Traveling with babies and toddlers can seem daunting. Every parent finds themselves asking the same questions when preparing for travel with the littles. Will they cry on the plane the whole time? Will they sleep through the night at a hotel? How many diapers should I pack? Are two outfits per day just in case enough? Will WE (as in the adults) actually get a vacation on our vacation? The Peas got together this week along with a few customers we've been honored to serve and collected the top five tips everyone seemed to agree upon. We hope they help you.
- Investigate your destination ahead of time and find things that you can enjoy with the littles. Most big cities have amazing children's museums, parks, and areas that are fit for babies and toddlers. Try searching Facebook for local moms groups and ask the administrator if you can join and/or if they would send you tips from their community that fit your age of child. If your child is old enough to understand, show them the places on the internet and get them excited to explore ahead of time. Some parents even use these "excursions" as incentives prior to the trip to help manage behavior.
- Try to book your travel times to be aligned with their natural schedule. Most parents find that booking a flight that takes off 30 minutes prior to a regularly scheduled sleep time. That way the kids have time to explore and you're not carrying a sleeping baby down an aisle, and they fall into a normal pattern of rest and stay on schedule.
- When packing, try to pack clothes that are all in the same color scheme so that you can easily mix and match if there happens to be a spilling, blowout, or other incident. The general rule is packing 1 1/2 outfits for each day you will be at your destination. Be sure to include a few small toys from home for your child. (And if they are old enough, let them carry a small backpack for the plane.) Most moms agreed that they always carry a small bottle of Tylenol with them just in case. And as for all of those diapers, wipes, and baby food...well you know how WE feel about that. (Let us, or another gear rental company, deliver them for you. If you're traveling to Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding areas, we would love to deliver your baby gear, diapers, wipes, and food to you. If not traveling here, reach out to http://www.gaberco.org and ask them for a gear company in the destination area.)
- For the plane, be sure to pack some dollar store toys you can bring out every half hour to keep them entertained. You can also use some saran wrap and dry erase markers and make drawing surfaces out of the tray tables, windows, and the plane brochures. Bring tons of snacks, and suckers to help keep their hands busy, their tummies full, and their ears clear to alleviate pressure. And for babies, pack extra pacifiers as one is sure to roll down the gross plane floor and using one (or feeding upon assent and dissent) alleviates the pressure on their ears and prevents crying. Make friends with your neighbors and offer them free drinks. If you have an adorable toddler, have them say hello. That eases some of the "we don't know you so if your kid makes a peep or that baby cries we are going to shame you like we are on social media hiding behind our computers" mentality.
- Take a deep breath. Honestly, every mom and dad agreed on this one in one way or another. Your attitude is what ultimately controls the experience. Every moment is a teachable one. And no one is perfect. If there's a misstep, tantrum, or a lost piece of luggage - try to take it in stride and focus on the positive. You are blessed enough to be traveling. And your kids are experiencing the world; which is the best teacher. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off.
We hope this helps. Feel free to share YOUR tips on our social media channels as well!