June 21, 2019

Weekend Travel Trips for Parents

Since it's the time of year for lots of weekend trips, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned over the past year and a half traveling with a little one.
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash
I have also realized, that there is ALWAYS something to be it's a work in progress, this parenting thing ;) Also, no matter how prepared you are- you can't plan for the unexpected. Also, before I begin please know that the NUMBER ONE thing to back is a good attitude :) There are affiliate links in this post, thank you for your support.

Make a list. Check it twice three times.
I have a list saved in my notes app of EVERYTHING I should possibly need for a weekend away with Bella. From diapers, to extra outfits, to Tylenol and a few toys. It's easily saved and can be checked off when we are on the move the next time. No wasting paper or forgetting, and I can easily add to it. I always double check the diaper bag, because I'll sometimes take things out of it and forget to replace them. I purchase extra boogie wipes, Tylenol, that I can have an extra for the diaper bag and not need to grab from our supply at home every time we leave the house. It's easier that way, and it all ends up getting used.

Keep a caddy for the car with snacks and games to keep children entertained.
Taking kids in the car for a long period of time can be tricky, especially if they are active. Bella is a very busy girl, and is more often than not great in the car. There's still the occasions when nothing makes her happy. That's where snacks, games and toys come in. You can purchase a little caddy at the dollar store, along with some individually bagged snacks and activities for so cheap! Some ideas are:
For Toddlers: sticker books, Melissa and Doug Water Wow activity books ("painting" with water!), a magnetic zoo board or a  quiet activity
For Babies: this spiral insect toy, a soft activity book, Bella still enjoys this toy since it has so many fun things in one, and a musical toy that won't make Mom and Dad too crazy.
This is our favorite snack cup to take on the go, since it opens and closes so easily...I love that it has a lid! I keep it in the diaper bag.

Try to leave around nap time for the bulk of your trip. 
If your little one is on a schedule with napping, it definitely helps to leave close to nap time. Especially when they are younger, it's important to keep up with feedings and a schedule if they're on one so that it makes the trip easier on all of you. We would give Bella a bottle and then head out the door, and she would sleep for a few hours in the car with no problem. As she got older, it still is a little more difficult to get her to sleep in the car even if it's her normal nap time since she is wondering where we are going and what's going on since we are in the car. She wants to talk or look at Ethan and see what he's up to...but eventually she usually does fall asleep.

Make pit stops easier with a basket of supplies. 
Now that Bella isn't a tiny baby I don't lug a diaper bag in to a store or restroom every time we go. Chuck and I each have a basket for supplies in our car that contains- extra diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bags for dirty diapers, a burp rag, small towel, etc... so when we make a stop I can grab a diaper and pack of wipes and quickly change Bella. It also helps when you're out and about on a normal day- you can keep the diaper bag full of your essentials and extra's (like a change of clothes, athletic shoes for play, etc) in the car and just grab what you need to go in a restaurant or when you stop for coffee and a diaper change.

Bedtime is an important time. 
After a long day of traveling, everyone is tired. Children should  be as comfortable as possible when preparing for a night's sleep. What do they use at home? Are they used to a night light? Try and make it as familiar as possible so that they sleep with ease. Make sure you have their favorite blanket or animal, throw a night light in your bag of supplies and something that has helped us has also been a portable sound machine. It's great for attaching to a car seat or stroller too, so you can try and get baby to sleep in the car or on a walk if they need to!

Shop some of our travel favorites below-
I hope these tips help you remember something the next time you are traveling for a road trip or quick weekend getaway with your children in tow!
What's one thing you bring along for a trip with kids?

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