With the holidays approaching, many families are gearing up to travel near and far. No matter where you’re headed, or how long it takes to get there, we’ve compiled our favorite travel tips right here so you can be confident, stay sane, and enjoy the journey!
Whether you’re road tripping or flying, spending days or weeks, these simple tips will help streamline your packing so you can focus on family fun.
- Pack full outfits–including socks, underwear, and hairbows–in separate ziploc bags, sorted by day.
- Only pack clothes that mix and match (even if you do the ziploc tip) because if something gets messy, a switch is easy.
- Pack the whole family in one bag with clear packing cubes from EZ Packing.
- Bring along a mesh bag, or just some garbage bags, for dirty/wet laundry.
- For little ones, consider using disposable bibs while traveling. You can toss them when you’re done, rather than worrying about when you’ll be able to rinse out the spinach.
- To save space, plan to buy diapers, extra toiletries (or use the hotel’s), and snacks when you arrive.
- Plan ahead to know if you’ll need your own gear (pack-n-play, swing, exersaucer, etc) or if you can rent or borrow at your destination.
- Limit any toys you bring (see our Games tips for how to keep kids entertained).
Airports and airlines are making flying with kids easier than ever. If this is your first time, relax and know you are not unusual for bringing your toddler on a cross-country flight. If you’re a seasoned flyer, leave us your best tips over on Instagram!
- Choose a window seat for your child whenever possible, and bring along window clings to keep them busy!
- Avoid wing seats due to extra turbulence.
- Get to the airport early. You’ll have plenty of time to roam around, have a snack, and the kiddos can wiggle out their energy!
- Pack snacks in easy travel compartment containers. While security restricts liquids, if you declare your snacks, usually there’s no trouble getting through the line.
- Carry along a miniature first aid kit, with meds for motion sickness and fever, favorite bandaids, and allergy meds.
- Pack extra clothes for everyone. That way if there’s an unmentionable incident of bodily fluids, you’re prepared.
- Charge up the electronics.
- Dress comfortably or bring pajamas for a long overseas flight. Your child will rest better in familiar clothing.
While road trips always sound fun at the beginning, they can quickly deteriorate with your child’s attention span. But don’t despair–the six hour ride to Grandma’s doesn’t have to be terrible. Here’s a few tips to keep things sane, fun, and organized.
- The day before your trip, completely empty your car of all the things: extra umbrellas, reusable grocery sacks, the library books you thought you lost…
- Create a car essential kit so you’re covered for everything from hang nails to car sickness.
- Pack individual treat boxes. When it’s gone, it’s gone but that will save you from passing back gummy packets every half-hour.
- Don’t forget sanitizer for those unplanned, post-bathroom stops that always seem to happen at the only gas station in a 50-mile stretch of road. (Or bring along a small training potty and a bottle of water for rinsing.)
- Download all the travel apps you want and charge those kindles or iPads.
- Assign everyone a personal space that is theirs for the trip’s duration.
No matter your travel or trip plans, these essentials make organizing easier for even the littlest fingers.
- Suction cup shower caddies on car windows to hold small toys or markers
- Shoe organizers fit perfectly over the backs of car seats.
- Cereal storage containers lined with a plastic bag are excellent trashcans.
- Plastic bath caddies hold food and drinks, toys, coloring books … endless possibilities!
- Empty plastic containers (cool whip, anyone?) make great snack storage containers.
- Car Bingo is great for all ages. Print out these free sheets, attach to a clipboard, and hand over a washable marker.
- Hit up the dollar store for some new coloring books, flashcards, or simple games that you won’t be sad to leave behind.
- Play the License Plate Game. Bring along a map of the USA so kids can relate how far your companions have traveled.
- Play the Alphabet Game. The first person to find all 26 letters in order–but only one letter claimed per sign–wins!
- Parents has a great list of car games including the Memory Game, Telephone, and more!
Where are you traveling this holiday season?