to be found. Write it on your hand, set an alarm, whatever you have to do – just don’t forget the snacks. Pro tip: Get your kiddos set up with their Snack Tray, and bring along some snacks that take a little longer to eat. Hunger satisfied + kids entertained = happy parents. Pro tip, have you heard of a snackle box?
2. Routine is KING
Hear us out...we know that the whole point of traveling is to get a break from your everyday routine. But maintaining some key facets of the routine you keep at home can give your kids the stability they need to relax and have fun. Do you always read a book before bed? Keep it up. Do you always go for a family walk with your Traveler on the weekends? Don’t skip it. Feel free to let loose with your kids and try new things on vacation, but keeping some things the same will help everyone keep their sanity intact.
3. Choose your destination wisely (and itinerary)
We understand the impulse to book the most exotic, exciting destination as soon as you get the email that your PTO has been approved, but your future self will thank you when you choose a place that the whole family can enjoy. Pick a hotel that’s family-friendly, ideally close to parks where kids can play, or close to some other nature. It’s totally okay to indulge in some adults-only activities too, but you’ll be a lot more relaxed if you’re not scraping to find things that let the kids have their own fun.
Once the destination is planned, consider alternating action-packed days with kid-friendly days. Exploring often means days confined to their strollers or getting rushed from place to place – often fun for adults, but harder on kiddos. Choose a playground (or swimming) filled day to help your kids experience 'vacation' too. Bonus? If they're old enough, give them the power to choose some of your vacation activities (you can research options for them as needed). This will help allow your kids to feel included in the family trip and excited about what's to come.
4. No germs, no problems
Traveling means experiencing new places, and sometimes that means airplanes, public transport, and restaurant tables. Pack some sanitizing wipes, washable/foldable bibs, and disposable placemats that stick down to the table for maximum peace of mind (some of these placemats double as entertainment). Not only will you keep your kids’ cute vacation outfits you planned to post on Instagram looking fresh, but you can keep the germs from new environments down to a minimum.
5. Relax your screen time limits
We know that screen time can be a touchy subject, but what’s vacation without a little indulgence? We’re big fans of you ordering that dessert, and we’re also big fans of letting an extra episode of Peppa Pig slide when you’re trying to relax. You can even keep it hands-free, and easy for everyone with the Entertainment Holder. Pro tip: download a few episodes of their favorite shows on your Netflix app for those situations where there’s no wifi connection, and you just need a minute. If you're going aboard, once you're settled in your AirBnb and your kiddos are asleep – check to see if those shows are still available. Often Netflix streaming rights vary and shows become unavailable. You'll want to make sure you're bribe-ready when the time comes!
We know raising kids is a trip – make sure you’re following our blog for more tips and tricks!