Thursday, 10 January 2013

Traveling with Little Ones

We just got back from a LONG trip.  I'm talking 27 days long, with 5 trips to Disneyworld, 4 different states, 3 flights across the country, 2 road trips, 1 night in a hotel, and ZERO nights of good sleep.  And I have two little kids!  Believe me when I say it feels so good to be home.  We had a wonderful time, but there are some things I wish I had done differently to make my life a little easier.

Emily's Tricks for Easy Traveling:

1.  Portable DVD player (or something similar) - I can't tell you how many times this $50 "toy" saved us.  It made the time go by faster during every flight and road trip since my two-year-old was occupied and happy.  I'm not saying she spent 10 hours a day watching movies!  It just helped us avoid some of those ultra stressful moments that naturally occur when traveling :)  I recommend a portable DVD player rather than a tablet because they are sturdier, cheaper, and less important if broken.

2.  Pack LIGHT -- I thought I was packing light this time, but in all honesty, I would have packed HALF as much if I were to do it again.  Here is my recommendation:  fill up half of your suitcase with clothes and the rest with other necessities (toiletries, diapers, blanket, toys, books, curling iron, gifts, whatever).  Only pack enough clothes for 1 week at most (for mom: 5 shirts, 2 pants, a dress, some PJs and 2 pairs of shoes.  for kids: 5 outfits and some PJs) and PLAN on doing laundry frequently.  For me it is much easier to have less STUFF and do laundry often than to have lots of STUFF and have to worry about keeping track of everything.  Less is more.  You don't need every sweater in your closet.  You don't need every bow your daughter owns.  Only bring your very favorites :).

When flying somewhere for Christmas, I recommend packing a small suitcase (carry on) inside a big suitcase (checked bag).  That way you have space to bring home your gifts without spending extra money!

3.  Dry Shampoo -- Look it up.  It's cheap and it's awesome.  Look fresh without spending the time to wash and blow-dry!

4.  Daily Facial Wipes -- Also awesome.  I love these.

5.  Easy-Squeeze Apple Sauce -- Perfect for little kids.  No spoon, no spills, happy healthy kids.  It's a win.

Other tips... wear slip-on shoes to the airport, bring 1 toy per child on the airplane, eat light snacks that will keep you feeling good, and keep your camera close-by to capture those hilarious moments when everything falls apart.

Emily's Traveling DON'Ts:

1.  Don't bring anything on the airplane that you can't quickly stash inside your diaper bag.
2.  Don't leave your house dirty.  You will feel so much better when you come back to a clean house.
3.  Don't forget your two-year-old's socks and shoes on your road trip to snowy Utah.  Like I did.
4.  Don't freak out when everything falls apart.  Because it will.  Just decide to make it a happy family memory (if you can!)

Any other traveling tips?  How did you make it through the busy holiday season in one piece?  


  1. I feel like we are experts since are always traveling during the holidays. I like for Grace to have her own backpack filled with activities for her to do. She's old enough to cart it around herself. The portable DVD player worked for a while but the. We had to pack and keep track of the movies we brought. And again, she's old enough now that the iPad isn't so awful for her to hold. We have her do all her activities before she watches a show so she isn't glued to tv all day.
    I was excited to see that we do almost all of your tricks except dry shampoo and apple sauce. Yay us!

  2. Weed also try to pack 2-3 days worth of diapers in the diaper bag and then buy diapers as we go to take up less space. With a 4.5 hour flight now from NYC we try to have treats for random good behavior and protein on hand since we will inevitably miss a meal. We actually also get games on the iPad specifically for the last hour of the flight because Grace can only handle one movie before she is ready for some action.
    So far we have bad few disasters. And a 4.5 hour flight was a breeze with 2 kids (except for the kid freaking out behind us). Although Taylor is at a relatively easy traveling age. I'm sure there are more disasters to be had as she gets older!