I love my children. I’m a proud Mommy, and nothing will ever change that. But sometimes, life can get hectic and frantic. And those are the moments I can’t wait for nap time! So when it comes to traveling with children who are full of energy, I have to take a deep breath and prepare myself for even more frantic moments.
To survive a vacation with your children, you need to be really organized. Keeping them entertained when they’re cooped up in the car or on a plane is the biggest challenge you’ll face. But long before you get to that point, you need to manage the packing with excited little ones working hard to distract you!
Use naptime to make a full packing list. And then revisit it when it’s quiet again to be sure you’ve thought of everything. Start with the bedtime essentials. Comforters, pajamas, stories, and soft toys should be on the list if you’re driving somewhere. You might also need your child’s nightlight. Choose three or four other must-have toys to travel with you, too. Finally, a good variety of clothes, and some hand-washing detergent to deal with any accidents!
If you have a smartphone or tablet, it’s worth installing a few reading stories or coloring. Always keep a surprise in your purse, too. When you know your child is about to have a ‘moment,’ you can pull it out of the bag as a distraction.
It’s not always possible to travel with snacks and drinks in your bag, especially on planes. But when you can, these can help perk up a little one who is fading with fatigue. They can help you out on a long road trip too! Travel games are great for in the car. You can often buy little sets with multiple popular games inside.
Children have lots of physical energy, and they find it really hard to sit still. Try to plan your journeys ahead so you can break it up into smaller chunks. Find places along your route where the kids can run around. Play parks, play centers, and even leisure centers can offer you thirty minutes or so rest from the road. The children get to let off steam, and you can grab a coffee. You might want an overnight stop. If you haven’t booked in advance, look online for ‘hotels near me’ to see what is available last minute.
Traveling with your children is hugely rewarding. They’ll share some wonderful experiences and memories for a lifetime. It is hard work, and you can be forgiven for wishing you’d stayed at home when things get tough. But stick with it, and you’ll find those precious moments could be the highlight of your parenthood. Quality time with your children is hard to come by sometimes. Make your next vacation kiddy friendly and have fun.